New addition to my darkroom...

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by hjoseph7, Feb 28, 2021.

  1. My DIY Darkroom is actually a walk-in closet that is being used as a darkroom and also to hang my clothes and other junk. I really don't have much room. I could put my all my development trays side by side but that would take too much room and I would have to remove some clothes out to be able to do that. I also thought about stacking them one on top of the other using stackable shelves which is the set up I have now.

    The only problem with that is that I live in an apartment and any spills causing chemical stains on the rug might cost me when I decide to move out. Another problem with that is that the chemicals from one tray might spill into the ones below. I'm not sure if that would hurt any but why take chances.

    Anyway, I Googled "stackable darkroom shelves" to see what I might come up with and this is what I came up with(see picture attached). I didn't make this up, somebody had actually tried this and the picture was posted on "Pinterest" . Anyway after careful measurement, I ordered a Sterilite 3 drawer Medium Countertop Unit from Target. It only cost $10, plus I could easily pick it up at the nearby Target store. When I first looked at it, it looked rather small and sure enough when i got it home, an 8X10 tray was a teeny tiny to big to fit comfortably in one of the drawers. My measurements must have been off. I quickly went online to see if they had any larger units. As far as I know, the company (Sterilite) sells these type of drawers in three sizes (Small, Medium and Wide).

    However, the Wide units were out-of-stock at Target. I then went to Home Depot, Office Depot, Staples(in that order) but none of them had it either ? Finally the clerk at Staples told me to check out "The Container Store" so I drove there cursing under my teeth all the way and by golly they had it !

    It was a little too big for my tastes, but we could not find anything smaller. I figured I might want to do 11X14's someday and this Wide unit can certainly hold an 11x14 tray. The Wide unit only cost me $19.99. The only problem is that I might have to place it vertically in my walk-in closet, because it's just to wide and might defeat the purpose. The good thing is I don't have to worry about spills staining the rug. An if I fall asleep during a printing session (which i often do) the chemicals might last longer in those drawers. They are not exactly air-tight, but they are pretty snug. Well sorry for writing a book... I'll keep you posted on how it works out.
  2. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    That looks like a pretty neat setup.
  3. I tried something similar in my tiny darkroom, though I was using the drawers themselves as the trays, on a much smaller unit.

    It worked, after a fashion, but I had a lot of trouble moving the print from one tray to the next.

    Obviously, you need to have the developer at the top.

    I now have 3 8x10 trays side by side, with the developer tray raised above the others as the room is too narrow.

    One day I'll get a Nova or similar vertical processor, or build a bigger house!
  4. That's innovative! I would have never thought of doing it that way. I stored all my darkroom material in a walk-in closet across the hall from the bathroom. I set up the wet side in the bathroom by placing a board over the window (I mounted a small light-proof exhaust fan on the board) and a board across the sink where I placed the developing trays. The print washer sat in the tub.
    Have fun!
    luis triguez likes this.
  5. I have my enlarger on a board on top of the bath, trays on another board covering the sink. My bathroom is tiny, with about 70x70cm floor space between the bath and the sink.

    Definitely not enough room to swing a cat.
    ajkocu likes this.
  6. That's small! As long as you can dodge and burn! Leave the cat out!
  7. Sometimes when I am down in the darkroom (in the basement,
    built by the previous house owner, and pretty small) the cat comes
    down and scratches at the door. If I let it in, it goes looking around,
    through all the places things can go.

    It is pretty small, probably not the way I would have designed it, and has
    four safelights built in. (Well, screwed to the wood, but they came with the house.)

    It has the basement cement floor, so I don't worry about chemicals falling.
    There is a metal coated place for trays, which easily fits four 8x10 trays,
    and barely three 11x14. (The latter only once.)

    But it was having that room, and about 12 years later, that got me back to
    darkroom photography. That, and a free enlarger that someone was giving
    away, and that I still had much of my other equipment. (Yankee 5x7 and 8x10
    trays, and Nikor tank from when I was young.)
  8. Clever. Good for you.

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