McGreal Combination Chase

Recently I was going through a Keystone Specimen catalog (pdf sadly) and I saw a product called the McGreal Combination Chase.

These are various lengths with a dovetail joints, the fantail tenon is on one end and the mortise is on the side of the opposite end.

Has anyone had any experience with such chase constructions? I am considering getting a quote on having a batch cut through an online service.

Before I do that, I would like to hear what experiences people have had with such things.

image: McGreal Chase.jpg

McGreal Chase.jpg

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i worked for a company that made rubber plates for printing on corrugated boxes, we set type by hand then locked it in chases. The company had a bunch of chases made from aluminum like the ones you show but they had the blocks of aluminumdrilled and taped on the ends and 2 bolts counter sunk in each end. all the furniture was made from aluminum. These worked extremely well, i thought the aluminum was too soft but it held up very well. it made some of the huge chases we locked up a lot lighter than using metal furniture.

Do you remember if they were dovetailed like the McGreal or were the ends just finished with a radius and then locked together using the bolts?

Honestly, if that is the case then I won’t have to have anything custom cut as I can drill/counter/tap myself.

assuming I can find aluminum bar that is 5/8” thick without having to get access to a mill…..

there were no dovetails, the ends were just butted together. when we locked up the forms we had to lock them tighter than i have ever seen, most steel chases would break, we used mostly challenge quoins which we would break once in a while, the quoin keys would snap all the time, we probably broke at least a key every month. i worked there about 6 or 7 years and in that time only once did one of these aluminum chases have a bolt break. our smaller chases were about the size of a meihle vertical chase, the larger ones were bigger than a newspaper page.

This kind of chase is suitable for, as Dick described, rubber plate making, stereotyping, or electrotyping. You could not, I think, use it in a press, unless you locked it into the press chase. You would have to have the 4 sides made to the exact length needed for the press or the chase would not fit right. It could be used in a proof press, of course.


I have my original 7x11 chase for the Pearl no3 so I do have the critical measurements for that.

I was thinking more along the lines of my Nolan proof and then I have a large bed (24x44) Conrad combo press (itaglio/relief/litho) that I want to be able to lock up wood type/lino block/etc.

Plus with this system I would be able to make divided chases that much easier.

I think I might have to pick up some bar stock and make one up and see how it works out.

have you heard of Quick Chases