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a 15*15-machine in Villalba

Started by John Cornelisse, June 04, 2016, 12:12:38 PM

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John Cornelisse

They are quite rare those older 15*15 machines, up till now I always
encountered 15*17 or 16*17-machines in all the different systems.

This machine from the Winterthur museum, does not have the NI- and the NL-pistons,
and has only 225 positions for matrices available.

The bridge is using the old type centring pins, with a smaller diameter, and around the
matrix jaws a9C and b9C I found the pieces 6CC and a21C....

This I found in my eldest version in the "Book of Parts", in this book I found that there was
a difference between a Composing Machine and a Typecaster.

Is there anybody left, who is able to explain this difference?



Here a little picture of the table in garden where we cleaned all the parts of the machines in Villalba.


Keri Szafir

Looks like 6CC is found on type&rule casters and you can see it in the "modern" spare parts book on plate 29.
a21C - the ring? See it on plate 7. Perhaps you mean a20CC which I've never seen as well. It looks like it stops the rear matrix jaw from sliding out (this was taken care of by the buffer 36C/37C, not found on Antonio's caster), and/or prevents the mould blade operating rod from going too far forward (was it because the old moulds didn't have the blade opening limiter?)

I suspect that the "typecaster" was what later became a "type&rule caster". It looks like we were wrong using the latter term to refer to the large composition casters... from plate 29 it seems like the type&rule caster was something like Lanston's "Orphan Annie", a non-composing machine that didn't even have the paper tower, jaws, tongs, pinblocks, and diecase positioning was done by hand.
These machines could even have blower attachments (for matrix cooling), just like the super casters could, if the customer didn't want to buy a compressor.

Actually, a large composition caster seems to be the most universal of them all. With proper attachments and moulds, you can cast composition, display type, lead&rule etc.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." --Arthur C. Clarke
"A thing of beauty is a joy for ever." --John Keats
Founder and owner of Keritech Electronics

John Cornelisse

This machine is missing the attachment for the NI- & NL-row. That does nt mean, that it would be impossible t add that devise on it. It was simply not done...

Actually Monotype had a very strict policy: ALL machines ever built could be equipped with ALL later developed additions, whenever the owner desired it.

In the mean time you yourself have already found out, that those two extra columns not always function like you would like them.... These 15*15 machines are quite rebust.

Keri Szafir

That's right - the air channels to the NI, NL poins are routed through the pinblock itself, rather than machine base. Replace the pinblock (maybe with the one from Han's Monophoto?) and tadam - you've got a 15x17 caster.
According to Lanston documents, it was a rather simple mod and didn't need any complex changes to the machine, other than replacing the pinblock:

Nice to hear about that policy, but I can't imagine how it actually worked. Some of these attachments were very complex and needed significant changes to the machine itself - like the mathematical or triplex mould attachments, or even the 16x17 systems... For example, in KMN/HMN the NI, NL is controlled not by the valve box on the pinblock, but the attachment behind the pinblock... putting that on means a lot of drilling, tight-fitting the copper tubes, routing them to the attachment etc. The same for unit-shift (by the way, the one on the older machine you bought last year is probably an upgrade for a machine that didn't have it, or an earlier model - the switch valve is not placed directly under the paper tower, but moved a bit to the left, and the valve holder is also different). If possible, it would be an awful lot of work and I think that not even the Monotype technical representatives could do many of the upgrades - the machine would have to be taken to the factory to get it done. I don't even know if the same machine came back to the customer.

If something not always functions, it's probably time to correct it ;)


There is a machine in Leipzig:

It has quite some in common with your second machine. It doesn't have Varigear or the RPM meter, has the older less safe wheel with cutouts, and has unit shift (probably retrofitted on an existing machine - take a look at the switch valve). And if you look closer between the type pusher and mould blade cam levers, there is something that looks like the caster also has the HMN attachment...
There's also some pneumatic device next to the galley cam - it may be for the leading attachment.

So, with proper parts, a lot of attachments could be put on older machines...
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." --Arthur C. Clarke
"A thing of beauty is a joy for ever." --John Keats
Founder and owner of Keritech Electronics

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