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© 2017 John Kiely        john@purlieu.photography             Phone +447736849388

A big step towards the dark side

August 15, 2017

Today I finally manage to pack away all of the props etc that were stored in the darkroom and finished adding the supplementary lighting.



 This was the room when I moved in; it had been used as a bedroom.  After ripping up the carpet and decorating I removed the fluorescent light fittings.  One, as you can see, was actually inside the wall, with the plasterboard cut away to expose the light.  The second had a wall passing across it, so it illuminated two rooms at the same time - efficiency at its best. These were removed, cables terminated and the walls light sealed.  I closed off one of the doors, sealing it with a nice blue, black-out curtain.  Over the next few weeks I built two work surfaces and the support for the sink.  I was then faced with the task of reassembling the enlargers, but that was not the biggest quest!  For that I owe Daniel Zalka, and his muscles, a huge debt of gratitude - have you every tried carrying a 5x4 and a 10x8 floor standing DeVere up two floors in a Victorian Mill?  Well we did it, and we did eventually recover.



Once these were in place, along with a 5x4 and a 5x7 Chromega, a 5x4 closed loop Omega and a 5x4 Omega condenser, I had to tackle the wiring.  There are two double sockets up on the beams - now might be a good place to say the room was a club at one point, so all of the sockets are up at ceiling height.  The day bed in my last post was part of a podium for dancers, and behind the darkroom is the old DJ booth.  I decided not to take power from these sockets, as the are on a ring main that covers the whole of the unit.  Instead I extended the ring main from the DJ booth to include the darkroom; this means both can be turned off at the end of the day by the flick of a switch.



 You may have noticed a lovely DeVere 54 cold cathode in the corner.  This was given to me by a very generous friend, Harold Thompson, when he moved to Italy.  I intend to use this if more than two people require the use of my favourite light source.  I also need to finish setting up the condenser Omega - the contraption on the wall next to it is an anti-static brush for cleaning negatives.  I decided to power each bee hive safelight from sockets next to each enlarger.  This means that users can turn off their individual safe light, each with interchangeable filters, if they need less light to aid focusing.


Last of all I added a white light on a pull switch over the sink and a safe light wired into the circuit controlled by a switch at the entrance. So what is left to do?  The plumbing.  I have decided to leave this until next month by which time I will have finished the colour darkroom / film processing room and the wash areas.


Back on target for completion in October.






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