Calculating Type Case Size

I have recently been looking for type cases to store two founts of uppercase wood type (7 line and 8 line) and I was wondering if there were any ways to figure out which case size I need from the amount of type I have or whether it is worth getting new cases made?

I only have a small space for printing at home and a small type collection so I do not own a cabinet but I was wondering if there were any standardised case sizes if I ended up buying a cabinet in the future or whether I should build cases to fit into a smaller rack if I made one?

Thanks,
Kris

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Type cases are a standard size. I just happened to come across this old catalog page which shows typical layouts and dimensions. I wouldn’t bother building new ones. Search classifieds, Facebook, etc. for original ones and use them. Once you collect enough type (and cases) then get a cabinet.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/ACbUZbyJ5bDL7MH19

Mike

Another source is to look at older catalogs of both Hamiltion Manufacturing Co., and their 1905 catalog is an amazing source of information—http://www.telephonearchive.com/dmworkshop/assets/pdfs/hamilton_1905_catalog.pdf and the last catalog of Thompson Cabinet Co. which was making new cases until about 15 years ago— their plant was intact until 2021—https://nagraph.com/thompson-cabinet-company.html. I have a number of Thompson’s catalog #75 which may be had for free for the asking, just pay for the postage of about $3.00.

Another source is to look at older catalogs of both Hamiltion Manufacturing Co., and their 1905 catalog is an amazing source of information—http://www.telephonearchive.com/dmworkshop/assets/pdfs/hamilton_1905_catalog.pdf and the last catalog of Thompson Cabinet Co. which was making new cases until about 15 years ago— their plant was intact until 2021—https://nagraph.com/thompson-cabinet-company.html. I have a number of Thompson’s catalog #75 which may be had for free for the asking, just pay for the postage of about $3.00.

Thanks everyone, those links are a great resource!

I was wondering about different sizes of type cases as I obtained a few cases when I bought my treadle press although the small dividers in them mean I could only use them for metal type, most of them were also sawn in half full cases.

There was one case that was not sawn in half and is almost square in shape, link below to images for reference, squarish case on the left, sawn in half case on the right.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/52778484110/in/album-7217772...

All of the cases I have were manufactured by Millar & Richard here in the UK so I’m guessing they may differ from US sizes?

I’ve seen a few examples of cases being sawn down in size any idea why printers would do this?

@Fritz1
That’s very thoughtful of you but I am unfortunately based in the UK!

I did a bit of digging and managed to find a Miller & Richard catalogue with type cases in it, I think I figured out what the squarish case is:

http://type.org.uk/archive/miller-richard/specimen_of_printing_Type/inde...

It could possibly be a half cap case as it has the same amount of divisions?

Also; https://type.org.uk/books is an incredible resource.

they are hard to come by, but the 2/3 Drawer
had table top 6 and 10 spaces cabinets floor model had more spaces.
In my younger days I made made 1/3 Drawer boxes 2-4 spaces to sell on ebay. I cut out fronts and hinged the tops of antique sewing machine covers. they are a perfect size and period correct. this is one I made for my niece she was in to Egypt stuff. some for sale.

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small cases sold fast on ebay. I hope to make more as I retire. not everyone in letterpress prints. feel free to give me some competition.

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rollers 3x5 008.jpeg