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Thread: Home Made 14x17 Developing Tanks

  1. #1

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    Home Made 14x17 Developing Tanks

    Hi Folks,

    I am working towards being able to develop 14x17 x-ray film at home. I am thinking of fabricating dip & dunk tanks out of stainless steel and am looking for advice from people who have experience processing film this way.

    It doesn't seem like this is done very often, so I guess my first question is whether there's a cheap (e.g. plastic or used) alternative. Some time spent searching the internet didn't turn up anything. I think there's $20-$30 of steel in each tank, so buying makes sense up to some multiple of that.

    Assuming I am going to build these, I would love design advice.

    I was thinking capacity to do 4 at a time would be sufficient given the scale of these negatives. From the dimensions of Arkay 8x10 tanks, it looks like they are usually slightly longer (1") and significantly deeper (2.5") than the negative and have about 0.4" width per negative capacity. That would give me 15" x 19.5" x 1.75", which is just about 2 gal volume. Maybe the final wash tank should be wider so negatives can pile up there?

    I was thinking of adding a bung to bottom of the stop and rinse tanks so I can flow water up through them for washing.

    Thanks in advance,
    Sam

  2. #2
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Home Made 14x17 Developing Tanks

    I doubt this will work well with 4 sheets 14x17

    They will flop and touch, ruining them

    I use 8X10 hangers in Arkay SS Gas Burst tanks, very carefully and that does work

    14X17 X-Ray I process one at a time in flat bottom trays very carefully
    wear mask or NOT

    is ???

  3. #3

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    Re: Home Made 14x17 Developing Tanks

    When I was a student at RIT in the middle 1970s, we had access to 11x14 SS film holders and large tanks to use them in. It was possible to use multiple hangers, but they had to be more than an inch apart, if my memory serves me well, and you would slowly lift each one separately for agitation. The tanks took a lot of chemistry to fill but the chemistry was made free to us by Kodak.

  4. #4

    Re: Home Made 14x17 Developing Tanks

    I tried this with 11x14, and gave up. I think Greg and Tin Can explain it well enough, but the negatives need lots of space between one another and the side of the tank, which means you are either developing one at a time, or using gallons of chemistry. I made some acrylic tanks, and mixed up 4L of chemistry for each, and the scratched up my xray negatives. I went back to tray development soon enough.

  5. #5

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    Re: Home Made 14x17 Developing Tanks

    I ordered some 11x14 x-ray hangers off ebay. I haven't gotten them yet but I assumed they would hold the negatives top and bottom so they wouldn't flop around. Not so?

  6. #6

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    Re: Home Made 14x17 Developing Tanks

    I built my own tank for 11x14.
    I had to make my own holders for the negatives in order to make it work.

    I used 1/4" acyrlic like what's used for larger fish tanks. I chose a size to do two at a time. Anything larger and I felt like I would wasting a huge amount of developer per negative given how much film I go through at a time.

  7. #7

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    Re: Home Made 14x17 Developing Tanks

    MAubrey, how wide were your tanks? What was different about your hangers compared to x-ray hangers? Were you using X-ray film?

  8. #8

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    Re: Home Made 14x17 Developing Tanks

    Quote Originally Posted by sabeluc View Post
    MAubrey, how wide were your tanks? What was different about your hangers compared to x-ray hangers? Were you using X-ray film?
    16"x12"x2". My current hangers work fine, but they're just spring wire bent into a rectangle with clips to attach to the film on them. It works, but I need a better system...

  9. #9

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    Re: Home Made 14x17 Developing Tanks

    Jason, thanks for sharing your experience. When you tried this, what did you use to hold the negative in the tank?

    Maybe a pipeline with one negative at a time moving through the process but all of them piling up in a wide wash tank could work... Water is basically free.

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