Monotype Keyboard Quiz

I am starting to work on my Monotype keyboard, the main issue appears to be many of the air pistons are seized. I have some reference books however none of them identify the special function key buttons that I see. Eventually they could be worked out but does anyone know enough to identify the various buttons highlighted? I have numbered them to be easy to identify and added an enlarged view, fourteen in all. Thanks!

image: Keyboard Button I.D..jpg

Keyboard Button I.D..jpg

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Few clues for starters:- mostly from rusty memory, generally Caster Ops did not need to know the workings of the Keyboard, follows.

1 = 9 unit Nut Rule, akin to modern computer keyboard to the right of the (0) zero.

2 = Repeater, one keystroke signals the Caster to *Step & Repeat* any designated character to fill out the line to the full, with mutton quads, multi dot leaders, etc.manually tripped by the Machine to bring the line out and return to zero, one key tap saved time and a lot of spool paper.

9 = Quadder, one keystroke, permits the Air Tower on the Caster to mark time for either 5 or 10 revolutions, and cast multiples of 5 or 10 nominated characters, again saving spool paper.!

3,5,6,7,11,13, 14, (11, 13, 14, duplicated on right hand button bank) = fixed known size spaces for NON justified setting. i,e, Range left, poetry, verse etc.

8 and 12, (white button) = left and right button banks 2 dot and 3 dot leaders, can be substituted on and by the Caster operator for 4/5/6, dot leaders for Roman and Italic face or Bold Multi dot leaders, as job dictates, more permutations also.
At 255 characters from the more popular Die-case arrangement, 15 x 17 rows capacity was at a premium.

10 & 13, = (guesswork only) the Key-board was up-graded to perforate Spools for the Monophoto,? still Hot Metal compatible, believed the logos pointing up/down were line shift up and/or down.

4 = (again speculation) Monophoto special purpose, would have been 4 unit space.

12, (red key?) = Normal carriage or scale return.

Not all exactly correct maybe, please and by all means, constructive and additional comments and corrections welcome,?


Seized air pistons,? not an easy one, 3 possible alternatives, or combination of all three, in the entire pneumatic chain there are at least 3 possibilities that prohibit the Punches from rising,

A. under the pistons proper, and against the face of the valve chest, every piston sits on an *O* ring, over time degrades, gets hard Or soft and makes the pistons stick.!!

B, under the back and rear of the keyboard, (via the trap door) is the primary set of pistons, connected to the KEY BARS proper, unless the keyboard has been supplied with moisture free air, those pistons (like small steel rods,) although running in Brass sleeves pick up rust particles from the incoming air supply pipe(s).

That valve chest is normally well protected by oil impregnated Felt Pads AND fine mesh Brass gauze, but because it is *Out of Sight/Out of Mind* it virtually never gets inspected or checked, it, the valve chest is admittedly not easy to get too.

C. The multitude of Keybars within the keybar frame(s) are usually Nickel or Cadmium Plated but do not last forever without being cleaned, and consequently being close proximity, stick together which usually shows up as more than 2 punches coming up together, (except in the case of variable spaces which involve 3 punches.!!

Cleaning the actual Keybars is an horrendous job, either the entire keybar frame taken to pieces, WITHOUT losing the sequence, each bar, individually cleaned with spirit, blow dried, and slightly lubricated with Graphite powder, (filched from the Linotype Dept,??) . .Second method the entire Key-bar frame immersed in Spirit, left to soak, and then, as above. Less man hours, etc.

Mick, that is very good from memory! Your ideas for repair areas is appreciated, I have to get right into it. The keybutton frames have already been taken apart and the rust removed.
Lots more to do. Then to the caster. Thanks!

Dan J. thank you, as I implied The Caster is my number one *Forte* since 1954 it should BE.! including input from the Monotype Factory Redhill Surrey U.K and the Monotype School in London.

The keyboard is lower down the learning curve, but during the eventual and long drawn out Demise, and after Monotype,s back up was terminated, (in favour of the Monophoto and the Lasercomp) by default a certain amount of unexpected learning came to the fore.

I would like to think, (in the context of saying that specifies):-
In the land of the Blind The one eyed person is king, and because I had been fortunate with some serious input, from a lot of well informed people and organisations I Had/Have a lot to pass on.

You are welcome to talk direct by E Mail, from B.P. etc.! anytime.

Perhaps trawl the Web, key in .>The Counter Press, type foundry, sort of,!< . Re Pilcrows.?. NOT my words, little bit of poetic license from the Authors, but may explain my eccentricity, learning curve, and passion.