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Tom Persinger 
Manufacturing a Portable Darkroom 
2008, 29 August (uploaded to blog) 
Colour image 
Provided by the artist - Tom Persinger 
Since my plans for wet plate are mainly field work I had to come up with a working portable darkroom. France Scully Osterman suggested what they use: a simple cardboard box. It's simple, easy to transport, and best of all cheap. I made mine from a wardrobe box from the UPS storeÓ shortly after purchasing I drove past an appliance store where they had some large microwave boxes out by the dumpster! You need at least a double wall box to have good rigidity. My portable darkroom needed to fit into the back my 2001 VW Golf (so I folded back the wardrobe box to create a 36 x 24 x 24? work area.
Materials/Budget breakdown
1 wardrobe box from UPS shipping store: $20
4 bags of 1/4x 1.5? bolts/nuts: $4
16 5/16? fender washers: $1.20
3 yards of red twill: $9 (on sale!)
3 yards of black corduroy: $18 (on sale!)
1 roll gaffers tape: $11
Total: $63.20
Other supplies needed (that I had around the studio) Rubylith for the safelight window (Thanks to Mark Johnson!)
Thick plastic to line the bottom
Piece of wood to use as a clamp to attach the darkcloth on top
Tools needed
Drill with 1/4? bit
Utilty knife
Xacto knife
I'm planning to work sitting down with a simple folding chair and attaching the box to a Black and Decker Workmate.
You could just as easily build legs or use it out of the back of your car. I've heard rumour that the Honda CR-V works greatÓ.
[Source: Tom Persinger, f295 blog,, Autumn 2008]
Credit for the design goes to France Scully Osterman 

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