sorting the typefaces

hello everybody…
long live the letterpress!!!
i would like to know if there is a quick way to sort out the typeface and how should i arrange it back in the cases

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If you are using a California Job Case, take a peek at the Briar Press Home Page Header. It shows all the characters in their proper positions.

i don’t know which one i have got. its just been a few weeks i’ve got bits and pieces of the printing press and the typefaces…anyways thnx

i’ll try posting some pics of what i’ve got…lately during the week

Hello nashibd,

I’m going to take a stab at this. If there are any experienced printers who can correct or add to what I have here, please, please do. I have never had to deal with pied type, so I’m just imagining what I’d do. Nashibd asked for a “quick way.” Please enlighten me, too, if there is one.

Okay, here goes.

First, get yourself a nice flat tray. Among the things you have, there might even be a “galley,” which is a metal tray with a lip around at least three sides of it.

Then look at your type. It might be more orderly that you think. But if it’s completely mixed up, then it’s easiest to start by sorting it according to size. Take the type a few at a time and line them up on the tray so that the little notch or notches (called “nicks”) are facing up. Group the type by height or “point size,” which is to say, by how tall the type stands from the bottom of the tray. You may be lucky and soon discover that your type is already all the same size. If not, then just divide it up that way.

When the type is sorted by size, then you can sort it according to typeface, which is the design of the actual letters. What will help tremendously is the pattern of the nicks. All of the type that goes together has the same pattern of nicks. There may, however, be typefaces that are different with similar nicks, so you have to look at the face, too. If you have trouble deciding whether types goes together, you might photograph some sample faces and perhaps someone on the list can identify it and post a picture of a complete specimen.

Once you get it sorted by size and by typeface, then you can sort it by actual letter, number, or punctuation mark. At this point you can either put it into the cases as you go, or keep it grouped on the tray and load the cases at the end. As John Henry said, once you know what kind of typecases you have, you’ll be able to find out which letters go in which compartments.

Be as careful as you can with the type. Type metal is very soft, and it’s easy to ding the surface, which makes the type unusable unless you’re going for that “grunge” look. It’s best to lay it in the case like firewood, with the foot touching the right side of the compartment and the face touching nothing.

Well, this is a start, anyway.

Barbara

hello Barbara

thanks for the tips

i’ve attached some pictures of the type cases, type faces and some other stuffs that i’ve bought from a scrap yard…

i wanna learn how to make cliche also…

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Nashibd,

If this was the old days there was a machine that would sort the type for you. Like a modern day CoinStar ┬«. Actually CoinStar┬« is a machine that is owned by SortStar┬«. They make multiple sorting machines, for coins, fruit, shoes, puzzle pieces, etc. You might want to contact them and see if they know of the machine I’m telling you about.
If you can’t find that particular machine I would suggest combing your local middle schools for small children or looking for jockeys, someone with small enough fingers.
Once you have small fingers either by finding someone else or through genetic manipulation I would start sorting the type by size, then by nick and then by type face. You might want to by a magnifying glass or a telescope since this is a very tedious process.
If all else fails you can probably find a really old type composer and he might do it for you. You wouldn’t have to pay him much since he would be so excited to see so much type from such a long time ago.

Until you are familiar with the job case scheme it may go faster to sort into a tray with four, or ideally seven or eight, rows of seven boxes. Top row begins with 1, the third row with the period and the fourth row with A. I and U are traditionally left to the end somewhere. If you have enough of any font you can keep the lower case letters separate in the same pattern.

I gave up on stereotyping bits like ‘Holy Bible’. But in the process I discovered that an alternative to tying up standing phrases for foil stamping was to parafin them when warm and let them cool before setting them aside until next time. Since I do foil stamping I don’t know whether parafin might present a challenge for nice letterpress work.

the quickest way to sort this type would be to buy a ludlow and a few fonts of mats.good luck

Having inherited quite a large amount of type which had originally been emptied from California cases into a large bucket, I have gradually refined my sorting procedure.

Your photo of the huge garbage bag full of metal type gave me rather a ‘deja vu’ moment.

The first thing I did was to spread the type (as carefully as possible), onto a flat floor spread with sturdy paper or cardboard. Then, with a small dustpan I divided the heap into 2litre ice cream containers. I finished up with twelve full.

I began by tipping each potfull in turn onto a large white tray and picking out all the 24 and 18pt letters, which reduced the bulk somewhat. I thought if I removed the heaviest sizes it would lessen the risk of damage to the smaller ones. Once I’d collected these two sizes I distributed them into Californian cases in accordance with the images on Briar Press (thank you for that)

Then I went back to the first container and tipped out about half. In the manner of the bank tellers counting change, I removed everything from approximately 8 points and smaller. This made the various 16,14,12 and 10 pt letters easier to identify and stand, with signatures up, in long rows according to size. As I had already ascertained that my type was all one typeface, with some italic variations, I removed the italic forms and kept them all separately.

Once the rows became too long, I distributed them into their appropriate cases.

It’s a lengthy process, but when you’re a rank beginner like me, you have to be thankful for what you can find. Australia is not an easy country to hunt down supplies!

Sorry for this lengthy tome, but for once I felt I could chirp up with something I had experienced!

Back to the sorting table.

Cecilia Sharpley
www.cecilia-letteringart.com
www.duckpond-design.com.au/theduckpond
www.papermakers.org.au

I acquired large batches of pied type twice in my printing career. The first time the types were of an historic nature and a good number of the faces were worth saving. I started by removing the largest types and sorting by nicks. After a while it is possible to readily recognize certain types in a pile. I discovered that good foundry type will survive a massive pi, but it is terribly hard on Monotype. I still have about thirty cigar boxes full of type which I have been toting around for twenty years which need sorting… maybe tomorrow. The second batch was two large coffee cans of brand new Monotype, 10 pt italic, three similar faces, all the same size… maybe the day after tomorrow….

thank you all…

its really nice to get these tips…

i am a beginner in the letterpress world

and here in Mauritius, letterpress is on the verge of extinction like the DODO Bird…

i’m gonna experience something gr8 in my life…

saving theses fonts…

One more tip. If you love books — and as a printer I’m guessing that you do — then get some audiobooks to listen to while you sort the type. I download books from audible.com and play them on my iPod or stream them from the computer. Good choices would be books that don’t require rapt attention every second, since you may need to devote more or less of your mental focus to the type as you work. Right now I’m listening to Original Sin by P.D. James, which is especially apropos since it’s set in a publishing house.

Barbara

I had to sort a bit of pied type when I got my press, I found that listening to music helped a lot. The dancer within was sorting to the rhythm of the music.

hi guys…
i’ve started sorting out the typefaces and its quite a slow going task…
don’t know how long it will take though…
anyway…
thnx for your tips…
listening to muse & laroux by the way…

I would look for somebody building their own sailboat. They could melt it down for ballast in the keel.

Hope I don’t get drummed out of the type-sorters union for this but if it were me, having dealt with a similar load of pied type myself, I would find someone with a typecaster and try to sell the metal, trade for some new type, or if nothing else give it to them and make a new friend.

Unless what you have is a rare typeface and it’s foundry type it’s probably not much good and not worth the time to sort it. New type isn’t that expensive and I can only think of one other thing that surpasses the joy of distributing and printing from shiny new type. (A big glass of ovaltine before bed.)

Bob Walp
http://www.chestercreekpress.com

Bob, when I first saw the leaf bags full of pied type, I was worried that I’d have nightmares for weeks. I certainly appreciate your excellent suggestions. But nashibd is in Mauritius. As places go, that’s about as small and remote as you can you can get. I mean, there are barely a million people in the whole country.

Nashibd, maybe what you can do is get some closeup photographs of some of the type and post it so we can see what you have. If it is rare foundry type that hasn’t been dinged up too badly, then sorting it out might be very worthwhile. Otherwise you might consider Bob’s suggestions.

Barbara

Oops. Right you are Barb. Should’ve checked that first.

Close ups of the type is a good idea.

Bob Walp
http://www.chestercreekpress.com

BarbHauser and Bob Walp…

thnx guys…

i like your realistic point of view…

i’m quite a sensible person…Blah Blah Blah…

To be able to have a printing industry as they call it here its quite a lot of money, around Rs3.5Million rupees around,$116666.66

i assumed that a dollars is equivalent to Rs30(Rs means Mauritian rupees)

i did a Bsc Mathematics,statistics and computing in uk and did a certificate in mortgage advice and pratice

and i started working there as a Business Development Manager in the uk

But then i never dreamt of writing and stuffs…

in 2007 i came back to mauritius and i’m working on two major projects…

i’m a web developper as well…

thats a small brief of who i am…Blah Blah Blah

So as i’m not from a very rich or wealthy family…

i can’t find the funds or sponsors to finace my projects…

i am working on a web based nespaper, its concept…

and secondly i’m working on the learning and skills council which is an association…

my aim is to have around 350 000 members to run many different side projects to help my fellow countrymen…

from Programs for Youth - an international language school

programs for adults- Learn to teach program

Aquaculture Program.

Organic Farming Program.

Sustainable development program.

i need to print invitation cards to promote my website…

if i go to a local printer, MONEY TALKS

to get a job done ITS ONLY MONEY AND MONEY

so instead…as i don’t want any leaks in my plans so that others get to know what i’m up to…i want desperately to have my own little printing industry to print my own stuffs…

i don’t have a political agenda but i have a national and maybe one day an international agenda to help making the world a better place for my kids to live in…(i’m not married yet though)

i don’t want to have a career in only one fields…Mathematics and Mother Nature are my main Interests in life…

and like Barbara said Mauritius is indeed a small country with only 1million people…

if i have the FOOTJOB printing machine running, i would be able to communicate somehow with the country and work ahead for my projects to become a reality…

anyway here in mauritius there’s only one guy running a MONOTYPE to cast typefonts and he aint have different typefaces…he only have times new roman fron point 10 to 18 or 24 he said and he would sell the typefaces by pounds…

one pound of type face will cost around 1US$

i told him that i will be publish my own research findings and will be designing my own questionnaires for surveys and stuffs…

he then told me i would need around 70 pounds of typefaces to be able to do that…

but then i met someone who sold me all these typefaces and 25 cases for only 70US$…

he told me the typefaces has been dormant for 27 years i went to his place, paid and collected these from him…

anyway…i know its hard to sort this out…

but i am really devoted to what i wanna do…

the country is beautiful and the people are lovely…

but i think that my contribution can help alleviate poverty, promote good governance and use the natural resources around to make something really worth calling Mauritius the star and key of the INDIAN OCEAN

thanks to those who understand and who give good advice like Professionals and nice people…

and for those who are just being rude…i pray so that peace can be upon their souls

sorting the lot

sorting the lot

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Nashibd, if the rest of me were as free as my spirit, I would come help you.

Barbara

thnx dear…

nashibd
Just out of interest I think everyone would like to see photos of what kind of press you’re planning to use?

FOOTJOB printing machine - I’m guessing you have a treadle platen…

Good luck

The world could use a few more people like you, Nashbd. Keep up the good work!

from a scrap yard…

its really in a bad condition…

but i’m keen on restoring it…

there many parts broken&missing…

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yeah!!!

i know its kind of mission impossible

looking back at everything i have here…

but i’m too deep into it…

its not the end of the world yet!

It looks like it says Harrild & Sons on that gear wheel - you might want to talk to these people for ideas on whether it’s possible to get parts and refurbish it…

http://britishletterpress.co.uk

It looks to me an Arab platen press. If not an Arab, a similar British press.

And looking carefully at the photos of it, one foot and part of the main frame seem to be missing!

yep…
u r perfectly right thomas…
i’ve searched the whole web for this arab platen press…
harrild&sons worked in Southwark, london…
but that was in the 1840’s…
its not a complicated machine though…
if i had my own foundry, i would have sand casted the right leg and use cast iron to remould it…
its quite an easy process…but to melt the iron i need temperature higher than 1000degrees celcius…
that’s the problem, craftmanship no more exixts in Mauritius…

I had an Arab myself, until the mid 1980s and restored it from scrap. I was still able to get parts from Excelsior Printer’s Supplies in North London, but sadly enough they’re out of business. Anyway, there are plenty of these machines around. There is a very good site in the UK with instructions on how to put the machine up. I have a whole lot of photos of my own machine and of one that sits in the Science Museum in London. Right now, however, I packed everything up, to move and I don’t know how long my stuff will be in storage.

thank you very much…

this will be of great help…

good luck with your moving…

nashibd
how are you getting on with your press - the reason I ask is because I have recently acquired a harrild platen - it’s very similar to yours…

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4486463938/

If you want some more photos let me know…

Saw a mini-blast furnace once—made out of kiln brick and leaf blowers.

Best wishes, Brian

If you’re looking into making new castings for anything, here’s a book on a small cupola furnace capable of producing 100-lb castings in a single pour, and capable of doing much more than that in a single melt (technical terms, mind)…

http://www.lindsaybks.com/bks3/chcup/index.html

However, you’d have to make a whole new pattern for the side frame to replace what’s missing, because with gray iron, especially of different ages, it doesn’t come together in a weld or brazed connection like steel does. The joint is unlikely to hold between iron of different chemical composition (different melts). So making a pattern and casting a whole new part would be necessary.

This publisher also has books on “green-sand” casting (by which dampened sand is packed around the wooden pattern and the molten metal is poured into the resulting cavity), as well as patternmaking (in which a wooden “positive” is created appropriately oversized so the finished object is correct size when the metal shrinks in cooling from molten to atmospheric temperature).

Good luck.

Tim Fuller