RE: Portable packable plate pdf plans perchance?

From: D. Mark Andrews ^lt;>
Date: 03/24/05-01:02:27 AM Z
Message-id: <>

I'd like to follow your progress as you go since it would be nice to let
someone more clever than myself figure this out. I read somewhere in the
19th century literature that the fixer and nitrate tanks were often fixed to
the back of the darkroom box, as per your good description below, but that
the fixer and nitrate was already in the tanks so there wasn't a need to
carry them in bottles. I've seen this discussed in the Wet Plate Forum as
well for folks in their vans and they cover the inside Plexiglas tank with
plastic wrap and other sorts of gaskets which is pressed against the inside
of the outer wooden lid to prevent leakage. This concept would prevent the
need to carry additional bottles and such.


-----Original Message-----
From: Joe Smigiel []
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2005 11:11 AM
Subject: RE: Portable packable plate pdf plans perchance?


Thanks for the links. I hadn't seen those sites although I do have John
Coffer's site bookmarked.

I'm thinking of building a portable darkroom that would be backpackable
and something like a French easel in design. The sides, base/box, and
top would be wood panels and the front probably a cannibalized changing
bag with sleeves. The base would have wells for trays and bottles and
the top would incorporate a safelight filter that could be peered
through when sensitizing for developing plates. The back would have
straps and/or elasticized cords for holding the nitrate and fixing
tanks. One side would have a baffled, hinged, large access door to
which the plateholder could be affixed. When closed, the door would
hold the plate holder vertically so the back of the holder could be
easily opened and the glass plate inserted or removed. I'll probably
also put a drain and plug somewhere in the base.

Folded, I think I could make such a box perhaps 28" wide x 20" deep x
4"-6" high. (Bottles and tanks to be transported in an exterior bag of
some sort.) When expanded the interior space might be 26"x18"x18" or
thereabouts. I think this might be sufficient for doing full plates and
5x7s. (I'll have to mock something up from cardboard to see if that
will be enough room. But, if veterans have any insight as to whether
this is enough room to work comfortably, I'd like to hear their comments
and suggestions.)

I'll start drawing up some plans this weekend and would be open to
sharing them among interested parties.

Thanks again for the pointers.


>>> 03/23/05 11:26 AM >>>

I'm just beginning to do some research on this very topic so perhaps we
share info. Here is what I have so far:

Reprint of 1859 design with images. Now if we only had the servants to
with it :-)

Another 19th Century example, from the Smithsonian. My current thought
is to
make one based on this concept. I like the case idea with handle.
Theoretically you could keep your wet plate chemicals in tanks with
gaskets as long at you always kept one end up--they would be attached to
inside top of the case and the rubber gasket would keep them from
spilling--the Osterman's use plastic wrap I'm told.

Here is a modern example:

Also, I have some images of John Coffer's setup which I can send off
list if
you want them. I got them off the Internet, but don't recall the site.


-----Original Message-----
From: Joe Smigiel []
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2005 7:42 AM
Subject: Portable packable plate pdf plans perchance?

Anyone have plans/schematics for a portable wetplate collodion darkroom
online or as a downloadable pdf file?


Received on Thu Mar 24 01:02:40 2005

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : 04/08/05-09:31:01 AM Z CST