Sunday, July 3, 2011

IKEA to the rescue!

Anyone that has a hard time finding volumetric measures now has an excellent source : the swedish furniture & storeys supplier meglamorate IKEA!

In their warehouse I recently discovered a set of excellent volumetric measures, 1 ml, 5 ml, 15 ml and large, translated to US measures these are 1 pinch, 1 teaspoon (1 tsp), 1 tablespoon (1 tblsp) and 1 coffee-measure.

It is very convenient to use volumetric measures, once one has calibrated & adapted one's workhabits to them.  As soon as one gets used to working with coffenol and mixing developer on the fly it is very easy and rewarding to leave the weights behing and enter the float-zone and rely on volumetric measures.'

I routineously use these measures, but at the same time issue a warning : whenever one of the components are changed, then re-calibrate the measure for said component. How this is done in a scientific manner is thoroughly described already in this blog, just have a quick look at the the instalment "What IS a teaspoon...." .

The IKEA-set of measures are so cheap, in the best IKEA tradition, that any worker can buy more than one set. Buy FOUR : one for the missus, to keep the calm in the house and 3 for the Master of the House, that way one can mark the measures with for instance nail polish and reserve one for Soda, one for Ascorbic acid and one for Coffe, saves time on cleaning for those concerned about that.

Also the teaspoon measures are fine for 1 tank - 1 film usage, while the tablespoon measures are fine for 1 litre mix use, they just needs to be calibrated for the purpose.

Myself I have calibrated my components thusly :

Water to fill 11 US fluid ounces (start with 8 oz and top up as soon as all components are in.
Soda  (anhydrous, decahydrate needs 2.7 times as much)  3 teaspoons
Ascorbic acid powder (pure powder marked E300 in Europe) 2 teaspoons
Instant Coffe (blackest, cheapest you can find, "office coffee)  7 teaspoons.

Now I strongly urge anyone to meticoluosly calbrate their own measures to their own chemicals.

But I note in passing : Coffenol is a very forgiving mix, many workers report success from wildly variating recipes, one can get away by slightly altering development times for instance.
Therefore, chances are you can use my recommendations here as is, and get a mixture quite similar to the mixture known as Reinhold's Caffenol CC-M. If you add ca 0.5 gram KBr (Potassium bromide to this mix, the result equals Reinhold's CC-M mixture.

Start times are 15 - 16 minutes for most film types, with a little longer for C41 and longer still for Fuji C41 films and 400 ISO films.  Feel free to experiment, it is fun!

STÄM set of 4 measures

Glanced from the IKEA catalog these comes in several colors,
I only found these green colored ones

From the label here one can clance all data,
it should be possible to order this by phone or the Net from Ikea
order number 801.523.58  several colors.

The catalog names these measures as :
1 spicemeasure, 1 teaspoon, 1 tablespoon (spiseskje in scandinavian) and 1 desiliter (1/10 liter)
These are marked 1ml, 5 ml, 15 ml and 1 dl respectively.

Update on mixing a litre :

Since 11 US fluid oz is close to 1/3 of a litre and since the difference between 1 teaspoon and 1 tabklespoon is also 1:3 it is *real easy to use volumetric measures for a litre mix also.
Just use the tablespoon measure and measure out 3 tblsp, 2 tblsp and 7 tblasp from each ingredient as outlined above and top up the water to 1 litre and you should be close enough to be able to home in on perfect results!

Best of luck and please do share examples of your work, either by sending them to me or sharing them on Flickr!

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