I was most interested, but had no access to borax at the time
(my secret stash of borax, utilized when I took class with one of the country's top blacksmiths, learning how to make knife-blades in the 1000 year old tradition from viking ages simply had vanished. Borax is used in blade-smithing to protect the steel and iron from oxygen and faciliate removal of scales, we vikings make blades in a 3-layer process, fuzing two layers of iron to one layer of hardening steel in the middle, giving rize to a hard, sharp edge, protected by two layers of nonharedned iron, som the blade is flexible and durable).
I finally got hold of a 1000 gram box, and is ready to give this a spin, while I'm waithing for my box of phenidone to show up.
Looking over Michel's recipe, I still find it too hard to understandt to be popular. I feel we need to make it simpler, while keeping to good bits.
I ahve a set of objerctives here :
- I want to get rid of coffe entirely, as its the least understood and controllabel ingredient.
- I want to use as many easy-to-get ingredients as possible, since everyone can seet that commercial suppliers are fast vinishing.
- I want to refine MM's recipe, so that anyone can follow this easily.
Discussing the original recipe.
Have a look at MM's instalment back in march, "tylenol and ascorbate - it works!"
There he gives his formula and explanation. My gut-feeling at the time was that this was too imnvolved, too hard to do, and too hard to copy, even for mee, with a chemistry background and many years of labor in a laboratory in my earlier days.
So I set myself the task to refine it, while keeping all the good parts, I still think this has great potential, even if it was placed on the backburner at the time by other and more pressing stuff.
Hopefully Michael will take part in this and offer his advice, currently I've seen few if any with a deeper understanding of Patric Gainer's writings....
Looing at the original recipe for TCB a few things strikes me :
- The idea of mixing ascorbic acid with sodium bicarbonate FIRST, then adding tylenol, to protect the tylenol from unwanted oxidation is very good, I thnk that was what sunk my SALS project.
- The idea of using a little NaOH (0.2M) to convert the Tylenol is splendid.
- ph is lowered at a later stage by adding massive amounts of Borax, this gives longer, more controllable development times: good idea.
However there are flies in the ointment :
In the description unnecessary uncertainity rises because we talk of several things in a disorderly fashion :
- we talk about borax saturate solution
- we talk about tylenol solution
- we talk about part A, part B
- what we need is a simple, easy to follow recipe, much like when my grandma baked bread, and passed her secrets on to my mother, my wife and ultimately me....
I will try to correct this and offer a simple, easy to follow recipe, with development times advice and later examples of work done with this. The rules are simple :
- the chemicals shall be easy to get, everday chemicals, save for one, borax.
- the result will be two simple storage bottles, the chemicals used in a mix-before-use and discard fashion.
- we use realively little of the expensive chemicals, so this will be a cheap developer to use
- we offer an easy explanation on how to do this, so that anyone can do it
We start by mixing part A, then mix part B. Part A needs a little time to finish, in involves a few chemical reactions to take place, this needs time to be controllable and reliable. Therefore we start with part A a few days before we need it. Part B can be mixed the day its needed.
We offer a balanced mix, so that when part A is spent, so is part B, simple and easy to understand.
The objective of part B is mainly to dilute part A, to control fogging and make the developer controllable as far as times goes. A short development time will mean that differences in pour times, might give uneven results from time to time. 15 seconds in and 15 seconds out means more if the time is 5 minutes vs 15 minutes..... if one has a very old develoing tank, like me, I have many and uses many, in-out times easily can reach close to a minute altogether.
Part A is mixed with part B: 1 part A, 2 parts B.
I have lowered the initial concentration for longer development times, from Michels 7 minutes with TriX to about 10 - 11 minutes with TriX, and 14 - 16 minutes with C41 films.
Caution! These recipes involves working with lye, NaOH at a strong concentration.
Lye is a very dangerous substance, be extremely cautios using this, wear safety glasses, the concentration will initially be 1 molar, which will take out the eyesight in minutes, if one is unlucky. Also when mixing out lye add just alittle at a time, wix well, and most importantly stand thw mixing bottle in a container of as cold water as possible and have more cooling water AT HAND. If this boils, and fumes are expelled, leave the area immediately, this is very toxic, and make sure the area is ventilated before returning, and discard the boiled stuff after diluting it at least 1:10 with cold water.
Water ........................ 75 ml
Sodium bicarbonate ............. 2 gram
Ascorbic Acid ................... 6 gram
Tylenol tablets tbl @500 mg 4 gram
Water ..................... fill to 100 ml
NaOH, lye pearls ................ 4 gram
Add the ingredients in the exact order given - there will be two distict chemical reactions, give time for them to take place.
Sodium bicarbonate should dissolve easily, ascrobic acid bubbles and gives microbubbles in solution, let this clear.
Tylenol tablets need to be crushed and dissolved, it reacts with the lye thats added after, and will give a vine-red solution, the idea here is that ascorbic acid protects the tylenol, so its not all oxidised by air (ascorbates will continue to protect the tylenol in solution).
For this reaction to complete, this solution needs to stand in a well closed bottle, as little air in it as possible, preferably in a cool, dark place, for 48 to 72 hours. After this the part A is finished with further additives given below.
Part A finished :
Preliminary mix ......................... 100 ml
Water .......................... to 300 ml
Ascorbic acid ........................ 10 gram
Borax ................................. 20 gram
Water ............................ to 500 ml
Part A is now finished and can be used as soon as it is tempered to 20 centigrade.
More ascorbic acid was added to give a 1:4 ratio between ascorbate and tylenol, give time for this to react - both the lye and the borax will convert the ascorbic acid. Borax dissolves slowly and is close to saturation here, if the mix temeperature is too low it might not all dissolve.
This the finished Part A, ready to be diluted for use with Part B.
Water ..................................... 500 ml
Potassium bromide (KBr) ..... 1.5 gram
Borax ................................... 20 gram
Water ........................... to 1000 ml
The potassium bromide control chemical fogging, less will give a more active developler and shorter development times, but possibly fog. more works the opposite.
Borax con trol the pH in the mix, countering the lye in part A, keeping fogging at bay, controlling time.
Part B is finished and can be used at 20 centigrade.
In use :
Single-shot use. This is what Michael suggested, as I understand him (!) but since concentration is a bit lower, we must adjust the times.
Mix 1 part A with 2 parts B use one time, discard the used developer.
This mixture will be enough for 1,5 litre developer, or enough for 5 films at 300 ml per tank, constant development times. Since we use 16 grams of vitamine C and 4 grams of Tylenol, divide that with 5 and ascertain we are (still) frugal!
Times : (still experimental, based on Micheals suggestions and plain guesstimates)
B/W film 100 - 200 ISO 11 - 13 minutes at 20 centigrade
B/W film 400 ISO and above 15 - 18 minutes at 20 centigrade
C41 colorfilms, developed to B/W 15 - 16 minutes at 20 centigrade
All times will be subject to cange with temperature.
All times based on staandard agitation regime, make sure the film is entirely covered by fluid!
All times based on no form of pre-wetting the film, I do NOT advocate pre-wetting of films!
Constant agitation (slow turns or slow rotation) fo theirs 3t 60 seonds.
Thereafter 3 to 4 slow turns once every minute for the duration of time.
I have no advice on stand development.
To be researched :
These solutions should keep well. One of the most interesting bits is to find out wether this developer can be mixed all up and stored like ordinary D76.
If that is possible, it could be used like D76, to develop ca 10 - 12 films from one bottle, its easy to find out, comparing with Cofenol CCM, that we throw out ca 50% of the ascorbates here.....
If that is possible, if this developer will keep in a closed bottle, semi- or half-used like D76, we simly adjust developing times like this:
1. film 12 minutes
2. film 12 x 1.06 = 12:45 min
3 film 12 x 1.12 = 13:30 min
i.e. keep adding 6% time from start-time per film developed.
To takew this one notch further, compared to D76, 1:1 development.
D76 can be used as a one-shot developer, by diluting 1:1 with water, doubling development times.
If this developer keeps ready-mixed in a bottle, diluted 1:1 with double dev. times as a startpoint should be investigated.
WQhile waiting for my phenidone, this waht I'll be looking into.