Where to Mix and Store d-76 as well as Kodak Fixer

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by alex_kaufman, Jan 25, 2008.

  1. I am just starting to process my own film and am not really sure where to mix the chemicals or where to
    store them, any help would be appreciated.
  2. I mix my chemicals in the kitchen; I heat the water in the microwave. Of course, I wash up thoroughly after I finish.

    I store my chemicals in plastic 1 gallon jugs, either the jug the distilled water came in or an old milk jug (which has been thoroughly washed). I keep the jugs of mixed chemicals in cabinets under the sink in my darkroom, which is also our spare bathroom. Since the cabinets are dark, the chemicals keep well in the clear jugs.
  3. I like to go outside to mix pre-packaged chems, especially the gallon sizes; too much airborne dust to mix this stuff inside.

    For storage, I like glass. Yes, glass can break (only broke one over "x" years), but it doesn't breath the way palstic can.

    Label everything, you will someday forget, and do whatever you can to keep this stuff away from kids!
  4. To mix I use a 5 liters jug, I cut the upper part so I have kind of 3-4 liters bowl. To store I've never found better than 0.5 liters Coke plastic bottles, If they can store coke so they can do with developer and fixer. No, seriously, the plastic they use to make this bottles is good to keep mild alkalis.
  5. Milk jugs are poor. First they may not be air tight. second, they develope leaks over
    time just sitting undisturbed.

    D76 should never be exposed to air. I let it cool in full container, them put it small one
    time use bottles like 4 oz or 8 oz. Thats 125cc or 250 cc. It is good for 6 months. Even
    one week in a bottle with air changes the activity, first high, then dropping off to low. It
    is unpredictable.

    Put some better Saran food wrap over the liquid as it cools. Transfering liquids always
    puts air into the solution which you want to avoid.
  6. How do i go about transferring the liquid?
  7. From the mixing vessel, I dip a kitchen cup with handle and pour slowly allowing it to
    run down the side of the new container. You still get some air, but it is minimal.

    A syphon is another. Even less air.

    I usually go from mixing vessel to a Paterson 1 liter graduate , then into the final
    container. The Patersons are hard brittle plastic, but well calibrated and have a sharp
    spout for controlled pouring .

    I usually mix 1 liter at a time from bulk chems. Cost is almost free once you buy the
    chems. Only four ingred, 2 gr metol, 100 gr sodium sulphite. 5 gm hydroquinine, 2 gr
    Borax. 20 mule team from the laundry aisle works just fine.

    Buy a pound of metol from photographers formulary, put into small 1 oz bottles, you
    need about 8, then cut down a plastic spoon to narrow width to get it out. Tape the lids
    closed on the 7 bottles not being used. Sodium sulphite come from the Chemistry Store.

    25# pail is fine. Decant to smaller sealable containers as powder.

    D72 is Dektol and contains the same stuff except for Sodium carbonate. Chemistry Store

    You will never buy Kodak again.
  8. store your mixed chem. in opaque bottles or in a dark area if you have clear bottles. Milk jugs do develop cracks and holes but can work if your on a tight budget. I store stock solution labeled stock and dated. Then dilute (optional) it for working solution also labeled but as working, and how many films I have developed. You can use it more than once to an extent. Screen out the particles between usage. It does lose life with every use. There's not that much dust in mixing if you're not wild with the powder.
  9. Powders are annoying, I gave up on them long ago. I used to mix them outside, didn't dissolve right, clumps, what a hassle, no thanks. I use all liquids and liquid concentrates. I mix everything in a slop sink in my basement/darkroom and store everything on a set of shelves just for photo chemicals that I built and a wet table that I use for my trays and printing. If you can locate some good quality brown chemical storage jars with the heavy duty caps like they used to use in the old laboratories, those are great and hold the chemicals for a pretty long time. Enjoy!
  10. In 30 years of developing I've always mixed my chemcicals from powder right in the darkoom where I'm going to use them. Unless you are doing commercial quantities or sticking your nose down into the bag to breath in the dust there is no environmental/health threat. I mix with a big plastic spoon in a one-gallon plastic pitcher like you would use for lemonade or ice tea. Obviously everything is labeled "photographic use only" and kept in the darkroom and never goes anywhere near the kitchen. When I was a poor high school student I did use plastic milk jugs for storage but proper opaque brown plastic photo chemical bottles are probably about $5 each and last forever. A one gallon jug is too big to poor easily into a developing tank, so I measure out the necessary amount in a one-quart plastic measure cup first, then into the tank from that. No need to heat water in a microwave -- you only need about 125 degrees max for D-76 and less for fixer and other chems. You should be able to get that straight out of the hot water tap. If your water heater isn't giving you that temp, turn it up a notch. If you're a beginner, you don't want to be mixing chems from scratch, just buy from Kodak for now until you learn the basics. You do want to minimize developer's air exposure but that really means just not letting it sit open for hours. Normal pouring and mixing is perfectly fine.
  11. How long must i wait before bottling my chemicals?

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