Help! ...Gold Toner Issues : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Printing & Finishing : One Thread

I would like some technical savvy please. I have a modest (ok, primitive) darkroom and I am in the middle of split toning some prints. Only problem, I can't seem to get the Nelson's Gold toner to the proper temperature. I would sure appreciate some advice on techniques for warming and maintaining the temperature. Remember, modest. I am also in state with severe water shortages so the continuous water bath is out. Thanks in advance to everyone.

-- Kevin Kemner (, May 28, 2001


One quite primitve method to keep an elevated temperature more or less constant is using two mineral-water bottles with warm water lying in a bigger tray, positioning the tray to be warmed on the bottles. It is much easier with the plastic bottles with a rectangular cross section than with round ones. The water in the bottles must be somewhat warmer than the target temperature.

Regards, Thomas Wollstein

-- Thomas Wollstein (, May 29, 2001.

I think Thomas is on the right track. You need a larger tray with hot water in it in which to place your toning tray. Then you need some hot water bottles (or, as he says, some rectangular plastic bottles) into which you pour near-boiling water as necessary to keep your toning tray at the temperature you desire. My experience is that as long as the toner is somewhere between 100 and 110 the toning proceeds fairly rapidly.

By the way, I'm curious about the details of your split toning. Care to share your secrets?

-- Ed Buffaloe (, May 29, 2001.

You might try a microwave oven for quickly warming to temperature. The outer-tray water bath should hold it at temperature.

Heat in a pyrex measuring cup or beaker; cover with plastic wrap so spatters don't get out.

Try with water first to find out how long it takes to bring the solution to the temperature you want.

-- Charlie Strack (, May 30, 2001.

According to Photographers' Formulary, microwaving will ruin Nelson's Gold toner.

I use a food warming tray to maintain Nelson's Gold at working temperature. Not exactly cheap, but much more convenient and effective than a hot water bath.

-- Chris Ellinger (, May 31, 2001.

Curious about the microwave--do they say why? Perhaps too much energy at the individual molecules?

Does stove heating do the same?

-- Charlie Strack (, May 31, 2001.

They don't say why microwave heating will ruin it.

I imagine stove heating (though faster) would be as safe as water bath or food tray heating.

-- Chris Ellinger (, June 01, 2001.

You could try a home heating pad...I have had some success with this approach, but be sure to plug it into a GFI outlet.

-- carl subich (, June 07, 2001.

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