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06-15-2010, 09:48 AM   #1
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How to Build a Darkroom Sink

Commercial darkroom sinks are expensive, but a nice big flat sink is a great aid to turning that downstairs room or bathroom into a working darkroom. However there is really nothing to building your own:

FILM PHOTOGRAPHY: How To Build A Darkroom Sink

TIP: Size your sink so you can handle the biggest paper development trays you plan to process. (Not as important if you are using a Jobo CPP-2 or other roll processor.)
Also, paint it black. You don't need any stray photon bouncing around in there.

Another idea: make the sink hinge onto a wall and have PVC drain into the tub or shower (not physically connected). This might be an option if you are making a smaller sink and don't want to permanently give up the floor space.

06-15-2010, 11:58 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by cheekygeek Quote
Commercial darkroom sinks are expensive, but a nice big flat sink is a great aid to turning that downstairs room or bathroom into a working darkroom. However there is really nothing to building your own:
There are a lot of ways to go about it, depends what you're working with.

But.

I wouldn't paint your sink black, not where the liquid goes, it'd be annoying and wouldn't last, rather the paint would start coming up, and probably gettting in everything.

Make it to be clean and stay clean.
And not get messed up.

Just build a splash if it's too close to the enlarger. Occasional drops of water or chemistry are probably a bigger problem than photons, if so.
06-15-2010, 02:32 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
I wouldn't paint your sink black, not where the liquid goes, it'd be annoying and wouldn't last, rather the paint would start coming up, and probably gettting in everything.



Marine Epoxy Paint

06-15-2010, 03:27 PM   #4
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I still wouldn't. To be quite honest, your sink should not be your outstanding light leak/reflection concern. Espoecially down inside it. You want it scrubbable, anyway.

06-16-2010, 07:35 AM   #5
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Have to agree with the Rat Lady on the black paint. All of the commercial sinks I've used are stainless. And reflective. In the "article" he says to use polyurethane on the front. Not. Use the same paint you use for the interior. Regular poly will degrade way too fast. You could also use Klenk's Tub and Tile Epoxy. I use to use it when I was rebuilding/refurbishing commercial film processors. And I guarantee those saw more use than the home sink and held up well.

I just wonder if with all the wood movement however it would actually stay water tight. One thing the article doesn't get into is if the plywood is bowed/warped (and it will be) putting the high points together and using that to advantage for gluing and clamping.
06-16-2010, 07:53 AM   #6
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I've seen a lot of these articles over the years, and the one suggestion I can recall is to use the paint that they use on boats. Waterproof and durable, it should stand up to years in a darkroom.
06-16-2010, 10:42 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wes Medlin Quote
I've seen a lot of these articles over the years, and the one suggestion I can recall is to use the paint that they use on boats. Waterproof and durable, it should stand up to years in a darkroom.
Depends on the paint. Most boats today have the color in the gelcoat. And bottom paint is designed to slough. And some release chemicals to deter barnacle formation. Epoxy is about the best. Or fiberglass resin. Which is basically an epoxy.
06-17-2010, 06:09 AM   #8
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I made my sink out of plastic sheet (4-5mm). Glued together and sealed with a bead of silicon sealant. It's 8 years old and looks almost like new (some sealant has stained slightly). Splashback is the same stuff which comes in handy to squeegee Fibre prints. Only thing I'd change is I'd make the sides/front much lower as I've never spilt anything more than a few drips when trying to pour a tray of chems back into a bottle without using a funnel

06-17-2010, 06:33 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by HGMonaro Quote
I made my sink out of plastic sheet (4-5mm). Glued together and sealed with a bead of silicon sealant. It's 8 years old and looks almost like new (some sealant has stained slightly). Splashback is the same stuff which comes in handy to squeegee Fibre prints. Only thing I'd change is I'd make the sides/front much lower as I've never spilt anything more than a few drips when trying to pour a tray of chems back into a bottle without using a funnel
By plastic sheet do you mean acrylic? If so and you use the glue designed for it it's like pvc. A solvent welded tray that's watertight. I made my fish tank filters out of it and it still going.
06-17-2010, 09:51 PM   #10
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I can't remember what glue it was (probably nothing special as I didn't know about acrylic glue creating a watertight seal), I added the sealant, even if it was only to make the joins look 'nice'. I originally wanted to get it plastic welded but couldn't find anyone local that could do it at the time. Afterwards I had a friend tell me they knew of someone, but so far it's held up quite well. If it does come apart, I'll be investigating correct glues! thanks!
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