What container for mixing up the 5 L of Xtol stock solution?

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PhilBurton

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Can anyone recommend a container that is inexpensive? If you pour off the stock solution into smaller (plastic) bottles for storage, what tools or utensils do you use?

I'm the guy with all the 40+ year old film to process. I haven't done any film processing in all that time, so I've forgotten a lot.
 

Peter Schrager

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I use one liter brown bottles..chemistry bottles
fill them all the way to the top so no air gets in
they are not expensive!
 

Donald Qualls

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For just the mixing, you could use any old gallon jug or pitcher (actual capacity isn't terribly critical and it needn't even be marked as long as it'll hold about a gallon), then divide the result equally into five one liter bottles and make up all to the same (full liter) volume -- then ideally squeeze all the air out of each before tightening the cap. An actual one liter graduate would be helpful for the making up step, but dividing equally can be done by eye if the bottles are all the same (say, one liter beverage bottles, which I buy with store brand club soda in them for 69 cents).

I use a collapsible (for easy storage) silicone funnel that I bought for the purpose for filling smaller bottles and returning chemicals to the storage bottle, but any plastic funnel will work fine -- just mark it for darkroom use only so it doesn't get used to fill up the Koolaid jug in the fridge.
 

cjbecker

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When I mix up, I do 8L of a130 at a time in a 5gal bucket, and always pore into amber glass bottles that are 1/2 gal. I use the developer one shot.
 

pentaxuser

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I'd have thought that depending on film size and dilution 1L containers risk oxidisation once you have begun to use the Xtol. OK to squeeze the bottle to expel air for maybe the first couple of films but once the liquid goes down to even half full squeezing the bottle enough to expel all the air become near impossible?

pentaxuser
 
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PhilBurton

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For just the mixing, you could use any old gallon jug or pitcher (actual capacity isn't terribly critical and it needn't even be marked as long as it'll hold about a gallon), then divide the result equally into five one liter bottles and make up all to the same (full liter) volume -- then ideally squeeze all the air out of each before tightening the cap. An actual one liter graduate would be helpful for the making up step, but dividing equally can be done by eye if the bottles are all the same (say, one liter beverage bottles, which I buy with store brand club soda in them for 69 cents).

I use a collapsible (for easy storage) silicone funnel that I bought for the purpose for filling smaller bottles and returning chemicals to the storage bottle, but any plastic funnel will work fine -- just mark it for darkroom use only so it doesn't get used to fill up the Koolaid jug in the fridge.
@Donald Qualls Sounds like the plan I will do. We go through a lot of 1 L club soda bottles in our house. Those are squeezable so I can eliminate all the air. I like the idea of using a dedicated funnel. Another application for my Dymo Labelmaker printer. :happy:

@pentaxuser I was also planning on 4 250 ml plastic bottled water bottles to store the amount of chemistry for each 1-shot 1:1 development. So when I first mix up a batch of Xtol, one of the five 1 L bottles will be poured off into these 250 ml bottles. Every four development sessions, i will pour off the contents of another 1 L bottle.
 
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PhilBurton

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One additional question. Do you mix up Xtol at room temperature or with hot water. I have read some threads were people said they mix up Xtol with hot water.
 

mshchem

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The mixing temperature is indicated on the package it's warmer than room temperature. I have a luxury set up, a lab variable speed mixer with a stainless steel propeller. I found a nice German made plastic 5 L beaker with a handle that I use.
If you are a fanatic, which is completely unnecessary with XTOL you can float a hydrometer (at the exact temperature ) and dilute until you get the exact specific gravity, along the same lines you can use a old Ohaus solution balance ie (5000mL)(sp.gr)=target weight, again totally unnecessary.
Years back I bought a cheap commercial food bucket and measured out 5 x 1000mL and drew a calibration line, the lines on the container were way off.
Get a sturdy stirring paddle and keep the powder moving, dissolves easily.
 
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PhilBurton

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The mixing temperature is indicated on the package it's warmer than room temperature. I have a luxury set up, a lab variable speed mixer with a stainless steel propeller. I found a nice German made plastic 5 L beaker with a handle that I use.
If you are a fanatic, which is completely unnecessary with XTOL you can float a hydrometer (at the exact temperature ) and dilute until you get the exact specific gravity, along the same lines you can use a old Ohaus solution balance ie (5000mL)(sp.gr)=target weight, again totally unnecessary.
Years back I bought a cheap commercial food bucket and measured out 5 x 1000mL and drew a calibration line, the lines on the container were way off.
Get a sturdy stirring paddle and keep the powder moving, dissolves easily.
@mshchem I do like to be careful, which is why I'm working out all my question before I start development, but I am not a fanatic. In any case my initial film development project is these 64 rolls of Plus-X and Tri-X, shot in the late 70s, and sitti0ing in the freezer ever since. I wouldn't be surprised if there is some base fog or other image deterioration.
 

Donald Qualls

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One additional question. Do you mix up Xtol at room temperature or with hot water. I have read some threads were people said they mix up Xtol with hot water.

When I mixed mine, I mistakenly started with water at about 120F, as I'd need to do with Dektol or D-76, but the packaging for Xtol says you can mix it at room temperature and it's ready to use as soon as the last solids from the B component are fully dissolved.

Mixing in warmer water seemingly does no harm, it just means you have to wait for the developer to cool down to reasonable temperature before processing. And like all developers, you can compensate temperature with time -- the rule I use is 4% time change for each degree F higher or lower. So if my tap water is running at 70F today, I can cut a 6:30 development (a common figure for Xtol stock) by 4% twice (390 seconds x .96 x .96 = 359.4 s => 6:00). I've developed with Parodinal at around 90F with this compensation rule (my old darkroom had no air conditioning and I used distilled water stored at the same temp). The main exception is that developers with hydroquinone (which isn't Xtol) lose activity much faster below 60F.
 

mshchem

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@mshchem I do like to be careful, which is why I'm working out all my question before I start development, but I am not a fanatic. In any case my initial film development project is these 64 rolls of Plus-X and Tri-X, shot in the late 70s, and sitti0ing in the freezer ever since. I wouldn't be surprised if there is some base fog or other image deterioration.
I have kept unexposed TMY Tmax 400 for 20 years, always refrigerated without any (to my eye base fog)
I would proceed with caution. 1 roll at a time. I would use a Paterson tank and use stock developer (don't dilute ) and replenish. When storing XTOL it's very important to use pure water and keep your bottles absolutely as full as possible to prevent oxidation. If you are getting a lot of fog, you may need to do some scanning magic. The film is going to be so tightly curled, you could have issues keeping it on the reels. Might be a good idea to do some clip tests with a couple of rolls, develop 12 inches at a time, changing the time until you get results. I've developed 10-12 year old film, not refrigerated with decent results. Nothing this old.
 

mshchem

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Here's what I started with, note the markings are totally wrong. I calibrated it with 1000 mL graduated cylinder. On the right is my precious German beaker calibrated in dopey American ounces and metric. And my bottles for storing solutions. Soda bottles work great for XTOL, PET, just fill and squeeze out the air. If I can't fill a bottle I throw it out.

I've used 2 year old XTOL, no troubles. But oxygen is vicious on developers. Watch the tv and see the forest fires. No air in bottles!
20200829_221903_resized.jpg
1598758013434_20200829_221716_resized.jpg
 

bdial

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I mix my xtol in a 1.5 gal refrigerator jug, that i marked in 1L intervals. for storage, i use 2L plastic bottle, and 3 1L bottles. One of the small bottles will be the working solution, for a replenish method, as i draw down the other 1L bottles I decant into smaller bottles.
I mostly use Jobo bottles, but repurposed drink bottles work fine, or suppliers like US Plastic have lots of choices that are relatively inexpensive.

i would lean toward something like HC110 for very old film, because it has slightly lower base fog, but that’s a different topic. There are a number of threads discussing methods of dealing with very old film, it’s a big topic in itself.
 

Sirius Glass

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For mixing I bought a new white plastic paint bucket and used a marker to mark 1 liter, 2 liter, 3 liter, 1 gallon and 5 liters. This allows me to put in the very warm water to mix solution A until I can see that there are no XTOL particles floating around. Once I have carefully checked for those particles, I add solution B and mix. Finally I top off the water to 5 liters. Mix some more and then port off 1 liter quantities into bladders pushing all the air out of each bladder.
 

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Nige

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If your mixing 5L packets, then you'll need a bigger vessel than a 1 gallon jug (US gallon = 3.8L) Something like a 9L "99 cent general purpose bucket". Gives you room to stir it a bit without making a mess. I mark the side with the two crucial measurements (1. Part a water volume, 2. Final volume) and always mix at the top end of the suggested temp range.

As for bottles, I use 4 x 1L glass 'juice' bottles (suitably de-labeled and marked) as long term storage (stored in a cupboard in darkroom so gets minimal light if that can effect it) and an old developer bottle (1.25L plastic) for my immediate working stash. I bought a bunch of refillable 1L 'wine bladders' some years ago but have yet to try them out (the theory being, fill and expel all air). The longest I've used some from the 'long term' bottle was a bit over a year but I'd recommend a leader test before committing to a full film older 'stock'). I write on my darkroom white-board when I mix it so I know just how old it is. When my 'working' bottle gets nearly empty (less than enough for one film) I pour in one of the 'long term' bottles (which is why I persist with the 1.25 bottle as is holds the two amounts).
 

eli griggs

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I like one or two quart Mason Bell jars from Walmart, bought by the case for little money, and the all plastic lids made to fit all these wide-mouth jars, in many sizes.

You do no need a funnel to fill them, they pour quickly when filled with working solutions and a fast dump back into them, from a Patterson tank won't go wrong, or 'bottle-neck'

They can also take the heat of hot solutions, being designed for hot canning, and by using one as a form, with a couple of wraps of heavy brown paper and some tape, a light-reducing top cover can be made for sitting on a shelf, labeled for ease of sorting.

Now is a good time to buy these in the Northern Hemisphere, before the canning season is over and the restocking of shelves is a daily occurrence.

IMO.
 

Donald Qualls

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If your mixing 5L packets, then you'll need a bigger vessel than a 1 gallon jug (US gallon = 3.8L)

Yes and no.

I mixed mine in a 4L "graduate" pitcher, then made up to volume as I decanted into the storage bottles. If you know you've mixed to 4L, it's an easy task to measure off 800 ml and top up to 1L, then fill a bottle. You do, of course, need a 1L graduate for this, but I think most of us have at least one -- if you process only 35mm and one or two rolls at a time, you might not need one, but otherwise you probably do.

I kept a 2L bottle for working solution because a couple of my developing tanks require more than a liter (Yankee Agitank requires 55 ounces -- about 1.6L -- for 4x5, Nikor 2x220/4x5 stainless tank wants just over 1L as well).
 

Sirius Glass

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For mixing I bought a new white plastic paint bucket and used a marker to mark 1 liter, 2 liter, 3 liter, 1 gallon and 5 liters. This allows me to put in the very warm water to mix solution A until I can see that there are no XTOL particles floating around. Once I have carefully checked for those particles, I add solution B and mix. Finally I top off the water to 5 liters. Mix some more and then port off 1 liter quantities into bladders pushing all the air out of each bladder.

I use StopLossBagTM Formulated for Oil, Water and Alcohol based Wood Finishes 1.05 Q, 1 Liter. And its funnel.
 

Nige

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I bought a bunch of refillable 1L 'wine bladders' some years ago but have yet to try them out (the theory being, fill and expel all air). The longest I've used some from the 'long term' bottle was a bit over a year but I'd recommend a leader test before committing to a full film older 'stock'). I write on my darkroom white-board when I mix it so I know just how old it is.

Developed 2 rolls using my 19mth old Xtol in the 1L wine bladders. It came our looking like the day it went in. I did do a leader test just to be sure before committing my film to it :smile:
 

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jay moussy

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II used an old pressure cooker pan I had sitting to mix my Xtol clone. And I don.t remember why, other than the 5 L requirement, or maybe the ability to heat while mixing?

I need to keep a lab journal..!
 

Donald Qualls

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maybe the ability to heat while mixing?

Xtol instructions don't call for warm water (unlike D-76) -- everything dissolves promptly at room temperature (or did when I mixed a 2002 package a couple years ago).
 
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