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.
Preparing The Toning Bath. Into a two quart bottle or jar, pour 40 ozs. of distilled water and add 1 oz. of Stock Solution No. 1, also 1 oz. of Stock Solution No. 2. Thoroughly mix these solutions by shaking the bottle or stirring with a glass stirring rod and allow to stand and ripen for at least two hours. There will be no harm in allowing it to stand for a day before using.
Testing The Toning Bath. After the bath is ripened it is necessary to test it and ascertain whether it is alkaline, acid or neutral, and for this purpose a piece of red litmus paper is first employed. As a general rule this litmus paper will not alter its color in this case, which goes to show that the bath is neither neutral nor acid. The gold bath, however, must be in a slightly alkaline condition in order to secure the best of results in toning. Therefore, if there has been no change in the color of the litmus paper, add a few drops of Solution No. 3, stirring the toning bath in the meantime so that the borax will be thoroughly and uniformly distributed throughout the whole solution. When the red litmus paper turns blue inside of two minutes, enough borax (Solution No. 3) has been added.
31. The average prints should tone in this bath in from 6 to 8 minutes. If the highest points of light in the prints bleach and become perfectly clear before there has been any material change in the color of the shadows, it will be necessary to add more of Solution No. 3 (borax) regardless of the color of the litmus paper. The alkaline Solution No. 3, acts as a restrainer on the highlights, and the amount of this solution to use is the amount necessary to hold the whites from bleaching while the shadows tone, or change to the desired color. An acid gold bath bleaches out the more delicate portions of the prints, makes pink whites and weak shadows and tones slowly. The final color of the print is regulated wholly by the amount of toning given the print in the gold bath.
Washing After Gold Bath. Wash the prints in three changes of clear water by handling them over. Do not try to wash the prints by placing them in running water, as they are apt to stick together, in which case the gold solution on the surface of the print will not be removed. If any length of time elapses before placing the prints in the fixing bath, the toning of the print will continue wherever the gold has not been removed by washing, causing spots on the prints.
Fixing Bath. After the prints have been carefully washed they may be allowed to stand in the water for the short time necessary to prepare the fixing bath. This bath is composed of 2 quts. of water and 6 ozs. of hyposulphite of soda; or, if hydrometer test is used, the bath should test
18°. More uniform results will be obtained if the hydrometer test is employed. The prints must be continually handled in the fixing bath for a period of 20 minutes in order to secure a complete elimination of all unused sensitive salts.
Washing After Fixing. When thoroughly fixed the prints should be transferred, one at a time, into a tray of fresh water. They should receive from 16 to 20 changes of clear water during a period of one hour. If running water is used the prints must occasionally be picked over, as they are bound to sink to the bottom and the hypo and other chemicals will not be completely removed, even in running water. Careful attention must be given to this feature, as it is important in order to insure permanency of the prints.