Outfitting a 5x8?

I’m starting out and in need of all the standard accoutrement for a 5x8 kelsey. i’m putting together a list and looking for advise on the specifics of what i need to include.

Also, if anyone here has any of this equipment available or can recommend where/who I might ask for it, please let me know?

- Type - I’m looking for early typefaces - Garamond, Cochin, Centaur, Bembo, Caslon, Poliphilus, Plantin, Mercure, etc. Where should i look for these? Do they have to be custom made?

- Rouse composing stick - what length is ideal for the 5x8?

- Rouse slug cutter

- Slug stock - what sizes? Pre-cut sets or just long stock with cutter?

- Furniture - I’m a woodworker, should i bother making it, or is it in such abundance i shouldn’t bother?

- Quions - do i need with Kelsey clamping chase?

- Brass rule - I’d like to do some plain borders and was told to look for this.

- Pica Ruler

- Gauge pins


- Knife

- Type brush

- Ink

- Solvent - suggestions

- Type & Type drawers

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Where are you located? There are various sources, but it makes more sense if we can recommend sources near you.

savannah, ga

Hmmm….I’m located in Canada so shipping would be prohibitive. Look in the Yellow Pages on this site - all the suppliers you need are there, including type founders. Composing stick: long enough to set the longest line you anticipate setting. Slug cutter: nice to have, or at least a Rouse slug clipper (there’s one on eBay right now with the adjustable gauge which is often missing). Slug stock: 2 pt leads and 6 pt slugs, (and a few strips of 1 pt are sometimes handy if you can find them). They come in 2 ft. lengths. Furniture: you could make it but may have trouble cutting it to exact printers’ pica lengths, which makes it harder to work with. Quoins: probably a good idea, especially if your chase doesn’t have screws in both directions (I never used a chase with screws so can’t say for sure). Brass rule: hard to find, you can use regular lead alloy rule instead (it also comes in 2 ft.lengths). Pica ruler (line guage): get the common 12” one, it’s the easiest to use I think. Gauge pins: make them out of heavy paper. (I use double grip gauge pins but they would take up a lot of space on your limited platen size). Tympan…nice to have but you can use mylar or butcher paper or other smooth stong paper. Knife: X-Acto knife with #11 blade or razor blade with holder (get blade holders with guards and be careful to develop procedures which are safe so you won’t get cut). Brush - get one with all hair bristles, NOT with brass or stainless steel bristles. Ink - use litho ink, rubber or oil base (see discussions on this site). Solvent: see discussions on this site. Type drawers (cases): get standard California Job cases for fonts with upper & lower case, otherwise get double, triple or quadruple cap cases for fonts with uppercase letters only. Since you are a woodworker, you could make your cases and a cabinet to hold them, but it is a long tedious process….I tried it and gave up after getting half of the first case made.

If you have more questions fire away :)

from GA, good sources are Fritz at NA Graphics (NAGraph.com), Letterpressthings.com, and ebay, if you are careful to not spend too much. I would stay away from Alan Runfelt at Excelsior, he’s too undependable.

If you will call Fritz late in the day, he will talk with you about what you need, but order from his website.

slug cutter seems over the top for a beginner.

If you have access to a table saw, you can make furniture.

You do not need quions as the chase for a 5 x 8 has screws on two sides that will allow you to tighten small steep plates against the furniture for a tight fit.

have fun and experiment with your press

Any snow in Savannah?