Listen to Andrew...short cuts in wet plate generally get you to where you do not want to be...from cleaning the plate to varnishing it. K
I agree with Andrew as well. When I first was getting into wet plate, I thought two things. I thought traditional Sandarac was going to be too tough to work with and I would NEVER use KCN as a fix.
The first thing I did when actually started shooting on my own was make a great batch of Sandarac and started fixing with KCN. I think Sandarac is easy, gives a great result, is archival, has a great gloss, etc.
I only use sodium thiosulfate when doing collodion negatives, otherwise I prefer KCN. But it MUST be respected when handling and storing etc. if you do that it is fine, it fixes and rinses fast. Know about safe handling before using.
Oh yeah, I would highly recommend taking a collodion workshop if you can. It will likely shorten the learning curve a great deal and pay for itself.
I often hear that when going into wetplate photography, one needs to have some specific knowledge in chemistry. What would be some recommended reading for someone considering taking the plunge into the process?