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Johndeere 05-29-2017 01:09 AM

Building a New Darkroom
I know so old school. I have had three darkroom in my life. Nothing perfect but they all worked. I never had to best equipment but that to all worked. So after 45 years I will have that dream darkroom. I have spent the past few years picking up equipment that I could only dream of. Maybe just a little too much or it.

It is going to take a little work moving electrical and water and drains. But building everything from scratch means it will be done the way I want it.

I have moved in three directions, black and white, color and E6. I never had a sink in my darkroom so this will be cool. No more running to the other side of the house. My current darkroom was only functional at night so now I will be 24-7. No more cardboard for the windows. No more waiting for everyone to go to bed so I could have a dark downstairs. Yeah try doing your printing after 1pm every night.

No more locking myself in the bathroom with towels blocking light coming through the door. I use to load several rolls of film in about 10 tanks so I could do one big development process.

Being able to combine my traditional darkroom with my digital work station will be great. I know I will need a lot of counter space. Plus a nice stainless steel work sink.

In any event I'm excited.

winger 05-30-2017 10:15 PM

YAY!! I'm very happy for you! I have some extra stuff if there are pieces you need. I'm convinced that it multiplies (breeds?) when you leave it alone in the dark.
If you don't have an enlarger, yet, there was a Beseler 45MX on the Pittsburgh Craigslist a week or two ago. And I have a few enlarging lenses.

Johndeere 05-30-2017 11:45 PM

With me eveything multiplies with age. I'm good with two Beselers. Over the past ten years I bought things when they came up cheap. I still don't know how I ended up with 6 timers and 12 Kodak safe lights, lol. About the only thing I want or have to replace is my print dryer. I just have to out some plans together for the room. Then add and move some of the utilities. Not hard but a little work. The last time I checked I have 14 loading tanks including two 5 roll tanks. I must have a sweet spot for old Kodak Beakers and Thermometers. I lost count but every time an old cool Kodak glass beaker comes around I buy it.

Go Pens!

winger 05-31-2017 02:31 AM


I still don't know how I ended up with 6 timers and 12 Kodak safe lights, lol.
They breed - that has to be it! I have 7 extra enlarging lenses at last count. I'm afraid to look in case there's double digits now.
I've somehow accumulated several printing frames with different sizes on one base - they're not quite easels. And I've got a 4-bladed Saunders easel that's really the only one I use.
What I really wish I could accumulate is time. There's never enough of it.

Jim Jones 06-06-2017 10:39 PM

I've improvised half a dozen darkrooms over the past few decades, but am without one now after moving from the old family farm. It's easy to set up everything needed to develop 4x5 film and scan negs for digital prints. Cheap DSLRs are so good now that scanning 35mm negs on a good flatbed scanner is pointless. Anyhow, the editing possibilities for digital prints is irresistible.

Johndeere 10-13-2018 12:06 PM

So what ever happened to my darkroom? Well we had some illness in the family and that space became a ground floor bedroom. So needless to say I have a traveling darkroom. I use a bathroom to load film. I process in our smaller kitchen. Printing when I can do it is much harder. Mainly because it is harder to get a light tight room for the space I use.

So my dream is not finished. Now I have some options. The best is a smaller bedroom on the second floor. Workable solutions are building in the unheated and unfinished attic. The other in a damp dusty basement. I burn coal so i get dust.

A fourth would be in an outbuildings. Great place and lots of room. No heat and no water.

Jim Jones 10-14-2018 12:40 AM

One of my most productive darkrooms was in an outbuilding, a 20x40 former chicken house with concrete floor. A 8x12 section of it partitioned off, insulated, and wired was the darkroom and den. No running water, but a hydrant just outside sufficed. I would have used it until moving to town had it not burned down. A spark from a distant brush fire caused that and came close to getting the house. I lost maybe 1600 rolls of 35mm negatives. Oh well, sometimes I need that kind of housecleaning.

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