Chapter 11: Not Much To Report


Lately, I haven't made a lot of progress. Mostly, because we had a string of nasty weather and it was unpleasantly cold over at the studio. I spent my time at home working, drinking tea, and reading Hannah Arendt.

Today, I re-mounted the door of the darkroom, which I had removed to make it possible to fit the sinks. After that, I stripped the facing from the door-frame; I'll replace the facing with some fake rivet-plate. I've been mentally designing the door design (which is getting way ahead of myself, but it was something I could do at home where it's warm!) and did a sketch:


Another sloppy sketch!

Since the door just pushes open, it doesn't need a lock. This is just me having fun. I will cut the gears out of plywood, along with the locking arms. The central hub will also be plywood, with the bar-handles from the curtain rod collection at the hardware store. I could actually make it functional but it'll be a lot easier if I just screw and glue everything to the door and brush-finish it in black and metallic grey.


Templates for door gears

I found a wonderfully fun "plywood gear designer" tool on the internet [link] Very useful! I printed it on some heavy stock 13x19" paper using my inkjet. When the time comes to make the gears, I'll cut the templates out, trace onto plywood, and then cut the gears with a scroll-saw. I am expecting that I will be hating this idea by the time I am done cutting those gear-shapes!

After a couple days the weather got a bit better and I was able to get the plywood for the counter-tops. I got some really nice heavy 1" maple-faced plywood; I'm just going to paint it grey and black like everything else in the room. The nice people at Lowe's have a ripsaw setup for cutting customers' wood, so I had them rip a foot off the bottom edge of 3 sheets of 4 foot by 8 foot. I think 3 foot deep countertops will give me plenty of space, and will give me a enough room for the enlarger in the middle. I will get more pieces of plywood from which to construct the table base/legs.


8 foot long sheet of plywood, 5 foot jeep

I'm used to just getting sheets of plywood and throwing them in the back of my truck. But my truck died a few months ago and now I'm driving a smaller car - my jeep "Annabella" - oops. So I fed the boards in and balanced them against the front rollbar, wrapped them with a tow strap, and hung on with my right hand. As it happened, they nearly slipped out the back on my way to the studio. Fortunately, it is only 5 miles and the road is fairly smooth. I had to stop once and shove the boards back in, before they slipped out. Now that I've got the wood, I will be able to start cutting and assembling the counter-tops.

Meanwhile, I got a delightful email in my in-box from Rory, who did a rendering of the "Plan C" darkroom based on my terrible sketch. With his permission, I've included it:


The side counter-tops should go up fairly quickly. The middle counter-top, I could spend a huge amount of time on and I probably will.
(Chapter 12)