Category: Letterpress

How Not to Make Matrix Blanks

The Lanston Monotype display matrices are essentially rectangles of brass (or aluminum) approximately 1⅛×¾×0.094″ with two corners cut off at an angle. It would seem that the best material to start with would be 1/8×¾″ brass strip, and the first

Posted in Kevin, Matrix Making Tagged with:

Tramming the Mill

In order to get a good finish when milling the top surface of a part, as I will be doing to prepare matrix blanks, it is necessary that the axis of the mill spindle be perpendicular to the surface of

Posted in Basement Workshop, Equipment Acquisition, Repair, and Maintenance, Kevin, Matrix Making

An Interem Solution to the Pneumatic Valves Problems

This week I’ve been occupied with (finally) putting away all the display mats I bought last year at the Anderson and Skyline matrix auctions. They have been cluttering up the shop since last summer with their variety of packaging. I

Posted in Caster Computer Control, Equipment Acquisition, Repair, and Maintenance, Kevin, Matrix Making, Monotype Composition Caster Tagged with:

Converting the Outline to a Pantograph Template

In the process of cutting a matrix for the 18-point @ I made up to go with Swing Bold, I need to make a template to run the pantograph tracer against. The edge of the template has to be high

Posted in Kevin, Matrix Making Tagged with: , ,

Matrix Making: Handling Ink Gain

Letterpress printing has a property called “ink gain” where the inked area left on the printed sheet is a tiny bit larger than the type used to do the printing. Because of this, when designing type (which includes designing the

Posted in Gorton 3U Pantograph, Kevin, Matrix Making

Designing Swing Bold @ 18 point

Having decided to use my pantograph to try making a display matrix for my Monotype caster, and having chosen to make an at-sign (@) to match 18-point Swing Bold, the next task was to actually examine other letters in this

Posted in Kevin, Matrix Making

Making a Display Matrix, but Which One?

It seems natural for me, as a first project using my new pantograph engraver, to try making a matrix. Rather than designing a whole new family of typefaces (or even a single typeface), I decided to make a single character.

Posted in Kevin, Matrix Making, Matrix Markings

Cleaning and refilling the Monotype pot

For the casting job I have coming up I want to use Monotype medium alloy (74/10/16% Pb/Sn/Sb) rather than the softer Linotype alloy (84/4/12%) currently in the pot, which I was using to cast spacing. To do this, I got

Posted in Equipment Acquisition, Repair, and Maintenance, Kevin, Monotype Composition Caster, Type Casting

Will the real Swing Bold please step forward

I’m getting ready to cast some 18-point Swing Bold (Monotype #217) for someone and I’ve found that my test casts don’t match the samples I received for alignment matching. Each group of 3 letters shows the alignment sample between two

Posted in Font Casting, Kevin, Monotype Composition Caster

Yesterday’s dumb move

In my last post I mentioned problems with flash and squirts around the seal between the matrix and the display mould. I have since added a comment alluding to the probable cause of this problem: Forgetting to reinstall the link

Posted in Font Casting, Kevin, Monotype Composition Caster