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Everything But The Darkroom Sink!

 
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jpmose



Joined: 29 May 2001
Posts: 164
Location: Atlanta, GA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2002 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Folks,

I am building a darkroom in my basement. I am done with everything but the sink. I want your opinions on what type of Delta ABS sink I should go with. I am set on this brand due to my research and the variety available. I don't want to make a sink. I can comfortably go up to 72". What I am having trouble deciding on is what type? There are convertibles, deep on one end, etc. Although I currently don't develop color, I have in the past and I want to be able to expand into this. My primary will be B&W up to 16 X 20 prints and 20 X 24's once in a blue moon. I process film (35mm, 120 and 4 X 5) in Jobo tanks w/o motor (I use the manual roller). I want to start C-41 and E-6 processing and color prints up to 16 X 20's. I have seached for recommendations on the web and haven't been too successful. I thought a posting here and on the large format website may do the trick.

In the past, I have always used a laundry tub or what ever was around for washing prints. I used larger trays for temperature of print/film trays. I am ready to have a darkroom as I've always dreamed of.

What do you guys recommend? Thanks.

Best regards,

J. P. Mose



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Best regards,

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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2002 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got the Delta 6 foot sink w/well on one end. I got the metal stand and have been pleased with the combination. I did have to modify mine by: (a) drilling through the lip on the front & back (middle)and bolting the sink to the stand to prevent bowing. With all the weight, and being connected only on the ends, it seemed the right thing to do,(b) inserting one grid (2x4), plastic, purchased from a lighting dealer. The sink has a few, large ribs on the bottom, and I didn't like the fact I could find no flat place to put anything down. The grid has 1 inch sections, permits the water to pass through, and happens to fit the sink perfectly, and (c) making my own shelves to fit on the support rails below the sink. That made a good storage place.

I didn't bother mounting my water connections directly on the sink. For my situation, it was best to put them on the wall, behind it.

In the 10 years I've had it, no problems whatsoever. You'll want the well if you get a paper washer (I got a 11x14 Zone VI). There was still plenty of room in the 4 feet left for me.

[ This Message was edited by: alecj on 2002-02-26 14:34 ]
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jpmose



Joined: 29 May 2001
Posts: 164
Location: Atlanta, GA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2002 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the good advice Alec. I think I will add the additional support too...it makes a lot of sense. By the way, I enjoyed your responses to "the honorable"! That guy's a certified --- ---- if there ever was one!

JP
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2002 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have an 8' SS sink that was custom made for somebody else (so I got it cheap) the sink is only a couple of inches deep and I added some support to the bottom. I never used a well type but always had my print washer somewhere else. I found it easiest to process 20x24 in wall paper troughs or trays rather than buying the big trays, they take up a lot less room and chemicals too. One thing I learned with using commercial sinks on commercial stands. For some reason they put the top edge of the sink at the working height, which makes the sink floor too low. Experiment with different heights if you can I found my sink to work best about 4" above "normal'

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dkt



Joined: 26 Feb 2002
Posts: 32
Location: se usa

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2002 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey...I have one of those 6 foot Delta ABS plus a 6 foot Leedal fiberglass sink. The Leedal is a stiffer construction than the delta, but they are both great....mine is the one with the backsplash, whatever that model is--"THE SINK"??, had it for about 7 yrs. and no problems. I ran a 2x6 on end down the center underneath it to give some more support...the ABS "flexes" a bit. Where I work we have some s.s. sinks--nice--and a four foot verison of that Delta sink as well. We got the stand they make for it too, but actually I think making one is better...

What I did, was to mock up my darkroom out of cardboard boxes & scraps of kraft paper & newsprint etc....before I built it. This way, I got a physical 1:1 idea of what size sink i really needed...you'd think with 12 feet of wet space you'd be happy, but ahh---so hard to plan for the future! You can never have enough space--wet or dry....plan to expand!

I can run 3 11x14 cesco trays comfortably in that 6 footer, and still have some room...I had another darkroom, with just one of those sinks, and managed to print fiber up to 11x14 no problem though. I do 16x20s occasionally, but this is my top size really.

Some of the other sinks can be shipped much cheaper from Delta, like the UPS sink. I think they make a flat 7 footer as well...every once in a while, Leedal will sell off factory seconds cheap...look in the back of the photo mags for their ads...or try to check out surplus lots for state systems & universities as well...alot of labs are going digital now & getting rid of gear. I see Kreonite sinks etc. like this occasionally...a Kreonite sink will be built like a tank...and may come with a water panel, filters etc. built in.

If you're planning on doing those color processes, I strongly suggest you look into installing both hot & cold water filters (25 micron minimum) on the incoming water lines. A water panel, is a luxury in b&w, but a neccesity for color....I run a leedal water panel on my second sink & a deeptank line in it as well (b&w)....if I had to do it all over again though, I'd get a used Wing-Lynch machine and run the film in that....the second sink also holds the print washing tray (siphon for rc) and a vertical-slot washer for fiber. My old darkroom had a shelf built next to the sink (crammed against a wall...tiny darkroom, not much bigger than the sink) that held the washer...I had print drying racks under the sink.

since you're in TX, didn't there used to be a competitor of delta down there called "Texas Sink" or something like that??

p.s.--I built my "dream" darkroom years ago, and I'm still changing it! But have fun, and good luck!

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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2002 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JP, one more thing. Since you are in Texas, if your water temps in the summer are anything like those here in Alabama, I'd give a hard look at getting a water chiller. I didn't and I've regretted it ever since. If you make room for it during construction, you could even add it later. I can't retrofit now. I have 2 water panels which are great in the winter, but not much help in the summer when the water temp is over 80 deg. Now is the time to think about it.
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jpmose



Joined: 29 May 2001
Posts: 164
Location: Atlanta, GA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2002 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the replies. Alec...you bring up a good point. The water does get into the high 70's in July and August. Last summer, which was my first summer in Texas, I kept my Rapid Fixer and distilled water in the regrigerator. I kept my T-Max developers mixed at 2:1 so I could dilute it with the regrigerated water. I would fill up the sink with tap water and maintain 68 degrees with ice cubes.
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2002 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of my professors stumbled on the sink of a life time. It was 7 feet long had 4 inch walls and made of 3/4" slate.

the odd part was that it's width was an odd dimention something like 34".

It' took 6 guys to get it into her darkroom but it was great. All of us were amazed that back in the 20s or 30s they made photographers' sinks this well. All of the stories we heard was that the darkroom was a cobbled up dungeon.

When I described this sink to a mortician friend of our family, he add, "Did it have a strange something over here?"
"Yeah, why?"
He smiled like Boris Karlof, "My friend, that's not a darkroom sink."
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dkt



Joined: 26 Feb 2002
Posts: 32
Location: se usa

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2002 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mortician's sink?? whatever works....

Yeah, if you can afford a water chiller, now is the time. Make sure you dedicate it to it's own outlet & circuit breaker....but I wouldn't worry about 70 degree water....ours gets up to 85 and higher in the summer months, we run a small 5 gallon (too small) water chiller where I work....and have it going through a panel where we can mix the untempered cold, chilled cold, and hot as well. Put it as far away from your area as you can--they make a racket in use, and get hot too.....I wish I had one myself...

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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3231
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2002 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even here on the bay/coast water temp gets up to 72 degrees give or take.
My idea is make your own chiller with a refregiator, tank, and copper tubing.
A 15 to 25 gallon fiberglass tank, 1/2 to 3/4 line 5 to 6 inches from bottom with 90 degree elbow, pointing down on the inside, for the input and same size and distance from top, elbow pointing up, for the output.
Cut holes in side of refregiator, run lines then reseal. Set thermostat, may require expermination, and give it two or three hours to cool. I don't think compact refregiators would work well.

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dkt



Joined: 26 Feb 2002
Posts: 32
Location: se usa

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2002 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

that'd work...fwiw, shutterbug had an article some years ago describing a similar setup...the author used one of those thermo-coolers and a big coil of copper tubing like you described. he ran a small pump to recirculate the water through the coils....I think he was using it as a recirculating water-bath in a tankline though. One of the problems we have with our chiller is in the decrease in water pressure, when trying to wash film.....it's 5 gallon tank has a hard time trying to keep up in the long run. We run a deeptank with tmax rs though...it prefers 75 degrees, so this helps out a bit....I got around this in my own darkroom by doing a similar deeptank line, and using a roller-transport print processor running at above 80 degrees.....in the end though, as long as your emulsion doesn't swell up, or your film gets reticulated by uneven processing temps.....the 75-80 degree water will give you a better wash....for E6, C41, and RA4, should be no problem at all...

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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3231
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2002 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was thinking a tank like a hot water heater. A tank from a compact heater would work as they are 10 to 20 gallons, use copper tubing or pvc to connect it.
Charles

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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2002 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you just want to cool a tank, rather than chill a running water line, check out accessories for aquariums. Apparently, they have this problem, and have some neat, relatively cheap solutions.
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dkt



Joined: 26 Feb 2002
Posts: 32
Location: se usa

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2002 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, there is such a beast for photolabs as well...you can water recirculating units for deeptanks--Arkay, leedal, California Stainless etc. all make 'em--that will either run a continuous waterjacket heated, cooled or both...phototherm makes a similar product as well, although there's is a bit smaller. I tend to see the heated ones used more than the cooling ones...new they're pretty expensive...I've seen used arkays (heat only) for less than a hundred bucks...that's probably a tenth of what they cost new. Alot of labs don't really use the large dip&dunk, nitrogen burst manual tank-lines anymore--so this stuff winds up used in camera shops--most people don''t know what they are, so they gather dust....

That's another good thing about running tanklines as opposed to one-shot. It's easier to regulate the temp, as long as your darkroom isn't like 80 degrees. Washwater can be a bit warm....

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