Category Archives: DIY

Another darkroom DIY – film drying cabinet

Here’s my second darkroom DIY project. A film drying cabinet.

I purchased one of those soft plastic hanging clothes storage bags, the rectangular type, from Ikea. I got one of those old bonnet style hair dryers that has a dryer base, hose and shower cap style plastic head cover from my grandmother. Hadn’t been used in probably over 20 years. Packrat grannies can be good thing.

I cut a hole in the side near the bottom of the bag. Then I cut the hose fitting off the bonnet and taped it into the hole in the bag. After hanging it from a portable shower rod, I was able to attach the hose to the bag. Some duct tape around the hose took care of it being sticky from plastic breakdown. While I put some small slits near the top in to let air out, they didn’t do much, so I just keep the zipper down a foot or so so the air can escape. Now I have a nice, heated film drying cabinet.


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Do it yourself darkroom lights

Finding darkroom lights these days, that don’t cost a fortune, can be pretty tough. I came up with a simple solution for red lights, as I do a lot of lith printing and want to make sure I don’t have fog problems.

Now bear in mind, I haven’t tested these to see if they might fog. I figure, if ruby lith film has been used on windows safely enough, it’ll be fine for led lights and they aren’t pointed right at the paper for long anyhow.

Now, what I did was go and get three little push lights from my local Canadian Tire, the kind with three leds. What is nice about them is that you can have one, two or all three leds on, and so control the amount of light. I also picked up some ruby lith film, which I cut into a circle and taped over the light with opaque tape around the edges. If you don’t know what ruby lith is, it’s a red film used by printers and generally pretty safe for darkroom stuff.

These lights are surprisingly bright and even with the red film on them, which does cut down light intensity, they still give off quite a bit of light. What was surprising is that the light is rather directional, far more of a beam than I expected. Which is good, as I am able to nicely hold one in my hand (they are only about 3 inches across) as a darkroom torch. With one light on, they work very nicely to check the progress of my lith printing.

Now go have fun in the dark.

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