wood benches

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I will need a sturdy stand or bench for my enlarger and another for working in the darkroom. I will be checking out Lowes or Home Depot, but I fear this stuff will be fairly flimsy or unsteady. Any leads on companies which make specialty workstations in wood for darkrooms, etc. Thanks

-- Bob Haight (rhaigh5748@aol.com), May 17, 2002



Some people use a Black and Decker product. I think it is called the Workmate. Although this is probably less than you want, my setup was temporary so I used a low tech solution: Sturdy saw horses with a high grade plywood work surface. The high grade plywood has a very smooth surface. The plywood was attached with C clamps. If you have a long span, you can put a saw horse under the middle. This turned out to be very sturdy, and allowed me to store items under the "table." This also made it easy for me to break the whole setup down when the room was needed for something other than a darkroom. (It was a bathroom darkroom. When my son arrived it became a bathroom again!)

I hope this helps.

-- Dave Karp (davekarp@ix.netcom.com), May 17, 2002.

Bob, I bought a set of steel legs, and bolted an oak pallet on to them, added a sheet of 3/4" plywood cut to size, and screwed on painted all black. rock solid


-- Bill Jefferson (jefferw@polaroid.com), May 17, 2002.

My enlarger is in an alcove. I built a support platform with 2" x 4" lumber around three side that are set even with a Home Depot cabinet. Then I made a bench top with two layers of particle board, the top one of which is covered with melamine to match the Home Depot capinet. The bench top is supported by the 2" x 4"s, not the cabinet. It's rock solid, and very stiff.

-- Jay wolfe (bigbad810@hotmail.com), May 17, 2002.

Bob, My Father-in-law has two steel office filing cabinets with a solid core wood door laying across the tops. A very sturdy "no build" solution! Cheers!

-- John Kasaian (www.kasai9@aol.com), May 17, 2002.

I second the solid core wood door answer. I had a darkroom for a decade with just that...a wooden door across two metal file cabinets, and it was great. Extremely sturdy and bigger than most desks.


-- David G Hall (me@davidghall.com), May 17, 2002.

Bob, I'd check out any used office furniture retailers in your area. They buy up and resell Steelcase file cabinets,desks,tables and table tops,work surfaces, as they're called in the industry in case you might want to make your own custom table.

-- Rick Obermeyer (obermeyer_rick@si.com), May 17, 2002.

I used a row of low-cost fitted kitchen cabinets, pulled out from the wall by 10 inches or so to get extra depth for the top. Cabinets screwed to each other for rigidity. Thick melamine covered particleboard top screwed to cabinets and 2x2 inch timber battens at cabinet height around the wall (solid core door as suggested elsewhere would work fine too). Get cabinets with adjustable feet to level them off. Takes my Durst L1200 without a murmer.

Did the same on the other side for my damp-bench (same as a wet-bench but no proper sink - just a 1-inch deep top covered with a loose fitting butyl pond liner so I can take it into the shower to clean it when needed)...


-- Bob (bobphoto@techie.com), May 17, 2002.

I found an old heavy metal desk in great shape for only $15. Built like a tank and is easy to level. Works great in a sit down darkroom but if you stand it would have to be raised.

-- Garry Teeple (gteeple@coin.org), May 17, 2002.

I did some photography a few years ago for a fine cabinetmaker and we traded off. He made me a custom designed table for the enlarger which kind of pissed off my wife since the finest piece of furniture was sitting my darkroom.

He built the top out of MTF and the whole thing must weigh 200 pounds. it has a couple of cabinets on the left side and very wide (20x24 paper wide)shelves on the right. I had him leave a channel through the centre on the floor, so that I could snake a foot pedal through. I mounted the Chromega D5-XL enlarger directly onto the table with some very large bolts and that did away with the baseboard. Since I use a 20x24 Simmons-Omega easel that has meant that I don't have to worry about it slipping off. On the right side of the table I keep a large paper cutter.

If anyone want to see a picture of this table you can email me and I'll send along a shot.

-- David Grandy (dgrandy@grandyphoto.com), May 17, 2002.

You should check the book " Build your own darkroom" . It has easy projects for very sturdy items. I build my own from that book . I made two super sturdy tables, an adjustable baseboard for my enlarger, exaust fan lodging, Lightbox.... It is a great resource

-- domenico (applethorpe@earthlink.net), May 18, 2002.

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