New Life in the Typefoundry

I’ve made time lately to work on setting up the typefoundry. Quite a lot has happened since the ‘Monotype’ caster from Heritage Letterpress made its way here—though most of the big changes have taken place just since May of this year.

First, I acquired two more ‘Monotype’ casters from former foundry at Woodside Press in Brooklyn NY. One machine—a late model composition machine in very nice shape—is equipped with many of the later attachments including unit shift, unit adding, quadding and centering, plus a display attachment and a lead and rule attachment (all the things Theo Rehak would tell me to throw away!). The second machine is an old-style display caster with the big gear box; it came originally from Mouldtype in the UK.

These two new type casters arrived to a cramped shop, but there would have been no room at all had I not moved out the wrecked Duensing machine, which despite its potential as a display caster will become a source for very fine parts,…at least for now. The first part to come off was the electric pot. I put it on the comp from Heritage in exchange for it’s gas-fired pot. I’m a very glad not to have to deal with gas in this small shop.

With just enough space created and the new machines roughly in position, I turned my attention back to the electricity and the self-contained water cooling system I started building last year.

Photos and more of the story will come shortly…

The electrician came by to wire the motor of one of the new monotype machines and both of the electric pots. He and his assistant also connected two original Monotype work lamps that bolt onto the rear of the machine. Very illuminating…and very authentic looking!

I now have a working version the self-contained water cooling system—I guess you’d call it a prototype. While it is a loose tangle of hoses and copper tubing, the thing does work, that is to say, it moves a controlled flow of water through the caster and type mould. I have not yet tested it in a sustained casting session in order to demonstrate it’s cooling effectiveness. Once proven, I will hopefully find the time to build a compact structure to allow mobility and easy access to the main valves.

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