Repairing Wood Type

Howdy all. Any intelligence out there on if it is possible and, if so, how to repair this character. please?:

image: brokenD_4908.JPG


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First, you might begin by checking out why it broke. (might have been a warped or cupped piece, some debris caught under the wood when it went through the press, etc). Then the joint of the break needs to be thoroughly cleaned and degreased — a solvent such as acetone applied only to the break, scrubbed with a toothbrush is one of many possible ways to prepare the joint. A good wood glue such as Tite Bond works, as could a resin glue, such as Epoxy. In any case, once the glue is applied the two pieces need to be held fast while the glue sets and cures. Clamping is the obvious choice, but beware! as the clamping action can often distort the plane of the piece of wood. Make sure that the length of the assembly is flat and true. As with any adhesive bonding, you need just the right amount: enough to hold the joint secure, but not so much that it squishes out all over the face of the type. Some minor clean up is usually needed once the glue has completely set and clamps removed. Be careful not to scratch or mar the type face while doing this! Good luck!


Jim’s advice is very good. If, however, your piece of type is not cupped and is square and true, I have had great luck over the decades of simply placing such pieces into the form and locking everything up, making sure there is sufficient pressure to grip and hold the broken piece together, and then print as usual. I only use such broken pieces as a last resort and absolutely need that sort, but so far it has worked for me the few times I did it. In every instance the actual break was undetectable in the final print.


Great input from Rick as his solution is right to the point: compressing the pieces to achieve a solid lockup and get a good printing. Any hairline crack that might be visible would, after a proof or two, quickly fill with ink and be invisible in the final printed version.


thank you both, it was the only sort/letter broken in shipment of the full set … the two pieces fit back together nicely so I may test print leaving it split as you suggested, I appreciate your time and responses