Kevin, I rinse the film in water for about 1 minute before going into the stop bath. I do the same for both tray and tank processing.

Ole's home brew alkaline fixer bath works just the same as TF-4 and Ilford Rapid Fixer. No stop bath needed and no Hypo Clearing Agent (HCA) needed - just water. Send Ole a PM for his formula (he's an APUG member - with chemical expertise).
For the chemicals to mix Ole's fixer (and other photo chemistry) here are a couple of resources:

Artcraft will sell you photographic chemicals and will also mix photographic formulas for you.

The Chemistry Store:
Another good source for photo chemicals.