Dark box for wet plate photography

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Project by BTimmons posted 284 days ago 1345 views 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is the finished dark box. Or at least, my part in the project is done. It still needs a blackout cloth to be fitted. This will be used as a portable dark room for developing wet plate photos. If you’ve ever seen pictures of the old time photo equipment where the photographer has a cloth draped over them, it’s this kind of work.

The dark box is framed in red oak, with 1/2” birch ply panels. The exterior was colored with gel stain and topped with several coats of Arm-R-Seal. The interior was painted flat white in order to reflect ambient red light that will be used inside the box when developing plates. A red LED will provide interior light.

Included a wet plate image of myself that my photographer friend took, because tintypes are freakin’ cool. The complete construction gallery can be seen here.

-- Brian Timmons, Big T Woodworks - -

10 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile


14848 posts in 1794 days

#1 posted 284 days ago

Cool project…. Should serve you well.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Don W's profile

Don W

14676 posts in 1173 days

#2 posted 284 days ago

Well done.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View whitebeast88's profile


3413 posts in 796 days

#3 posted 284 days ago

great build,looks great.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View CFrye's profile


2597 posts in 446 days

#4 posted 284 days ago

Nice build Brian! Your friend does good work too. Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View klev's profile


3 posts in 1389 days

#5 posted 280 days ago

Looks great, what are you using for legs? I am planning a similar box for wet plate and was happy to see this one.

View BTimmons's profile


2079 posts in 1091 days

#6 posted 280 days ago

klev – The friend who commissioned the box is going to use a folding table as a base for an upcoming event. I might eventually build a basic folding stand for it.

-- Brian Timmons, Big T Woodworks - -

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1575 days

#7 posted 263 days ago

Well done, looks very well thought out and made.

View Fettler's profile


113 posts in 603 days

#8 posted 230 days ago

nice =)

-- --Rob, Seattle, WA

View quartrsawn's profile


143 posts in 1819 days

#9 posted 230 days ago

Nice…perpetuating a historic photographic process. Please post some photos.

-- Nat - West Sayville,L.I., NY

View BTimmons's profile


2079 posts in 1091 days

#10 posted 230 days ago

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