Category: Letterpress

More Equipment!

The main reason for my visit to Don Black last Friday was to pick up a new (to me) machine. This is a Gorton 3U pantograph mill/engraver, which turned up when Don and Craig were reorganizing their stock. This machine

Posted in Equipment Acquisition, Repair, and Maintenance, Gorton 3U Pantograph, Kevin, Other people Tagged with: ,

Cleaning up unearths a treasure—a month late

I did a round of cleaning up in the shop, partly to search for my missing mat holder, and partly because I picked up more parts from Don Black. While cleaning up, I found the box of stuff I picked

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

Measuring air valve spring strength

In addition to poor flow when open, the other shortcoming of my stock of surplus Matrix pneumatic valves is poor sealing (leakage) when operated in NC mode, where the shutter spring is the only force holding back the flow of

Posted in Caster Computer Control, Equipment Acquisition, Repair, and Maintenance, Kevin

Measuring air valve shutters

Looking deeper into the poor airflow observed on my stock of surplus Matrix pneumatic valves, I did a subjective measurement of the airflow on each port, on a scale from 0 to 5, using a 20PSI supply. At zero, the

Posted in Caster Computer Control, Equipment Acquisition, Repair, and Maintenance, Kevin

Pneumatic valves for Monotype computer control

The most expensive and bulky aspect of making a system for computer control of the Monotype composition caster is the pneumatic solenoid valves. You need 31 valves, and they typically cost $30-$50 each. They are generally large enough that they

Posted in Caster Computer Control, Equipment Acquisition, Repair, and Maintenance, Kevin

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

More store rearranging

This week we had to get a fresh bale of bleached abaca pulp down from the upper tier of the racking in our store. This meant clearing a path for the forklift, which in turn meant moving almost everything. We

Posted in Equipment Acquisition, Repair, and Maintenance, Kevin, Thompson British Platen Press

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

American pump on an English caster? Nope!

As part of test-fitting the parts for lead-and-rule casting, I found that there is a critical size difference between the American and English pump bodies. Both these pumps take a ⅞″ diameter piston. The section of the pump that the

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

Converting the Composition Caster to Lead-and-Rule casting

One thing I would like to be able to do with my Monotype Composition Caster is to cast spacing and rule. There is a kit of parts required to make the change-over, and I now have most of the necessary

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