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Drying Cabinet

3542 Views 12 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  RFor1
Just finished up my drying cabinet. A friend who is a cabinet maker helped me make it.

It's made of MDF board and holds 16 screens. I'll run foam insulation (weather stripping) around the perimeter of the cabinet so when it closes it will be light tight. The hinges are European so it brings the door out and away so insulation can run on the hinge side of the cabinet.

And I'll add 2 latches that will hold the door tight and against the insulation.

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Nice! Can't be too air tight though, otherwise drying will be difficult?
Niiiiiice! Really professional looking. Congrats.
Does look nice. An easy way to provide air circulation is to A. cut a square out of the bottom about 8 inches by 8 inches and put some hardware cloth (1/2 inch wire mesh)over it. Then put "foam" to act as a filter. On the top you can purchase a fan similar to a computer case fan at the local radio shack. Therefore you can maintain the air tight seals and have filtered air circulating throughout. You may play with the size and/or number of fans. Looks very nice and then it would be very professionally functional.
I would circulate the air by adding some ventilation holes.

You should also consider painting it black. I'm not sure if it matters that much, but white will reflect off any light it catches (ie a door or window being opened), but it probaly doesn't really matter.

How are the shelves made? Are those just 1X1s? I'm thinking of making my cabinet with PVC piping so that there is no chance of the mesh hanging up on the shelving.
My darkroom is pretty much light tight, so I'll coat the screens,leave the door openand point a fan at them . .

If I had to do it again, I'd paint it black. . .

I also thought about adding holes, fans etc. But I will try this method first.

Coating screens tonight !

Nice, just be careful of running a fan if you are using liquid emulsion, you can get some serious pinholes if your room isn't also dust-tight. :) Great job on the cabinet though!
how'd it go? did your screens dry? I put three wet screens in a dark (bath)room last night with almost no air circulation and they didn't dry even after 10 hours!
Then put "foam" to act as a filter.
Stan- what did you mean by "foam?" I suppose you could use other stuff too, like several layers of open weave cloth... I'm also curious if anyone has built any kind of 'light maze' between the fan and the open part of the box so air can pass easily but not light.
You'll definitely want some sort of air circulation. All that moisture in a sealed cabinet is going to make for a very humid environment, and screens that take forever to dry. You want your screens to dry as quickly as possible, (within reason) the longer they stay wet (either after degreasing, or after coating) the longer they can pickup dust.

The best option is to introduce warmed, filtered, dehumidified air, and to vent the exhaust. The dehumidification is optional depending upon your geographical location.

Hardware stores sell bathroom ventilation fans, as well as rolls of filter material.

As far as light leaks, don't worry too much about them. Emulsion isn't like photographic film, and it would take quite a bit of light to have any effect. A good filter over the air inlet is usually enough to negate it.
Love it. Makes me want to build a new one, too. THe ppl on this forum are very creative. This one is similar to the one we built, but not as cool. We use a box fan in the bottom to dry screens (Ulano TLX) and they dry very fast.
I am about to build another one. (new press w/ larger screens)
My first one has a light maze as one put it and it works great. I painted the inside and the maze black. I like the suggestion of using PVC for the rails, sounds like a good cheap option. I have seen some with heaters, I don't actually like this idea. I would never leave a heater on unattended. Sounds like an accident waiting to happen. I bought a bathroom vent and mounted it to the top of the light trap and it works great. It sucks from the bottom where I have a filter laying and blows out the top. I reversed the fan. Funny thing about the one I have now... I made it completely from the crating that my press came in. All I bought was the fan and the hinges, and actually I already had the fan.
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