Thrice over: build, build, build!

A project log for Tintype Develop-o-tron

Automated tintype (and film?) developing machine

Jorj BauerJorj Bauer 05/09/2016 at 01:300 Comments

Wake up! It's Saturday. No time to sleep in. Lots to do. Drag yourself downstairs. Put on the kettle. Dig through the scrap wood pile and find something vaguely the right size. Oversteep the tea because you're not paying any attention to it; it's too early in the morning. Find the parts. Lay them out.

This looks vaguely right. Three bottles on the upper right for developer, fixer, and clearing baths. One outlet on the right for waste. Two pumps on the left that head up to the one developing tank. And builders' tea to give me that necessary construction boost.

I think maybe it should look something like this...

yeah, that. But with three bottles. This could work. The caffeine's starting to do its job and I'm thinking it might not be too early in the morning to fire up the table saw and lop off part of that plank. Maybe I'll have breakfast first though.

Breakfast passes; the plank is sawn; and now what do I want to do about the developing tank? I've had in mind that I could drill a hole in the bottom of a Patterson tank, add some sort of leakproof valve attachment, and probably not compromise the dark of the tank. Not too much, at least. We'll see.

The hole is easy to drill: pilot hole, check. Spade bit easily does its job without fracturing the tank. Phew. Attachment fits, and after some initial testing, I realize it needs adjustment. I went with the pair of

Colder PLCD16006 Acetal Tube Fitting, Coupler, Shutoff, Panel Mount, 1/4" Flow Coupler x 3/8" Barb


Colder PLC42006 Acetal Tube Fitting, Insert, Straight Thru, Panel Mount, 1/4" Insert x 3/8"Barb

which seemed like they'd do the job. The problem is that the tube fitting, which I figured I'd put in the tank, is too tall. If I want to drain it then I can only drain down to the top of the barb, which is about an inch above the bottom of the tank! So, lop off the barb and drill some holes around the bottom of the fitting; plug the top hole to force the liquid out the holes I've drilled. Goop it up with some silicone sealant, decide that's not going to work well enough, and then come back later with the truck bed liner.
Now, as for the 2-liter bottles: I went with some

Thogus Nylon Tube & Hose Fitting, Adapter, White, 3/4" Barbed x 3/8" GHT Female (Pack of 10)

which seemed like what I'd want. The only problem with these is that they're made in three parts. There's the piece with the barb; the outer cap that screws down to the hose (that's "GHT", or "Garden Hose Thread"); and a rubber washer that's supposed to keep them from leaking between the two pieces. With a soda bottle, the washer doesn't sit quite right and it leaks quite a lot. So what to do? MORE TRUCK BED LINER OF COURSE.
While we're at it, might as well seal up the bottom of that Patterson tank!

Not bad work for one day. I got most of the rough build complete. And while I was dying to test it, I knew I really needed to wait for all of the seals to set. Sigh...