Walk-Around Sink...Pro & Con

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by ic-racer, Dec 8, 2018.

  1. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    After 18 years in the same darkroom, looks like there is going to be a move in the next year. I never had a darkroom sink because I did not want the sink to limit the size of tray. However, now I'm yearning for a sink. Mostly to make setup and cleanup easier. It is just very cumbersome to wash the big trays I use in the tiny sink of my current darkroom.

    In fact, if I look at the dull marks on the tile, it looks like most of the time is spent by the trays and sink.

    So, at first I thought a walk-around sink would be right in the way, but as I think of it more, having the sink and trays in the middle might be the best place.

    Another big factor is motivation. I'm so far behind printing in the last 5 years. Even though my current darkroom is pretty big, the space where I stand at by the trays looks right into a brick wall. I think I'm ready for a change. I don't want to spend all those hours looking at the brick wall anymore.

    This is an example:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. OP
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    ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    This is my current darkroom that will be abandoned. The red "X" is where I normally will stand to process prints (the Jobo is put away when printing).
    Screen Shot 2018-12-08 at 11.06.22 PM.png
     
  3. OP
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    ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    This is a stock photo but the site of the new darkroom looks almost exactly like this. Seems every house we looked at had these exercise rooms with mirrors. Plumbing is just on the other side of the wall where there is a bathroom.
    I was contemplating leaving the mirror. I don't see how it would be detrimental, and, hey maybe I'm the only one that will post in the "Show your darkroom" that has a big mirror.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber
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    Sorry to disappoint :smile:
    Most of the long wall in my bathroom/darkroom is a big ~ 4'x8' mirror.
    There are three big advantages to a walk around sink:
    1) If you ever do demonstrations, a sink that people can crowd around is ideal, because it is much easier for a number of people to watch at the same time;
    2) If you do large prints with the help of an assistant, it is much easier to handle the paper if each person is at a different end of the paper; and
    3) If more than one person uses the darkroom at the same time, it is much less crowded. It also offers the option of two sets of trays - one on each side.
    The downside is the need for more structural stability in the stand, plus the slightly greater difficulty of providing extraction ventilation that doesn't draw fumes toward you.
     

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  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber
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    Walk around sinks are great for teaching darkrooms and multiple users, as your example, also in workshop facilities.

    When I built my new darkroom 4 years ago after moving I had intended to have the sink come out 90º from the wet bench, but instead I have a bench that comes out 90º, to give more work space. My sink is 6ft x 2ft 4"

    upload_2018-12-9_8-48-55.png

    t's worth drawing out the darkroom and moving things around, on paper or onscreen.

    Ian
     
  6. OP
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    ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Ian, I hope you don't mind me using your plan to get some ideas.

    Screen Shot 2018-12-09 at 9.11.38 AM.png
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018 at 9:12 AM
  7. RalphLambrecht

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    Wow;you've got me beat.
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber
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    The wet bench is not practical with the two Omega enlargers. How about like this:

    upload_2018-12-9_15-36-26.png

    Feel free to play with the plan, that's why I posted it.

    Ian
     
  9. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I love a walk around sink, in fact that is my dream darkroom setup coming fall of 2019... I use large red garden hose to deliver water from a shower facet device set up for two hoses, In coming is 3/4 inch line to a gas water heater, these hoses are over 20 - 50 ft in length and can reach any area of the darkroom, the sink will drain straight down to floor drain so I hope to be able to use every inch of the sink for different reasons... My plan is for it to be inside dimension 55 inches x 12ft with a short lip about 4 - 6 inches to lean on . I have these heavy duty racks made to hold the sink and are adjustable height so I can make the height to my needs. The hoses are so pliable that one can walk on them without harm , 8 years now with no accident...

    As I get older I am setting up for the sad harsh reality that may come to some of us.. I have no intentions of not printing so this super size sink will not only allow me to do silver in large size but I can use the same sink for Alt process.... I envision even the day where I may need assistance to walk (wheel chair) and I want to make sure I can keep on working even while sitting, there fore the ability to drop the sink .... I think for a lot of the people on this site are setting up their darkrooms without looking at the long haul (diapers). Now many here may say well when I get to that stage I won't print anymore, well for me its a PASSION that has held me strong for 48years now and I want to be able to enjoy this craft till the moment I cannot.

    So my future sink is in the middle, the enlargers and plate burners are on the outer edges, I can drive around the sink with now hard plumbing to stop me and set up the room for multipurpose wet printing. I saw a video of a printer working on Clyde Butcher who has a nice wash station with a plexi squeegee system that I will make on one of the outer areas. It was pretty nice setup.

    This sounds crazy right, NO SO as I will have this on a main floor in a live work building and all my gear will be in this large room , with a few side rooms, I still think I will be printing for others for a long time so this is a very viable option, if lucky my framing and mounting areas will be visible as well as my computers and inkjet machines .. think one very large room that at a moments notice it can be light tight for silver but the completely open for other work.
    I am a bit of a control freak and I love to see everything as well I bring in artisans to help me here and there and I want to see what they are doing so that the end result matches my vision.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018 at 11:03 AM
  10. mshchem

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    Planning for my old age, has been in my head, as I have built, and continue to rebuild, my darkroom. The important point that Bob makes is adjustable height . I've been on crutches for a minor fracture (left foot). Everything is too high, sinks, enlargers, everything. I'm 62, I plan to continue as long as I'm alive. I sit on a wheeled stool and zoom around in the darkroom. I've developed film but haven't printed anything in 6 weeks.
    I have a extra room, it is quite large that I use as a studio of sorts. Totally useless to me right now due to carpet.
     
  11. Ian Grant

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    Bob, some use all their dishes in a sink, others use a wet bench as well as a sink. Because I use electric tray warmers I have to keep my developer tray on a bench, I do the same with my stop and fix, second fix and washing trays are in the sink.

    Probably equally important is having good lighting for print evaluation in the fix and wash, I have spotlights over the relevant trays. Good positioning of safelight positioning is also important.

    Ian
     
  12. scheimfluger_77

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    Ic racer you have access to the single most important feature in any darkroom....
     
  13. jnanian

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    where are you gonna put the toastRoven, and microwave ?
    i hope you don't get rid of the aerobics area where are you gonna jazzercise
    while you wait for your jobo to finish and your prints to wash ??
     
  14. jvo

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    diapers??? since you have a floor drain - BE FREE!!!!:blink:

    p.s. in the spirit of planning for the future, unless your teaching, working on clyde butcher size prints, or want an assistant "out of the way" seems like you'll be walking extra miles to use the whole circumference... make the table/sink larger depth thus distance from the wall, you'll have more "space"... it's a nice dilemma to have - enjoy.
     
  15. OP
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    ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Maybe it is terminology, but where do you place the processing trays? In the sink or on the wet bench. I was thinking of a sink that allows me to place the trays inside the sink. And think of 'wet bench' as a place to manage bottles of liquids and stuff.
     
  16. Ian Grant

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    I prefer to have my trays on a bench, that's always been termed a "wet bench" in British and US photography books. The trays don't need to be in a sink but the bench must be of a suitable surface material, i.e. water proof, so any drips etc can be easily be cleaned up at the end of a session. I only use the sink with wash trays where I need running water., I also use it when mixing chemistry.

    Typically I'm using 3 20"x16" trays when printing on my wet bench, that's Dev Stop, Fixer 1, and Fixer 2 and a holding wash tray plus the larger wash tray sit in the sink. I could shift along the bench so both Fixer trays are on the bench but I like to lift test strips and prints out of the fixer to examine them so prefer this in the sink.

    The wet bench can be used for other things when not printing, which you can't do with a much larger sink.

    Ian
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018 at 3:55 AM
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