In passing, I mentioned to my Father in Law that I was hunting on Gumtree for an enlarger and other darkroom paraphernalia. Turns out that he has (or had, now!) a box of such paraphernalia in the garage, and would be happy to get rid of it.

Expiry: 1981

I didn’t quite realise just how much stuff he was going to bring around. In addition to the Durst F30 enlarger, I got three Paterson 8×10 developing trays, two Paterson developing tanks (the old, non-Super-4 model, but they have spools in them, which is great), a bulk film loader, a safe-light, some old ID-11 and Microphen developer powders, a bunch of 5×7 and 8×10 papers, and a full 33m spool of Ilford FP4 125.

Paper and chemicals

Aside from needing to make the electrical switches safe, and acquiring paper devloper, some tongs, and a new bulb for the enlarger, I now had everything I needed for the dark-room. Except for the dark room.

To seal up the doors, I got adhesive foam strip designed to seal doors, so that bit was easy. There is still a bit of light leakage around the bottom of the doors, but that would be easily fixed with a couple of door-snakes.

Sealing the window was a bit trickier, and needed a piece of MDF cut to size. Good excuse to get the table-saw fired up.

I gave it a crack this morning (see previous post about Project Tardigram) and it was a great success. The old 5×7 paper curled quite badly, but the modern 8×10 paper dried beautifully. I think I need some filters for the enlarger to improve the contrast of the prints, but aside from this I’m exceptionally happy with the darkroom.

I do need another shelf to stow the enlarger properly, but for now, I’m set and ready to print!