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Thread: Are print drums a more practical way to print big in a bathroom?

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    San Diego
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    Re: Are print drums a more practical way to print big in a bathroom?

    I use a drum to print RA4 up to 16x20 in the bathroom. I wash everything (RC, fiber, BW and RA4) in a tray in the bathtub. Up to 11x14 I use an old print washing tray with continuous flow of water.

    There is also a single tray method where you use one tray and fill and dump the dev, stop and fix. I haven't tried it but you might want to google it.

  2. #12
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Are print drums a more practical way to print big in a bathroom?

    Absolutely! I used drums up to 20X24 in a small bathroom before I ever had a real darkroom space. But I could have hypothetically fit even my current 30X40 inch drum processor in there if I had to. But I was doing color prints in those drums. The problem with fiber-based black and white prints is that they can go floppy at a certain size in a drum, and potentially collapse during the processing. But I wouldn't worry about small prints like 8x10 or 11X14; and since b&w RC prints are specifically in question here, they should do fine even in large sizes in drums.

    The main problem with drums when doing black and white prints is that you can't visually observe under a safelight the progress of development. You can still do test strips at a set time, and then adjust your final print time accordingly. But having the ability to see what is actually going on has real benefits.

    Tray washing of RC prints is easy, and doesn't take nearly as long as fiber based prints. It helps to have an oversized tray for this, and something like a Kodak automatic tray siphon. But washing RC prints inside the drum itself can also be done with several changes of water, and IF the drum had ribs inside which allow solutions to get behind the print during rotation.

  3. #13

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    Mar 2004
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    Re: Are print drums a more practical way to print big in a bathroom?

    I have done 20x16 fibre prints in a Jobo drum by hand rolling. One benefit is that you are using almost fresh chemistry (one or two prints per shot of developer/fix) so the process time is consistent with stable temperature.

    You *must* dry the drum fully between uses. Even a clean but wet drum will cause uneven development.

    Since you can daylight process in drums, it gives you a chance to ventilate a small space.

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Sheridan, Colorado
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    Re: Are print drums a more practical way to print big in a bathroom?

    Drums are the way to go. Every print gets fresh chemicals -- unlike trays -- and it forces you to get your exposures correct. You also use a lot less chemicals so you save money. There are lots of systems out there, but they are all basically the same. Some more expensive than others.

    You can choose the roll the drums yourself, or get an electric roller, or make one yourself with four small wheels. Or for the best in temperature control, get a water bath system.

    As for washing prints, you can have a couple of quick rinses in the drum, and they hang the prints on a clothes line over the tub and use the shower sprayer to get them clean.

  5. #15
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    19,145

    Re: Are print drums a more practical way to print big in a bathroom?

    As I am a contrarian

    I don't like ANY Drum

    not JOBO

    not the others

    not arguing
    Tin Can

  6. #16
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Are print drums a more practical way to print big in a bathroom?

    Of course you don't. You prefer a tin can developing container.

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Aug 2000
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    California
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    Re: Are print drums a more practical way to print big in a bathroom?

    Have you tried a "Tray Stacker"? They were a space-saver for me when I had a darkroom 2ft x 6 ft with a 5x7 enlarger.

  8. #18

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Sydney, 34 degrees south
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    Re: Are print drums a more practical way to print big in a bathroom?

    A while ago I switched to single-tray processing due to a lack of space, and it worked so well I wished I'd done it years before. Here's what steered me in this direction:

    https://www.heylloyd.com/technicl/single.htm

  9. #19

    Re: Are print drums a more practical way to print big in a bathroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by revdoc View Post
    A while ago I switched to single-tray processing due to a lack of space, and it worked so well I wished I'd done it years before. Here's what steered me in this direction:

    https://www.heylloyd.com/technicl/single.htm
    Hmmmmmmm. Interesting point here, thanks. I have to think about this. It could make things a chore but I get to see the development!


    I have a quick question for anyone reading. How much chemistry does it take to fill 11x14 trays on average? My guess is that 1000mL might not be enough. I use 8x10 Patterson trays.

  10. #20

    Re: Are print drums a more practical way to print big in a bathroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    As I am a contrarian

    I don't like ANY Drum

    not JOBO

    not the others

    not arguing
    Why?

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