Did my first “press run”

Of all things I numbers job tickets for our shop on my little Hohner. The guy that normally would do this on our ATF Little Giant was on vacation and instead of running the 10 x 13 job bags through a large format inkjet I took them home and and did them. I got lucky and had a numbering machine where the whole unit was the plunger as my rollers didn’t have enough tension to push the normal machine plunger down and so it wasn’t inking the numbers closest to the plunger, so I couldn’t use any of those.

I’ve got a real job to do now. I need to imprint the back of 150 2.75 x 4.75 cards. They’re to small to run on any of our offset presses so I offered to run them letterpress. Biggest problem now is finding a complete enough set of hand type to compose the three or four lines we need. Just a shame the shop tossed about 100 drawers of lead years ago.

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Hi Lammy,

Contact someone with a linecaster (Intertype, Linotype or Ludlow) to set the text you need.Cheaper than sourcing hand set type, plus the face will be crisp and unworn.

Ask for 2 slugs of each line just in case you crash the forme!!!


Ink rollers do not move the numbering machine plunger - impression does. As to non-inking of machine numbers nearest the plunger, well, do not lock the machine parallel to the rollers. Instead, position the numbers to meet the rollers at a right-angle. Adjust your feed accordingly. Also, locking in a platen differs from locking in a cylinder press. And never lock a numbering machine from the ends.

I’ll have to look and see how they do it on the Little Giant at the shop. Never noticed if the machines are always perpendicular to the rollers or not.

Funny thing was the machines with the NO plunger on them I knew to lock up on the long ends, but the wetter machine had to be locked on the short ends because the mechanism the rotates the numbers actually moves outside the body of the machine. pretty cool, wish I could find another one like it.


I have new fonts of types (all sizes - various faces etc.).
Small job fonts for three or four lines, etc. Email if interested. Sal