very small space for darkroom. too small?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by willie clement, Oct 9, 2005.

  1. my parents have just recently bought a new house. and the room that
    would be mine or would be the hangout room for my brother and i has a
    very small closet area under the steps. it is maybe 8 feet long to the
    bottom of the steps. so i will have maybe 5 feet of usable space. it is
    then about 3 feet wide. i have electric in it. and i also have water.
    now i would love to be able to make it light tite and make a permanent
    darkroom for my b&w and possibly do some color if possible. now my
    delema is the fact that this area may actaully be TOO small. and i will
    have absoultely no room to work. i will most likely stay to 8x10's for
    the largest. does anyone think i could do it? and if you do please feel
    free to give any advice. thanks!
    willie clement, Oct 9, 2005
    1. Advertisements

  2. Could probably do it; my first darkroom was in a closet too (but not one under

    Suggestion: draw the space in 1:12 scale (1" = 1'), like on a 3x5 card, and
    draw in the enlarger, trays, and yourself, and figure out if you can do it on
    paper. It'll be tight, but it could work.

    - The French Revolutionary Calendar (in use 1793-1806):

    * Vendémiaire (from Latin vindemia, "vintage") Starting Sept 22, 23 or 24
    * Brumaire (from French brume, "mist") Starting Oct 22, 23 or 24
    * Frimaire (From French frimas, "frost") Starting Nov 21, 22 or 23
    * Nivôse (from Latin nivosus, "snowy") Starting Dec 21, 22 or 23
    * Pluviôse (from Latin pluviosus, "rainy") Starting Jan 20, 21 or 22
    * Ventôse (from Latin ventosus, "windy") Starting Feb 19, 20 or 21
    * Germinal (from Latin germen, "seed") Starting Mar 20 or 21
    * Floréal (from Latin flor, "flower") Starting Apr 20 or 21
    * Prairial (from French prairie, "meadow") Starting May 20 or 21
    * Messidor (from Latin messis, "harvest") Starting Jun 19 or 20
    * Thermidor (from Greek thermos, "hot") Starting Jul 19 or 20
    * Fructidor (from Latin fructus, "fruits") Starting Aug 18 or 19
    David Nebenzahl, Oct 9, 2005
    1. Advertisements

  3. willie clement a écrit :

    It's a really very small place but it may be feasible.

    Some on this newsgroup use the single tray development approach: paper
    remains in only one tray and the chemicals go in and out.

    Maybe you can split your darkroom in two, use this little space as the
    dry side, expose your paper, put it into a light-tight drum (Jobo, ...),
    go out and develop it in daylight elsewhere (bathroom ?) which would be
    the wet side.
    You can do pretty large enlargments this way without needing lots of
    space and chemicals.

    There is a book on darkroom building that I found pretty interesting and
    with lots of ideas for small darkrooms:
    "The New Darkroom Handbook - A complete Guide to the Best Design,
    Construction, and Equipment" by Joe DeMaio, Robin Worth and Dennis
    Curtin - Focal Press ISBN 0-240-80260-8

    Best regards,
    Claudio Bonavolta, Oct 9, 2005
  4. I always thought that this would work well in a situation such as

    This would leave you some elbow room for other duties in there.

    Stacking tray racks also help a lot, too and would add so much $$$$.

    Craig Schroeder
    craig nospam craigschroeder com
    Craig Schroeder, Oct 9, 2005
  5. Been reading Harry Potter, have they?

    Been there, done that: a darkroom under the stairs, I mean. I
    eventually built a bench with 2x4's and some plywood
    and masonite and did 11x14's without much ado. The bench
    dropped down to a 2' shelf to take the enlarger. If you make
    a bench I would suggest making it L shaped so that you use
    the full width where the stairs come down - can't stand there,
    so may as well use it up.

    I used the space for a time with just a small folding
    table for the trays and an upturned drum for the enlarger stand.

    The space I used was under the stair landing at the
    high end so there was a 30x30" space with stand-up headroom.
    Probably pretty luxurious by under-stairs-closet standards.

    Edward Weston is reputed to have draped coats over a card table
    and crawled underneath ...

    Another alternative is to sleep under the stairs and use the
    bedroom for the darkroom.
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Oct 9, 2005
  6. willie  clement

    A.Lee Guest

    You youngsters are spoilt, I started with a cupboard for a darkroom - 3
    foot 6 inch square, 7 foot high.
    1 shelf around chest height for the enlarger, then 1 below that for the
    chem trays.Standing room only for 1!
    I used that for nearly 2 years, until I had the luxury of using the
    attic for a darkroom, where i could even sit down at the enlarger.
    So, yes, plenty of room there.
    A.Lee, Oct 9, 2005
  7. willie  clement

    Ken Hart Guest

    There are ways...
    Stacked trays or single tray.
    Use a holding tray and wash prints at the end of a session.

    I have ome concerns:
    1. Is there enough headroom for the enlarger?
    2. Ventilation in such a small room. You may not be sensitive to the smells
    of the chems (or you may be one of us who enjoys them!), but the human body
    does require some oxygen!
    3. Dust and vibration. As people use the stairs, their footsteps will be
    heavier than on a floor surface. Will this dislodge dust or vibrate the
    enlarger? (Put the enlarger on a free standing table isolated from the
    stairs, rather than building a shelf from the stair structure.)

    Many people working in a closet or bathroom darkroom would envy your
    under-the-stairs space!
    Ken Hart, Oct 9, 2005
  8. willie  clement

    Paul Mead Guest

    You were lucky....
    Paul Mead, Oct 9, 2005
  9. willie  clement

    Peter Chant Guest

    Peter Chant, Oct 10, 2005
  10. willie  clement

    GlennB Guest

    There is a Kodak Darkroom design pub that contains a darkroom in a
    closet. Send me an email with a good return address and I'll send you
    a copy. It's a .pdf so you will need Adobe Reader.
    GlennB, Oct 12, 2005
  11. willie  clement

    GlennB Guest

    Better yet, here's the link.

    GlennB, Oct 12, 2005
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.