Ditto what everyone else has been saying about Ziatypes. They're easy-peasy. And I'll put in yet another vote for the Richeson 9010 "magic brush". Just soak it in distilled water between coatings, and squeeze off excess water just prior to coating. Minimal difference in coating volume required vs. rod coating, and you have far more control over emulsion distribution. Especially if your coating surface is not dead flat and level (but you should coat on top of a sheet of glass or plexi anyway, to smooth things out). Another thing to think about is - QUIT WORRYING ABOUT WASTE. Until your coating technique is flawless, you'll want to have enough excess coating to gauge the exposure by examining your borders. If you pour so little emulsion that you only have enough to cover the negative's surface area, you'll not have enough to judge exposure by, and run the risk of not having enough to actually evenly coat the entire image area. A little waste at the edges is far cheaper than throwing out a print because the exposure was uneven due to thin coating.