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.
Finishing Department. Where it is possible, it is advisable to have one room expressly for toning, and another one for the general finishing, such as mounting, spotting, etc., and a portion of this latter room may be set apart for storing mounts, etc., if it is not possible to have a special room for this purpose. In smaller studios, however, it is customary to have the toning and finishing rooms combined in one, but a small stock-room is usually by itself, and in this stock-room are kept all mounts and other material which arc not needed for immediate use.
929. In describing the different phases of this department, we will consider each room separately. Then if it is your desire to combine them you may easily do so and have everything arranged to your own convenience.
Toning-Room. The toning-room should be provided with good light, in order that one may judge the tone of the print accurately. A large sink should extend the full length of one side of the room; one about 3 1/2 feet wide and at least 8 inches deep will be very convenient. Underneath this sink arrange shelves, which should hold your trays. The hypo tray should be kept entirely separate from the washing and toning trays. A very good plan is to keep your hypo tray on the bottom shelf. Allow no chemicals, other than those that are employed in toning, to be used on or emptied into this sink. If you follow this plan you will lessen the danger of staining prints.
931. A table should be provided on which to tone, and its location in the room will be entirely arbitrary. Much will depend upon the location of the source of light, for it should be in such a position as to enable you to see the tone to the best advantage, without there being any danger of fogging or flashing the paper while it is going through the various baths. The table should, however, be placed convenient to the sink.
932. It is an excellent plan to have a cupboard at one end of the room and out of the way, in which to place your chemicals and solutions, the lower portion of which may be reserved for your hypo either in the barrel or in small quantities. This will prevent any of the dust from the hypo floating about the room and settling on your trays or prints. Another cupboard may be provided over your sink, in which to keep the toning baths and all toning chemicals. A shelf directly above the sink will be found very convenient, for on it may be kept the graduates, hydrometer, etc.
933. It will be necessary to have at least six trays for the handling of printing-out papers alone. A tray will be required for preliminary washing, one for gold toning, one for platinum toning, one for intermediate washing, another for fixing, and still a sixth tray for final washing. The toning trays should be, preferably, of rubber, while the other trays can be of wood, lined with oilcloth. The method of constructing these is described in the Printing and Finishing Volume (Volume IV).
934. For platinum developing one should be provided with a good quality porcelain or rubber tray, except for W. & C. Sepia paper, with which you require a hot bath and, therefore, will need a porcelain tray or some earthenware which will stand the heat. Tin, metal or iron trays will not do. The acid baths can be handled in rubber or oilcloth-lined trays. Each tray should be labeled and used for one particular purpose only, and if any other papers are desired to be toned or developed, other trays should be obtained. It is by this careful, methodical method of working that one will secure the best results and meet with the fewest number of failures. The cost of additional trays will be compensated for by the saving of material, to say nothing of the disappointments which would result if one should fail entirely with a batch of prints.
935. In addition to the trays, provide yourself with a minim graduate, an 8-ounce graduate, and a 32-ounce graduate; also a thermometer, and a hydrometer, a good pair of scales with accurate weights, blue and red litmus paper, the necessary chemicals for the various baths for printing-out papers, platinum papers, etc.
936. Some method of heating water should be provided. If you have access to gas, a one-burner gas stove will be very convenient, as well as inexpensive. A small oil stove may be employed, yet it is not advisable to have it in the toning-room, if it is possible to secure any other method of heating. When used, the greatest of care must be exercised to keep it perfectly clean, and never allow it to smoke, for the oil soot is very liable to lead to trouble, and if the lamp smokes, this soot will fly about the room and settle where it will do considerable damage,