Dish/Tray Warmer?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Andrew McCall, Jul 16, 2004.

  1. Hi Folks,

    I am missing three items for my darkroom. Two of the items I can find
    on eBay - a print dryer and a decent timer - the other item is a little
    more elusive!

    I am looking for a tray warmer that will accomodate three 8x10
    development trays for my dev, stop and fixer trays. I can't find one on
    eBay, and I can't find one on any UK online shops.

    Do I need to heat all three trays (developer, stop, fixer) or can I
    leave one of them at room temperature? I have seen 16 x 10 tray warmers
    and could probably get one of them fairly easily.

    If your in the UK, and have a 24 x 10 dish/tray warmer for sale, please
    contact me!!


    Andrew McCall
    Andrew McCall, Jul 16, 2004
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  2. Hi Andrew,

    I too have been looking for a dish/tray warmer. I've got a Kaiser model
    that I bought on Ebay that works well, but it's just big enough for the
    developer tray. I've not had any luck finding another one. (I'm in the
    USA.) I think that Nova makes ones for multiple trays. You might try
    contacting them, or perhaps Silverprint in London. If you do find a
    source, please let me know.

    Temp control is most important for the developer, but fix and toning
    speed would also be affected.

    Peter De Smidt, Jul 16, 2004
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  3. I've used a warmer from a veterinary supply house with good
    success. The dimensions of the particular one I used are about
    18" x 60". It had a total power of about 140W, so I ran it with a
    small variac (variable transformer) and watched a thermometer
    immersed in the developer tray. The time constants are slow
    enough that I was able to dial in the temperature fairly well.
    This did the trick in my old home with its 60F (in winter)

    These warmers are designed for use in dog houses, chicken
    coops, etc.

    Stephan Goldstein, Jul 16, 2004
  4. Even cheaper (probably): very large pan of water, one or more aquarium
    heaters. Start at the desired temperature (the aquarium heaters will
    literally take days to warm tap water to 68 F if you have cold tap water
    year 'round, like some locations do), and one or two heaters will hold
    that temperature indefinitely. And the tiny orange neon status lights
    shouldn't fog most papers (though it's prudent to test).

    I may be a scwewy wabbit, but I'm not going to Alcatwaz!
    -- E. J. Fudd, 1954

    Donald Qualls, aka The Silent Observer
    Lathe Building Pages
    Speedway 7x12 Lathe Pages

    Opinions expressed are my own -- take them for what they're worth
    and don't expect them to be perfect.
    Donald Qualls, Jul 16, 2004
  5. Andrew McCall

    Nick Zentena Guest

    How cold is your room temperature?

    Build one. 2"x4" frame. Fill it with sand. Put a heating cable in the
    bottom. Heating cables are designed for greenhouses to heat the bottom of
    plants. They can handle getting wet. The better ones should have temperture
    control. They come in various lengths so you can build what every size setup
    you need. You can even get heating mats but from the sounds of it you might
    find them too small.

    But back to my question. How cold is it?

    Nick Zentena, Jul 16, 2004
  6. I do this when I have to, but I prefer the dishwarmer. Not only does
    the water bath throw a lot of moisture into the air, it's unwieldy. I
    made a water bath insert for my since out of plywood and epoxy, but it
    is bulky, and it doesn't work for prints bigger than 8x10. I can use my
    whole sink as a water bath, but welcome to the tropics. Btw., when I do
    this, I need to use small submersible pumps to even out the temp of the


    PS if you do this, get the Won pro-heat titanium acquariam heaters.
    These are much better than glass models, and they're not that expensive.
    Peter De Smidt, Jul 16, 2004
  7. I think its about 14 degrees celcius, but I am not too sure as I
    haven't measured it yet as I still waiting for my thermometer to get
    delivered! Its "average" room temperature for the UK - doens't feel
    cold and it doesn't feel warm :) (joke!).


    Andrew McCall
    Andrew McCall, Jul 16, 2004
  8. Andrew McCall

    Lloyd Erlick Guest

    jul1604 from Lloyd Erlick,

    This situation is a great candidate for single-tray
    processing. The solutions are kept in jugs next to the tray,
    and any or all of the jugs can be kept in a water bath(s).
    It's a breeze to keep the developer et al at the desired
    temperature(s) by adding hot (or cold) water occasionally.
    You could use some sort of electric device and circulator,
    but I've found it to be unnecessary. You'd need the
    thermometer in the developer in any case, and frankly, that
    is all one needs.

    Some people say the fixer should be a little warmer than the
    preceding solutions. The fixing reactions go faster. It's
    easy to keep fixer at 25-30C and developer at 21 with
    separate containers and water-baths. I keep my selenium
    toner at 32-34.

    My website has articles pertaining to this, under the
    technical heading in the table of contents.

    Lloyd Erlick Portraits, Toronto.
    voice: 416-686-0326
    Lloyd Erlick, Jul 16, 2004
  9. Andrew McCall

    Dan Quinn Guest

    RE: Andrew McCall <>

    I'll second the One Tray Way. I combine that with One-Shot
    Have you considered warming your surrounds? Dan
    Dan Quinn, Jul 17, 2004
  10. Andrew McCall

    Lloyd Erlick Guest

    jul1604 from Lloyd Erlick'

    I'd like a house at One Tray Way.

    Lloyd Erlick, Jul 17, 2004
  11. OK, my thermometer arrived this morning, so I thought I might be able to
    get a good idea of the temperature of standing fluid in my room. I live
    the eaves of a barn conversion, so the temperature is always quite high
    due to rising heat during the winter, and heat on the roof during the

    I filled my Patterson dev tank up with luke warm water and left it
    standing for about 10 hours, and the temperarature settled at
    74.5F/23.8C. The checked it over about 3 more hours and it was constant.


    Andrew McCall
    Andrew McCall, Jul 17, 2004
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