My Darkroom Darkroom construction & fit out

A darkroom construction and fit out by Martyn lacey of M&Y Lacey Photography

Framework construction with apex roof from 3x2 and 2x2 pressure treated timber. Part of the construction was formerly an aviary, hence the wire. Joints are mostly lap joints glued and screwed together made into sections which are then bolted to make up the frame.

Making up panels, the basic structure and roof
Framework treated again
The roof sections fitted

After further treating the frame the outside was covered in polythene sheet to prevent any draughts threw the cladding laps.

Double glazed locking window and loft insulation 6 inches thick added.
Shiplap cladding screwed into place

Sealant was used around the window frame before the shiplap cladding was fitted. The roof consists of 3/4 inch ply board sealed and covered with external felt. Later guttering was fitted leading back to 2 rainwater barrels for collecting a source of untreated water which is then filtered at the barrel tap for use in the darkroom.

Nearing completion externally
Boarding out the inside

The inside frame was filled with insulation then ply boarded and painted. A second door was added with a small entrance hall to provide the light trap. The other side of the right side entrance hall then provides a wall for the end of the sink.

  • The interior is wired to a consumer fused unit providing 8 sockets and lighting circuit.
  • Wiring for extractor fan housed in the roof section with extraction in the ceiling.
  • Alarm wired to control panel in the entrance hall with camera externally fitted.
  • 3 beehive Safelights in two circuits. 1 fitted to RH analyser pro the other 2 are one over the sink area and the other to the RH stop clock.
  • Smoke alarm fitted.
  • Locked internal door.
  • Four padlocks to external door with hasps bolted through the framework. Top padlock high to prevent access by children family members.
  • Eye wash bath and treatment station fitted.
  • Fire extinguisher fitted.
Fitted out
wet side

The sink is 7ft long made from ply .....the bottom section was mounted to 2 battens which were screwed to the 2 long sides with a slight run from the right down to the left where a hole was cut with a hole saw to fit the sink waste.

The inside of the sink was first fitted with a curved beading all around the bottom and a bead of sealant applied to provide a curved edge then painted with waterproof mastic. A waterproof table cloth fabric was spray glued to the whole of the sink inside and finally painted to finish off.

The section supporting the print washer can be removed as can the section at the other end supporting the dish warmer which then allows use of the full length of the sink.

Sink and pipe work
  • In coming water supply is through a garden hose fitted to a manifold at both ends, 1 at the house external wall and the other seen here with four pipes connected.
  • On the external wall of the darkroom at this end the supply is filtered then split into 2. One goes to the small water heater, the other to the manifold inside.
  • Drainage is plumbed back to the waste outlet at the house drain.
  • The sink has a hinged lid which when closed provides a large work area for writing up negs /prints etc.
Print washer and storage end with fridge for film and papers, UV light box ontop of drawer base for use with alternative process .
  • Loft sections in ceiling for extra storage.
  • Dry side with LPL 7700 and 7452 enlargers.
  • Communication with the house to her who must be obeyed is via radio handsets, the advantage over the mobile phone is no light panel in the hand set.. and a bleep call signal can be heard if in complete darkness.
Storage for easles and large paper underneath.
The far end with storage for negative files, tripods and lighting.
Back around to the entrance door.
My interpretation of the Ralph Lambrecht test strip jig.
  • For use with stop timing this jig is easy to use.
  • Made from sheets of white and black plastic made to fit a piece of 5x4 photo paper.
  • The slot in the cover is to make a test of the same area.
  • I fitted a handle piece to the sliding cover and a pointer to align with the saw tooth edge for easier alignment under safelights.
  • Inside the sink lid I have a metal strip with individual timer attached for dev stop fix. These have magnets on the rear.
  • With another plastic sheet I cut out sections to hold digital thermometers.
  • The thermometer probes lead in the dev stop fix trays.
  • By attaching another plastic strip behind the panel can be angled to see easier.

Well thats my darkroom.

If anyone has questions or would like more information contact martyn@mylaceyphoto.co.uk

Created By
Martyn Lacey


© Martyn Lacey 2017

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.