Visited my high school buddy Jorj and his family this past weekend. He's my evil twin brother (I'm the goody-goody twin), we were in a band together and had most of our senior classes together when I moved to Norristown, PA.
Though my grades were better, Jorj always understood chemistry (and calculus, but that's another story) better. As a result, when Jen and I showed up with a bunch of 16mm film to process, leave it to Jorj to have most of the stuff laying around to do it. Minus a few elements, which he ended up making. He describes the chemistry in detail here.
Once we picked up a few groceries (sulfuric acid at the auto supply), we were able to whip up three different processes. Double-X neg, pre-hardened, Double-X neg NOT hardened, and Tri-X reversal.
At some point, I was definitely out of my league. Jorj was doing some freewheeling improvisation to make the components we needed in sufficient quantity to process the film and not blow up the basement. Not a huge surprise. Jorj has a fume hood in his basement for alternative processing. The initial calculations were off by a factor of two, and he was able to recover it quickly and create a completely workable pre-hardener (which it turns out we didn't need all that much.
I was thinking, how great for Jorj's kid to have all this laying around when growing up. And then I though how great for MY kid, with all the different stuff at our place, and that they get to play with each other as their strange fathers do these things.
We both look the mad scientist part.
Jorj, taken by me:
Me, taken by Jorj:
Both of us in high school in senior biochem seminar: