thanks for the shout out !
hi sly, i don't think you can put the silver magnet in your steel wool, silver sludge ..
the magnet works with fixer, and what you have in that bucket is part fixer, part iron, and part silver sludge
so it might foul up the works. if you have a hazardous waste recovery center you might consider disposing of it there
rather than mess with it anymore. you could always put it somewhere "warm" and evaporate the water from it,
and dispose of it at your hazmat disposal days that way too ...
i am south of boston outside of providence ri. the magnets are 55+ 10$ shipping and very easy to use.
the main thing is that your fixer has to be used enough to have a high concentration of silver in it, so using fixer
as a 1 or 2 shot chemical won't cut it. being a student, you probably use sprint chemicals ? i use sprint fixer, it is great !
just take a leader of your film when your fixer is fresh-mixed see how long it takes your film to go to a clear base. periodically do the same test and when it takes
twice the original time (for example, starts with 1 min and eventually takes 2 mins ) your fixer has a high enough concentration of fixer to de-silver.
it takes a little time but eventually you will see the cathode turn darkish, and it is done. ALL the silver isn't out of the fixer though ..
there are also other sorts of things that take the rest of the silver out if you want to spend a little more money ... and these other things
will also take the silver out of your wash water ( which contains some of the fixer ) ...
if you have any other questions feel free to ask, i'm happy to answer whatever questions i can !