Cutting down Italian height to .918

Is there a way to cut down Italian metal font to US height? I have some and would like to use them but they are too high for my press. I don’t want them to set in the case and not use them. I didn’t realize the size difference until I received them in the mail. Thanks, Larry

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Hello Larry,

.918 is only specific to US, and only after ATF amalgated all the Typefoundries. Every Country has it’s own height.

There are type Plows to bring the Type down, or the Type is placed face down in a narrow channel, wedged so It can’t move and use a emery cloth around a square block of wood and take it down. but you need to have a digital caliber or such to make sure you don’t cut to deep.

educate yourself

Not Rocket science, but not a walk in the park either, i e. here U.K. some time ago fortunate to inherit a 3 C.V.A. *Kearney & Trekker* Milling Machine, made under license from U.S.A. - still learning how to use ! but one of the first jobs was to Mill a quantity of European (possibly French) height type down to .918

Flying on the proverbial *Wing & a Prayer* but did have the forethought to experiment a little, it was NOT the Authors type.

Locked up a few, hardly used characters, Cap X, Cap Z, and similar, face down, on the bed of the Mill and took an exploratory cut, and actually found that even with Founders product, it would have been easy to break into >inclusions< within the first .002* - .003” although only .003” was needed, used .918 Pica Rules (full face) as tell tale bearers, for finished height, in conjunction with Engineers magnetic clock gauge, - normal practice on the Mill. .

.918 is not specific to US. What about UK, Australia, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland.
Milling down is no problem as long as the type is locked up correctly and some less essential pieces used for testing as Mick suggests.
Simpler alternative is a press with adjustable height, you can use type from around the world!

Thank you for all of your directions. I will look for a reliable machine shop. I have a Vandercook SP15. And I don’t think it’s adjustable. So I will have it milled. If locked up properly will the milling cause the type to shift off of its feet?


If properly milled, the type will remain upright. Most European faces in the US and UK were produced to European height and then milled down before they were shipped off-continent.

Of course it is essential that the type face remains tight against a flat, parallel surface while being milled.

John Henry
Cedar Creek Press