I have used a variation of this technique in the past.Originally Posted by Helen B
I use a glass plate as an easel. I focus the enlarger and frame the print on a throw-away piece of the chosen enlarging paper. I make position marks with strips of masking tape on the glass.
I soak a sheet of paper in developer, allow the excess developer to drain off then place the paper on the glass plate and lightly squeegee.
With the safe light off, I turn on the enlarger light and timer. I carefully watch a critical highlight/shadow interface in the print. When the densities appear to merge, I turn off the enlarger light/timer and note the exposure time.
At this point, I turn on the safe light and examine the image. If required, I sponge on more developer, squeegee and expose again (if needed - sometimes all that is needed is more developer).
As you might expect, you can use split development with this technique, as well.
I learned this trick from my old and dear friend Al Mandl, who learned it in the early 1930's in Czechoslovakia.