You're far more likely to screw up after about 40 rolls of film when you feel like you have it all licked and you don't label your containers well so you pour in the fixer first. (Three guesses how I know that!).
There is nothing like that feeling I know. In my case I was about to move 6 sheets of film to the fixer, but there wasn't a tray there. I'd spent 13 minutes in stop bath.
Again, thanks to everyone for their thoughts. The next question is about temperatures during development. Ilford is pretty specific about development times based on temperature and dilution of the developer.
I watched J Brunner's videos and I took away that temperature and time is pretty important - he did not get very specific about his developer other than it being a one shot. BTW, that was a great video series. :-)
David, temperature is indeed important and should be monitored as carefully as you can - and that includes the other chemicals and wash water, which ideally should all be at or pretty close to the developer temperature. Try to do the best you can - and as I think Bill pointed out earlier keeping the process to within a few degrees sounds harder than it actually is. Also, today's materials from Ilford, Kodak and Fuji are pretty forgiving, and even if you're off a little you'll probably get a pretty good negative. Printing controls give you a lot of lattitude. The notion you need a perfectly exposed and developed negative to make a fine print is false, and dangerous. Do the best you can, but realize many of the great prints you've ever seen by the finest photographers were made from imperfect negatives. This is why I highly recommend inexperienced darkroom practitioners begin with a good basic book, and/or the how-to publications from Ilford and Kodak. Web forums etc can be great for discussion and problem solving, but information overload (both good and bad information unfortunately) on any given topic can become confusing and make the entire process seem almost impossible to do well.
David: I find the best approach to be using room temperature for everything, unless room temperature is less than about 66F or more than about 74F. If you have your chemistry at room temperature, and that temperature falls within that range, the manufacturer's information will include a recommendation for how long you should develop the film. The times for the other chemicals generally need not be changed.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
2. I was expecting my cold water to be too cold, and to add small amounts of warm water to bring it up to 20C. Well... my cold water was about 2 degrees too warm! I had to let my cold water run for a long time to get it below 20C. So getting all my chems to 20c took a longer than I was expecting. ( We're on a well and I use reverse osmosis filtered water to mix all the chems... the well water from the tap was for the tub to get all the temps right )
I use, amongst things, soups that are pre-mixed (xtol etc.) and other re-use fluids (like fixer etc.). When they come out from the locker where I keep em they hold 25-26° C most of the time (I live in the south of france). About 30-50 minutes in the fridge brings em down to 20, in glass containers closer to 30 mins, in plastic closer to 50 mins.