Photoelectric measurements indicate that previously measured volume photoelectric thresholds in metals between 8 and 9 12 e.v. are the result of gaseous contamination of the metals. The out-of-focus grazing vacuum monochromator design allows simple and inexpensive contruction of monochromators for the soft x-ray region such that the exit and entrance slits are fixed during a spectral scan and are not inside the main vacuum chamber. This permits use of the pseudowindow for the production of better vacua in which to prepare samples for study. The first direct measurement of the surface plasma loss at the interface between two metals gives further support to the surface plasma wave theory in metals. The sum of the volume plasma losses for layered thin films has also been observed. A modification of the Faraday cage is described which improved the performance of this detector.