A new plate rinse system installed on my Photography Wagon...
Something about my wagon has bugged me since I built it. It was not very rinse friendly when it came to plates. I made a real effort to make the whole thing look period, only to have a plastic water jug waiting near the support leg so that I can rinse the plates.
My procedure was as follows....
Once I am happy with the level of development I pour water onto the plate which then falls into a tray inside of the darkbox, that water drains out the side of the box via a copper pipe. However, I always find that it is wise to give the plate a good rinse after you pull it out into the sunlight and before you put it in the fixer; just a way of ensuring that all of the developing chems are off the plate. Perhaps one doesn't really need to do this, but it makes me feel more thorough when I do so it has become a habit.
This is when the problem arises.
I can't use the barrel at the back of the wagon because I use that for rinsing the plates after fixing; so for the past few events I have been keeping a gallon jug of water next to the leg of the wagon for the after development rinse. It drives me crazy to have it sitting there, looking all modern, not to mention it means having to manipulate the plate around with one hand while I pour with the other, the whole time trying to keep the water going into the waiting bucket below. So I built this system as a new rinsing station. This allows me the use of both hands while rinsing, looks far more period and is "pretty" with all the shiny copper and brass.
The darkbox itself is new as well. I built a slightly larger one to accomidate my 8x10 plates. It was used as a prototype for the one I am currently finishing up for a client.
Photos are captioned.
An overall view of the wagon with it's new water rinse system. The whole thing; shelf, cistern, sink and pipes, all can be removed from the wagon's side in a matter of minutes and break down to fit in a small cubby inside the wagon for transport.
The copper water cistern was NOT an easy thing to find and I went through many an antique store to find one. It is solid copper with tin solder lining and a brass and wood spigot. According to the research I have done on it so far it dates from around 1860-1880, which works perfect. The basin is brass with a drain system made of copper pipes. Note: You can see the darkbox drain pipe to the left of the cistern.
Here you can see the piping system. Both the sink and the darkbox rinse tray drain into the same bucket. The cistern holds a little over three gallons of water.
I tested the system today in my yard with great results. No more plastic containers of water around my wagon, now I can make, shoot, develop, rinse and fix my plates without ever having to reveal anything that isn't period.
Thanks for looking!