Tuesday, April 20, 2010

end grain maple

I am trying to help a friend figure out how to make wooden type for letterpress. The question, "Can end grain maple blocks be easily cut to adequate uniform tolerances .918 using simple technology?" The maple blocks shown are for testing and comparing with old type. I used a table saw with sled and stop block.

Today in the woodshop at CSS, the 7th and 8th grade students worked on incense holders and woodturning, and the 9th grade students worked on their trebuchet as shown.

This afternoon in my woodshop, I continue my friendly competition with the Chinese, by making hundreds of parts for small boxes.

5 comments:

Mickbic said...

I did letterpress printing between 1974 and 2007 and own some hand set type. At one point American Printing Equipment and Supply had wooden type for sale.

In an ideal world your friend would be able to track down a source for wooden type. Not only is it necessary to get type to .918 inch high, there are width variations of the individual letters to also consider, assuming that is the goal of your friend.


Your friend might want to purchase some hobby rubber stamps and adapt them to letterpress. I have done that on one ocassion and was pleased with the results.

Let your friend work with what you have to offer. If tolerances are not good enough, I would suggest going to a machine shop.

Doug Stowe said...

My friend isn't needing type. He has been buying old type for years. But he is concerned about how to put type in the hands of new users, as it seems that letterpress is poised at the edge of revival. He had some wooden type made in one particular font, but it was so much work that the maker vowed "never again."

Wooden type and its making is a wonderful art form, and while I believe carvewrights, compucarve machines and shopbots can be adapted to making type, the old skill combined with technology approach did some marvelous things.

cmcgarr said...

Where did you get the end grain maple? I'm trying to find some to carve for my shop.

Thanks,

Casey
Inky Lips Press

cmcgarr said...
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Doug Stowe said...

The end grained sugar maple was simply cut from a board. First jointed, the planed and sawn to dimension, then cut in blocks using a sled on a table saw.