5×7 Negative Dryer Usage and Care Guide

How To Assemble

The dryer will come to you either in a box or in a padded envelope (depending on the size you ordered). There should be six pieces – the base, the top, and two sides and two hold down bars. The base is the one that has the notches facing upwards. Place it flat side down and insert one side into the base with the longer protrusions pointing down. Gently push down, and try to do so evenly so it does not go in at an angle. Doing so can make it tougher to assemble or can even break the stand. Push down until the cross bar is touching the base. Do the same thing with the other stand. Now simply add the top. The notches will be on the same side as those on the base. It only can go in one way, so if it seems like it isn’t fitting, simply rotate it. Push it down onto the stands.

Optionally, you can clip on the hold down bars. I find these are bendable enough so you can pull the legs apart slightly to clear the top then push it back together so the notches mate with the top. If you purchased a drying wet that can also be used in a washer, the clips are required (as they keep the film from floating away). If you are only using it for drying, you can omit these if you find your negatives are generally well behaved. If you have particularly bendy negatives, I recommend using at least one hold down bar.

And that’s it! You can disassemble it for storage by removing the bars, either by sliding them off the top (once you remove the top) or carefully pulling the legs out until they clear the top. Then remove the top if you have not yet done so and carefully remove the stands from the base (try to pull up on both sides equally). The more you assemble and dissemble the rack, the easier it is.

Alternatively if you plan on leaving the rack assembled, I highly recommend using CA glue (“superglue”) to permanently attach the parts together. This makes using the dryer much easier. To do this, first assemble the dryer without any glue to make sure things fit well. Then disassemble it and place glue in the holes of the base then attach the stands. Then put some glue on the sides of the top protrusions and the top cross bar of the stands and put the top on and press down for 30-60 seconds. Leave it alone for at least a few hours (24 is best) until you plan on using it.


Simply place your freshly washed sheet film into each notch one at a time longways. I recommend using two hands, especially if the film is curling. This makes it easier to guide the film into the bottom notches and helps it from touching any other sheets you have already placed in the dryer. Gently slide the sheet into the top notches and adjust until it sits into the bottom notches and repeat for as many sheets as you plan on using.

If you are drying fewer sheets than your dryer capacity, space them as far away from each other as you can. This should help them dry a bit faster, but also helps avoid them from touching while you are inserting the sheets. Once it’s loaded, place it on any surface that can handle some wetness such as a sink, a spare darkroom tray, etc. I have found that my sheets dry faster using the dryer than when hanging, but your mileage may vary. Once completely dry, simply remove them one at a time (again I recommend using two hands).

That’s about it! Again if you do have any questions, please reach out! Otherwise, happy developing!