This section is from the book "Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography", by J. B. Schriever. Also available from Amazon: Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography.
Fixing Tank. The Ideal Fixing Tank is made of heavy tin, with deep corrugations, thoroughly enameled with acid-proof varnish. It is equipped with a patent lifting bottom, and is both convenient and practical. Its capacity is twelve plates. (See Illustration No. 18.) The Ideal, Jr., Fixing Box is made on the same plans, but has a capacity of only six plates, instead of twelve.
Rubber Fixing Box. The most reliable fixing box is the hard rubber, see illustration No.19. They are made of the same material as the rubber trays, and are very durable, and are not affected by any chemicals used. In fact, with reasonable care they will last a lifetime.
Washing Box. The Ideal Adjustable Washing Box, see illustration No. 20, is the most practical plate washing box on the market. The water enters at the bottom and overflows at the top. It is supplied with patent raising bottom, and is adjustable for small sizes.
Developing. When you are ready to develop, first prepare enough solution to completely cover the plates. After the developer has been prepared test it for temperature, using an ordinary thermometer for the purpose. If you find it too cold add a little hot water (the slight addition of water will make no difference in time of development), or if it is too warm put it in a cold place, or add a small piece of ice, until the temperature is correct. Next light your dark room lamp, close the door, and transfer the exposed plates to the grooved rack; then carefully lower the rack containing the plates into the tank. Lower the plates until they are completely covered with developer, raise the rack slowly two or three times, lifting the plates almost entirely out of the developer. This will remove any air-bells that may have gathered on the plates. These air-bells, if not removed, would cause pin holes or spots.
SAND DUNE Study No. 11, See Page 345 J. S. Neary, Trenton, N. T..
The plates are raised or lowered by means of a wire rod attached to the center of the rack, by catching hold of the ring at the top of rod, thus you avoid wetting the hands in the developer. After all air-bells are removed lower the rack and close the cover on the tank, and also on the funnel. Take the time and allow them to develop for, say five minutes when the plates should be turned end for end, thus insuring even development and allow the development to continue for the total time of twelve minutes, if the metol formula is used; and for twenty minutes if pyro formula is used; then fix in the usual way.
518. Until you have become thoroughly accustomed to this method, and are certain as to the strength of your developer and the time required to develop, it is advisable to examine the plates before fixing. It is, however, only necessary to examine the plates at intervals. After you thoroughly understand the speed of your developer and you have been careful in supplying the proper proportions of each chemical, and your plates are uniformly exposed, it will not be necessary to examine the plates at all until they are completely developed.
519. We would caution you against examining plates too often during development, especially Orthochromatic plates, as even the ruby light is apt to effect them, and the result will be foggy negatives. At the expiration of the time required for the development of normal exposures, examine each plate before you place it in your fixing tank. See that they are fully developed and make due allowance for the density they will lose in the fixing. Before placing them in the hypo, carefully rinse them in clear water. If some of the plates, upon examination, are not fully developed, after you have removed those which are developed, simply lower the rack containing these plates back into the tank, and continue developing. Usually when one plate is developed all are done. It is only in extreme cases that it would be otherwise, and then usually from an over-worked bath.
530. If you have a batch of twenty-four negatives to develop, and your tank has twelve grooves, you can place the plates back to back, putting two plates in this way in each groove. This will enable you to develop the twenty-four plates at one and the same time.
521. While it is safer to develop and fix in separate tanks, one and the same tank can be used, if necessary, providing the tank is made of some material which will not rust, such as nickled copper or hard rubber. This method is not recommended, however, as there is danger of one becoming careless and not thoroughly cleansing the tank before and after fixing. In case you must use one tank for both, an ordinary rubber fixing box thoroughly cleansed free of all hypo can be used as a developing tank. One advantage of developing and fixing in the same tank is that there is less handling of plates than when fixing and developing in separate tanks. However, this is of little account. Never fix in a tin or iron tank. If you desire to develop and fix in one and the same tank, observe the following: -
522. After the plates are fully developed, pour off the developer into a large bottle, and save for the next developing; then rinse the plates in three changes of water. This you can do by filling up the developing tank with fresh water, pouring off the water and repeating the operation three times. After the last change of water fill the developing tank with hypo solution, and allow the plates to remain in this until they are thoroughly fixed. Next transfer them to the washing tank and carefully wash.