Hi,

A few points:

I suggest not beveling the film. It should load as easily if it is cut exactly square. Beveling may cause the film tip to slip out and scratch the next layer of film in the spiral, and it will be impossible to load further. The reel must be absolutely dry. Even a tiny drop of moisture will make everything stick, and will force you to abandon the operation. When you load a film, always load it well past the minimum. When you use the take-up action of the spool, once the entire film is on the spool, push the trailing edge a further finger length onto the spool, or as far as it will go. If you leave the film as it loaded, then once you unclick the spool to take the film out, in turning the one half of the spool it will catch the film and kink it quite badly. Another way to do it is to remove the film by flexing it enough to slip out of the groove, but you do so at own risk. I prefer unhinging the spool unless the film gets caught.

About dust: My first few films were very dusty, and I have become a lot more careful since then. Use clean water and clean chemicals for processing. Tap water is fine, but there must not be any particulate matter floating around. Check your fixer - sometimes a precipitate can form which will stick to the film. Although it can be washed off, this is time consuming and can potentially degrade the film. If there is a precipitate, decant off the clear part and use only that. For final wash, use a drop or two of wetting agent (not too much!) in distilled or purified water that has close to zero TDS. Don't use softened water - the object is to obtain a film that is dry without any drying marks due to salts or deposits. When you hang the film to dry, do not squeegee it. Very important: hang the film in a dust-free place. I use my darkroom with fans off and door closed, and myself outside. Like all animals, we are all constantly shedding dead skin cells, and these can get onto and spoil a drying film. So while the film is drying, try not to keep it company - it will do fine on its own.

An inversion is from upright to upside-down and back to upright. It is not necessary to shake the tank as if your life depends on it. Think of it as creating motion but not shock. An inversion takes me about 2.5 to 3 seconds. For most films, that means three or four inversions (= 10 seconds) per minute. For some developers that are prone to foaming (TMax Dev is a good example) the inversions must be done as gently as possible. This is to prevent foam that causes eneven development if your film is barely covered at the top, or worse, bubbles sticking to the film during development. To minimise the latter, give the tank a firm thump onto the table or shelf where you are working, after every agitation cycle (while it is upright) before you set it down again. Try not to break the tank, though. That is not recommended.

If you do not have a film retriever, I suggest getting one. It is much easier to cut the tip straight in daylight than in the dark, and it makes a big difference to the ease of loading if it is straight and not cut through the sprocket holes, for instance. This is a non-issue with 120 film, but for 35 mm needs to be considered.