Plate Washer Hack

One desired tool which I had forever procrastinate to get would be a good, economical print / plate washer, which is a common tool which one find in most darkroom practitioners. One which I could never explain myself why I never bothered to get, but necessary would be the Paterson High Speed Print Washers (see their equipment list here), which is suitable for cleaning the plates after running them in the fixer.

Now, it’s not really that expensive to get (second hands) with the redundancy of darkroom practice and the surplus  from online stores and shops nowadays. I will get one, but what turned me off currently was that I work mainly in the bathroom sink and I would not bother to change the pipe’s head to fit in the proper plumbing thread to fit it in (I live in a rental space).

So the idea here is to have a decent spread of water running across the tray, without the need of modification of any hardware.

I noticed a friend of mine used a plastic mineral water bottle to balance out the running water temperature (the pipes here still separate hot and cold pipes, which does not make sense as you could do with one).

Borrowing that idea, I hacked a used plastic mineral bottle just for the job.

Take a used mineral water bottle and empty it out.

Measure the fitting where pipe’s head going to run through, and poke small 1cm holes about an inch apart on the other side as needed.

A temp washer, good enough to run the water across the tray

This doesn’t replace the Paterson washer certainly, as it delivers the proper turbulence all around the tray as it should (or just design your own with plastic pipe if there’s a proper place or fitting)

This serves me as a good temp measure, simple and serves the purpose as I could run this in slow drizzle and the water still spread evenly.  A good alternative if you are on the road and using the hotel’s bathroom sink to do your plate washing.

Though I have to remember to run this slow as water is ridiculously expensive down in the Southwest (someone told me it’s something like £4.00 per cubic meter, which explains the average monthly water for me is at least £50 a month!)


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