Darkroom Renovation Phase 1
Old 01-20-2019   #1
Nokton48
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Darkroom Renovation Phase 1

I'm renovating my home basement darkroom. Up until now, I used this space for general storage, film loading, and long ago, color enlarging. I still have a 16" Kreonite CPT16 dry to dry EP2 Color processor hooked up, but I'm getting rid of that. Want to set this up for B&W darkroom work. Washing and water in another room right now.

Been buying shelving, floor mats, and a LOT of cleaning and organizing. Mind the clutter, it's not done yet. Just wanted to show you guys my progress. What do you think so far?

Darkroom renovation 1 by Nokton48, on Flickr

Darkroom renovation 2 by Nokton48, on Flickr

Darkroom renovation 3 by Nokton48, on Flickr
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Old 01-20-2019   #2
Bill Clark
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Makes sure to have a big waste basket. I usually fill mine up when working in my darkroom!

I have a dry area and a wet area.

Yours Looks good so far!
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Old 01-20-2019   #3
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Looks like its going to be a nice and comfortable space , I would imagine that being in the basement would keep the temperature quite stable too.
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Old 01-20-2019   #4
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I have a Kreonite Plate Washing Sink (think Print Shop stuff) that is made of square fibreglass. Dragged it out of the basement of Midwest Photo many years ago. Thinking of plumbing that up (need a base with legs). Also eventually building a long darkroom sink for B&W washing and trays.
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Old 01-20-2019   #5
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Also want to set up 3 1/2 gallon Kodak Deep Tanks to process 8x10 and smaller sheet film. All that related stainless stuff is presently stored on the new black shelves along the front wall.
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Old 01-20-2019   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayrell bishop View Post
Looks like its going to be a nice and comfortable space , I would imagine that being in the basement would keep the temperature quite stable too.

Hi Dayrell,

Yes it sure does. Right now it is rather cool but I have plug in oil filled heaters which warm it up nicely. In the warmer months it is about 20C all the time.
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Old 01-20-2019   #7
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Quote:
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Makes sure to have a big waste basket. I usually fill mine up when working in my darkroom! I have a dry area and a wet area. Yours Looks good so far!
Thanks Bill.

I have several large wastebaskets at the ready.
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Old 01-20-2019   #8
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Has anybody here converted the "Omegalite" flourescent saucer head to LED for split-grade printing? I love my Omegalite head, last wet printing with Foma graded papers.

And I have a lot of EKTALURE salon paper I loaded up on, right before it was discontinued, up to 16x20. The Omegalite liked Ektalure. I developed it in Unicolor print drums.

I've ordered tray sets to 16x20 and they should be here from Freestyle in a few days. Work on this continues as I have time.
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Old 01-20-2019   #9
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Wow, looks great, envy, envy.
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Old 01-20-2019   #10
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Thanks all for comments. Keep 'em coming. I'm open to new ideas

Like I may switch to all incandescent overhead lighting. Florescent tubes have an "afterglow" that lasts many minutes...................
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Old 01-20-2019   #11
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I see you can now buy LED replcement bulbs for 4ft fixtures. Might be an option!

Looking good! My only recommendation is more table top!

I’m a freak for clear workspace!
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Old 01-20-2019   #12
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Originally Posted by B-9 View Post
I see you can now buy LED replcement bulbs for 4ft fixtures. Might be an option! Looking good! My only recommendation is more table top! I’m a freak for clear workspace!

Yes I'm not happy about losing half of the tabletop due to the shelving on top of it. Those white 3 section shelves are only $16 at Lowes (ten minutes away). If I buy more sets, I can go floor to ceiling behind, and pull the formica table outwards from the wall. I will have to reconfigure the flooring, no big deal. Trays (16x20 etc) will go underneath the formica table (more white shelving). When I get it the way I like it, I will zip tie it all together.

Good idea about LED 4 foot bulbs! I will check into that. Lowes again!
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Old 01-21-2019   #13
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I did go to my local Menards today, and bought two 4' LED light strips. $25 each and 11% rebate Also I need to redo the tungsten overheads, and the Patterson safelights (3) ang green Kodak inspection light.

Later I will build sinks, plumb everything, and redo house wiring into this room.
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Old 01-21-2019   #14
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I got lucky with a sink,

My friend is a master at welding plastic. A few years back we built a large wet table for my then darkroom.

This past weekend we built onto it making a even larger washout booth for my silk screening.

I’ve cleared the old darkroom of my custom cabinetry in prep for paint and new flooring. I have the entire second story of our Victorian to use as a shop! Including a whole room 11x16 dedicated solely to film inventory. The old darkroom is going to be a screen prep and drying area with the attached bath becoming a washout room.

I found I no longer need a darkroom, I can do it all with my dark box, and have built a small rolling platform for my enlarger that holds everything related to developing or printmaking.

It will just roll around the finished workshop. The new mantra is open space and empty tables for me! I’ll try and grab some photos to share.
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Old 01-21-2019   #15
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The Kreonite works, it's just outside on the other side of the darkroom front wall, next to the door. I used to feed prints in where the black plastic shelving is now, with all the tanks. I've just covered that up, see the black plastic stapled to the wall? I'm in Ohio, but I'm not ready to sell it yet.

Kreonite CPT16 EP2 Color Processor by Nokton48, on Flickr

And this is the Kreonite Plate Washing Sink I want to restore and install.

Kreonite Plate Washing Sink by Nokton48, on Flickr

Kreonite Water Mixing Valve Unit by Nokton48, on Flickr

And this Kreonite Water Mixing Unit will be removed and put over the sinks after I build and install them. The hot and cold lines will be easy to extend as they are already there as you can see. This water board is worth some dough.
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Old 01-21-2019   #16
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Hello from the North!

I have family in Ohio! Love to visit, Rock on the Range! (what was anyways)

That Kreonite sink is really cool!

Looks like you got it going on. Cant wait for future updates! I love this kind of thread.

Edit: I like the green of the sink, what is it made of? Almost looks like a eyewash station sitting up like that!
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Old 01-21-2019   #17
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It's upside down in the photo, and it's plastic and fiberglass. My hands are itching from moving it. I will have to hit it with epoxy sealer for sure! EEK

Kreonite had a whole division that supported commercial printing press shops. This thing had four jet sprays (you can see the holes in each corner, the jets were rotten so I removed them) for washing commercial print shop plates (I guess). Kreonite stuff was UBER EXPENSIVE back in the day. I worked in a cutting edge print shop when I was younger, and I know a bit about this.

I think I paid $40 for this sink, which is an absolute steal. I dragged it out of Midwest Photos basement many many years ago. I worked at Columbus Camera Group when I was in college and bought a lot of stuff there.
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Old 01-21-2019   #18
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Not familiar with Kreonite but it sounds like a steal!

Any hope for the jets?
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Old 01-21-2019   #19
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Hopefully this works... lol

Here’s a snap of my old wet table turned washout booth.

I feel it looks small in the photo but I can sit in the thing.
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Old 01-21-2019   #20
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OK So you spray out silkscreens in that? Very cool

I'm going to plug the holes where the jets were located, and use it as a small utility sink, prolly in a corner.
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Old 01-21-2019   #21
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Have yet to rinse any screens in it, we are adding a heavy rim around the opening before I take it home. But yeah that’s the plan anyhow. Should still make a good wet table. You can see the original table wrapped in 3/8 PVC (dark grey). That was a messy job to router out the curf for the bends on a 5x9 sheet.

I say I’m lucky because the plastic for this sink is rather expensive. We estimated the material cost around 3-400$, all sourced for free from industrial scrap and welded up during happy hour with plenty of beer.

Now to make a fixture for it.


A little reinforced bondo on those jet holes should seal them up for good. The local hardware should have some fiber impregnated resin that would make easy work or it!

Ive filled holes with that 5 minute 2-part epoxy “pens” they sell everywhere, I bet that would work. At only about 5$ a pop worth a try over silicon!
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Old 01-22-2019   #22
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Back n the far corner is the largest BENCHER copy stand they make, I set up with Lowell Tota Lights with Polarizing Gels. It takes up a lot of room. I raised it up slightly using some concrete blocks I had outside. I've had a few photog friends try to buy it from me, it's not for sale. It's worth some dough. I bought it at an outside auction at the local Rockwell plant, they auctioned everything outside. Open only to Rockwell employees and family (I'm family). I paid $30 for that Bencher stand, nobody else was interested. And I bought a LOT of METRO shelving which have in my studio (we won't go over here yet, my friends tell me it's like a professional commercial photography museum) and also out in my workshop garage.

Not having plumbing yet kind of sucks, but I've always just lived with it. I develop film in the laundry room also downstairs. Believe me, things will be changing radically during phase II renovation (electrical plumbing and carpentry). Stay tuned.
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Old 01-22-2019   #23
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Looking forward to phase two!

Initially I had my wet table plumbed to 3x 5gal buckets, each with a ball valve.

The revised sink is going to replace a Vanity combo in the second story bath.

That copy stand looks heavy duty! I have been considering making one for the large monoprints Ive been dabbling with.
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Old 01-22-2019   #24
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Kreonite Color Processor Exhaust Fan by Nokton48, on Flickr

This Exhaust Fan Setup will be re-run into the darkroom area. And move some extra outlets in there as well. Right now I will just run heavy duty extension cords.


Plug In Radiant Heater by Nokton48, on Flickr[url=https://flic.kr/p/23L9Zf4]

I have a couple of these radiant heaters that plug in. It is cold in there. Maybe I should have a heating duct run into there: It's VERY cold right now.
There's the Kreonite Drain Pipe I just took out. We also made that grey table to hold the Kreonite. I could maybe repurpose that; My Wife wants to use it as a laundry table

LOTS TO DO
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Old 01-23-2019   #25
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Back Side of Kreonite Plate Washing Sink by Nokton48, on Flickr

Here is the bottom side of the Kreonite plate washing sink, you can see how easy it would be to put a table with storage under it. I will build something out of 2x4's.
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Old 01-23-2019   #26
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New Overhead LEDs installed by Nokton48, on Flickr

Here I have installed two LED 4' overhead strip lights, and relocated the large round kitchen fixture overhead. I also changed the tungsten bulbs to LEDs.

I think the lighting is brighter, more pleasant, will be cheaper to power, and runs cooler.

Next I will rerun the safelights, and clean and move the copy stand(and junk) in the far corner out and around.

I want to run some dry plates in here this weekend. Need one more Patterson safelight, already have three.
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Old 01-24-2019   #27
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Idea for darkroom sink by Nokton48, on Flickr

I am envisioning something like this in my new darkroom. That will come in phase II -- Electrical, Plumbing, and Construction.

Phase I is simply getting it up and running again!
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Old 01-24-2019   #28
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That’s a slick looking wet area right there! I particularly like the exhaust hood with its openings right above the trays.

I need to get a new RO system, pulled mine out of the garage storage to find one of plastic filter buckets cracked. I’ve been using bottled water the past 6 months or so. I got a pallet load of “expired” water from works emergency preparation program. We have to rotate the cases every two years and it just gets thrown out. 1 liter bottles at that! I wouldn’t drink it but the film doesn’t mind!
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Old 01-24-2019   #29
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Nokton, can I make a suggestion?

When you get your new sink made, buy some "pool straws" or pipe insulation and slit it and put it over the front lip. Makes leaning into the sink to inspect something far more comfortable.
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Old 01-24-2019   #30
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Great Idea! Thanks for all your help

My workshop is out in the garage. When it warms up this spring I will build a PVC sink!
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Old 01-24-2019   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nokton48 View Post
Thanks all for comments. Keep 'em coming. I'm open to new ideas

Like I may switch to all incandescent overhead lighting. Florescent tubes have an "afterglow" that lasts many minutes...................
I’ve noticed that LED tubes are available that are replacements for the older fluorescent tubes. They use the same fixture.

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Old 01-24-2019   #32
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Thanks Guys for all the ideas! Keep them coming!

I did replace all the overheads yesterday with LEDS. Total Cost about 60 Bucks. Will save more than that on energy over the upcoming years.

Replaced the tungsten round bulbs with LEDS, too. Those are cheap at IKEA 99 cents each.

Notice the well deserved beer in the foreground. LOL.

New Overhead LEDs installed by Nokton48, on Flickr
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Old 01-24-2019   #33
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Gonna need a mini fridge down there for that beer
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Old 01-24-2019   #34
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I bought the biggest upright freezer I could buy for holding film and paper. It's fully loaded.
Perhaps a second refrigerator, biggest I can find? It could go in the laundry room. Yes it could hold beer

By the way, wait 'til you see the basement STUDIO. I am renovating that too, in the not too distant future. My friends say it looks like a commercial photography MUSEUM. That's about right. LOL

It's Broncolor, FOBA, and Sinar/Plaubel fully equipped.

DSC05778 by Nokton48, on Flickr

Every studio needs a good camera stand. This one is a Plaubel. A camera stand is one of the centerpieces of any studio.
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Old 01-24-2019   #35
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Another darkroom idea I’ve had but not implemented. Take a string of red LED Christmas lights and attach to where the walls join the ceiling. Hopefully this would work as both a safe light for black and white prints and an orientation aid. Would have to check light levels and that there are no wavelengths that could fog papers.
Some of the lights are in a clear tube, which is what I was planning to use.

While on the topic of LEDs , have been seeing advertising for light strips that allow changing of the colour via an app. These can be cut into shorter pieces and connected together.
Wonder if you could build a multi grade light source for an enlarger using these?
I already have a dichroic head for my D6 Omega so not much use at present.

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Old 01-24-2019   #36
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Hi Glenn,

Yes! The Omegalite florescent head has been modified here for VC/LED printing: The saucer looking head is a good overall shape for LED adaption:

https://www.largeformatphotography.i...5x7-E6-LED-Mod

I think I will do this, when I run out of graded paper. I have a freezer full on Ektalure salon paper, and other graded papers. When I do run out, I will prolly switch to LED/split grade printing. This guy has been very successful with that LED mod, on his old E3/E6 Omega 5x7 enlarger.

Total cost about 150 bucks. MAJOR construction project IMO. Looks like fun
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Old 01-24-2019   #37
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Any issues with dust falling from the joists?

Wondering if you'd need a drop ceiling. Dust from the ceiling is a big issue in my basement, but I live in a pretty old house.
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Old 01-24-2019   #38
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Any issues with dust falling from the joists?

Wondering if you'd need a drop ceiling. Dust from the ceiling is a big issue in my basement, but I live in a pretty old house.


Good point! Mine is about twenty years old, yes it has some dust. I have thought about stapling up thick plastic, but drop ceiling is not that expensive and will look more finished. Another good thing to look into!

Thanks!
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Old 02-01-2019   #39
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LED Driver on Omegalite Housing by Nokton48, on Flickr

Omegalite Lamphouse by Nokton48, on Flickr

Here an Omegalite Flourescent "Saucer Head" has been converted to LED illumination, for split VC paper printing. This is a very cool project the mod would cost about $200. Perhaps when I run out of graded paper?
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Old 02-02-2019   #40
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Next project is to reinstall five overhead Paterson safelights, and an old Kodak safelight with dark green inspection filter. Additional shelving installed, and formica worktop table now ready to be fully utilized size wise. Plenty of work area (for now). I'm reusing what I have around, but buying some new to me stuff, too. Like now I have sets of Paterson trays to 16x20, bought new from Freestyle and also used from Ebay.


Been subzero and too cold to work downstairs back there last week. But is warming up next week
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