OK...so I did my first 30x40 in my diy "single tray" system - which worked great logistically. But...there are some distinct artifacts on the finished print - in the form of areas of slightly different densities which are bordered by slightly skewed edges which themselves are not perfectly straight, but "straight-ish." There are two of these areas in succession, parallel to each other but again, not quite parallel with the edge of the paper. A bit subtle to show here with photos, so bear with me a bit. And before I go further, know that the negative is fine.

To back up...I'm cutting this paper from a roll...and while my easel holds things nice and flat - the paper rolls up again as I release it after exposure, so I then lay it in the dry tray and run water into this for a bit...then work the curl out of the paper. Paper gets nice and flat in about a minute, but I give about a minute extra to be sure prior to dumping the water and pouring in developer. The paper does sit still for about fifteen or so seconds until I can get enough water into the tray to start agitating.

The developer covers the print nicely (and quickly), and I find that tray-rocking works great for agitation.

I went back through my entire process...from feeding the paper from the roll into my diy cutting jig - loading into easel... etc. Looked for any sources of stray light but could find none. Thought for a bit that my safelight might be a bit close but could see absolutely no shadow pattern from this.

Two thoughts. One - that this paper roll is nearing its end and is well over a year old...so possibly the factory supplied black plastic sleeve has not been protective enough over time. But then the slightly skewed shape of the density shift borders, and their slightly "liquid" edges, don't quite support this suspicion. So my second thought is that the density shift edges are formed as the still-rolled print sits momentarily in water prior to my actively agitating it to facilitate flattening. But again, this is water. I'd understand something like this happening if I went right into developer - or perhaps if I were using some developer incorporated paper...but this is Ilford Classic fiber, and I'm giving the paper a good extra minute in the water after it becomes flat - so I'm really scratching my head over this.

Perhaps I should have water in the tray prior to placing in the rolled print...and then try to be quick about getting it to unroll, doing my best to attain water coverage as quickly and evenly as possible? But trying to be so "quick" while wetting out a dry roll makes me nervous about creating creases.

Long question short...has anyone here experienced anything similar to this - specifically...artifacts on a print related to a paper pre-soak?