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News for March

In the course of buying up scrap and surplus type to reincarnate, we get a lot of material that’s still perfectly usable.  Some of this gets sold back into the letterpress community.  But we still have quite a bit of strip material, spacing & quads, and new-old-stock type still in the package (including ATF) that’s too good to shovel into the remelt furnace.  Therefore a new category called The Junk Bin has been added to the Products menu on our web site.  At present it contains only one item: a 10-lb package of assorted spacing and quads, including brass and copper thins—but keep an eye on it, we’ll be posting all kinds of interesting and useful stuff there in the future.

Best practice when locking up a form is of course to have the lines of type parallel to the rollers.  But when printing a box border, or any form with rule or a line of type perpendicular to the rollers, the full length of that line will contact the surface of the roller at the same place in its circumference, which results in poor inking.  Ever heard of a “bias chase”?  These can be seen in old printing equipment catalogs; the interior opening is rotated at a slight angle to the exterior dimensions.  Why?  Setting the form at an angle will make the initial contact of the rollers on the type smoother—but the primary advantage to a biased form is that with a slight angle, the vertical line or border will contact the surface of the roller in a gentle spiral rather than in the same place, which results in much better inking.  Bias chases are extremely rare, but today we unveil Skyline Bias Furniture, the easy way to convert any chase to bias.  It consists of four pieces of our standard birchwood imposing furniture cut to a slight angle.  (We consulted our alchemist’s charts and determined that the optimum angle for this would be 1 degree, 7 minutes, 24.6 seconds.)  Bias Furniture is a simple, elegant and inexpensive way to facilitate a permanent improvement in your platen presswork.  Sets are in stock for 8×12 and 10×15 presses, but we can make them for any chase size—just send us an email with your request.

Remember Alpha-Blox?  A couple of years ago we did a casting of these in 36 point from the original ATF matrices, and proffered them in a custom handcrafted hardwood presentation box of our own design and manufacture.  We have limited that edition to 40 and they are now sold out.  This being the case, Alpha-Blox fonts are now available without the box, and at a correspondingly lower price.  Get some while the gettin’s good, the stock is finite.

A couple of major casting projects are currently underway here.  They’re two Goudy designs, intended to be used together, but each can also be used alone.  We had hoped to have them ready for release today.  One is finished but the other still needs quite a bit more labor, so next month.  We had to have something new to offer for March, so we knocked out Border No. 423 in 24 point, a two-element design that looks pretty ancient.  Happy printing.