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. After all the prints are toned they are ready for fixing. The fixing bath is prepared according to formula given in Paragraph 33. With the left hand drop the prints, one at a time, into the hypo bath, being careful, however, not to allow the left hand to touch the hypo solution. With the right hand separate the prints, picking them over rapidly and immersing them so that the hypo will cover them evenly. Continue in this way until all the prints are in the hypo. Next pick them over and over for 20 minutes, turning them face down. In this way you insure perfect fixing.
Washing After Fixing. After the prints are thoroughly fixed transfer them, a few at a time, into a tray of fresh water. This tray should be used only for washing prints after fixing, and for no other purpose. After all prints are in the wash water give them 16 to 20 changes of clear water, being careful to pick the prints over and over during each change of water. If the prints are carefully picked over they will be thoroughly washed in one hour. If running water is used the prints must be occasionally picked over and separated as the gelatin prints will sink to the bottom and the hypo will not be completely eliminated even in running water - this is important to insure permanency of the prints.
Practice Work. For your practice work you should make a few prints on any gelatin glossy printing paper, selecting several negatives to print from, each of different strength. This will give you experience with the various qualities of negatives. It is also advisable for first experiments that you make at least three prints from each negative. Print the first one as deep as would be exactly right in your judgment; the second print carry a little farther than the first and the third print still deeper than the second. Number each print. Then wash, tone, fix and finish all exactly alike. In order to derive the greatest beneiv - 3 fit from your experiments, you should observe the appearance of the varying depths of printing during different stages of procedure and when the prints are all finished, mark on the back of each all data connected with the manipulation; noting the quality of negative, depth of printing, whether normal, deep or very deep, action in the toning bath, did the bath work properly, or whether it bleached the highlights. If the bath was altered, how was it altered? All this data will serve as a good guide for your future work. All prints should be dated and filed in the regular print file for future reference. Should you meet with failures during the manipulation, refer to the difficulty department, Chapter VI (Local Intensifying), where you will find the cause, prevention and remedy.