Howdy Greg, thanks for jumpin' in!
Yeah, there's a lot to read on this thread, so I don't blame you for not reading it all. I guess I'd have to suggest that posting here is a great place, if not the best place, to preserve information for the future. I think the APUG archives will only become more valuable as time goes on, and Sean and the rest of the APUG support staff are very committed to keeping servers online for many, many years to come.
However, David Doubley's website has an excellent archive of dye-transfer information, including what appears to be all of Bob Pace's Keeping Pace newsletters. There's so much good info there, and I'm sure I've only scratched the surface.
Of course there's also Jim Browning's website, and the Yahoo! Dye-Transfer group. Honestly though, I think APUG is becoming or has already become the "clearing house" for all things analog. The platform is modern, easy to navigate and search, and is easily accessible to everyone on Earth. The Yahoo! group, although a very valuable archive in its own right, sees significantly less traffic and is more cumbersome to navigate in my opinion.
My point, I guess, is an invitation to share your knowledge here!
And Ron, sorry I never saw your post from last year. No, I used no paper conditioner of any sort, just a water pre-soak and squeegeeing. One of my problems with uneven dying could be related to agitation while my matrix was in the bath, and by 'agitation' I'm actually referring to the complete lack of any movement! My mistake.. and perhaps this could have something to do with my problems.
On the other hand, I'm not convinced of that. When viewed obliquely against light, these spots of no dye appear to relate to my gelatin relief; or in other words, I think there is no gelatin, hence no dye capture. I'm starting to wonder if my sensitizing procedure is to blame.
Since we're exposing through the base, we need the innermost gelatin to be completely sensitive to UV, a requirement that is never asked of carbon transfer printing where only the outermost gelatin needs sensitized. Obviously it works ok, because most of the image is there, but I seriously suspect that incomplete sensitization and consequent areas of solubilization might be partly to blame for my fugly matrices.