I see so many postings regarding the dreaded scratching of sheet film during tray development. The primary cause of this is operator error and is easily correctable. Assuming one is using 4x5 sheet film: Speed kills. I developed 59 sheets of film yesterday. With the last batch, I finally hit on a very safe procedure. I set my Gra-Lab timer for several minutes and drop a negative into the presoak at thirty second intervals. That may seem like a long time. However, I drove 5600 miles for these negatives. An extra three minutes is miniscule. The added individual time afforded an amazing difference. The first time shuffling indicated the films were ready for the developer. Related to speed, I used to develop as many as 18 sheets at a time. Buying a Gravity Works sheet film washer has proven a good governor. Twelve sheets is the limit. Actually, eight is a more comfortable number. I use more solution than before. In 8x10 Paterson trays (the ones with the very handy grooves on the bottom) I use two quarts of liquid. Is this being spendthrift? Not really. The fixer has the same capacity. Water is water. I have switched to more dilute HC110. I used to use dilution B (one part syrup to thirty one parts of water). Yesterday I was using one part syrup to forty-eight parts water. I used seven minutes instead of five with the stronger solution. As I had several batches to process, I used six quarts of water and four ounces of syrup in a Paterson 11x14 tray. The "splat" sound of the sheets landing flat on the water surface means there are no dive bombers trying to inflict scratches. Is tray development the "best" way? That's another question. However, to answer that question fairly, I think one really must judge from a position of proficiency.