Metal Type: Home | Library | Forum | Free Ads | Store

Casting 60-point matrices on a C4

Started by Autospacer, August 31, 2010, 07:09:10 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Printle: A Printing Word Game from Metal Type


In 2007 our museum was lucky enough to be given a C4 Intertype, and a trailer-load of spares for it. Amongst the spares, was a complete set of liners of various sizes, and various molds, and a couple of 60-point single-letter founts (Bodoni Bold Extra Condensed, and Vogue Extra Bold Condensed).

 They looked a bit of a worry for me, so I put them on a galley and left them there, until I had a visit from a Linotype mechanic friend. I looked at the Intertype Mold System booklet and had a hunt around for a suitable cap and to my surprise I found a "Q" cap, 36-point recessed, amongst those spares we had dragged back.

With that cap, a 36-point "wedge" and 12-point liners, and using a standard mold base, we ended up with a 48-point body. By checking using a 60-point matrix, we could see that it may have been possible to cast the 60-point caps founts. The matrices occupy just about the full body of the 48-point. John also noticed that the knife block would not be able to be fully opened unless the small knife turning handle was removed (duly done).

Using "position 3", I hand-set a couple of characters in the assembler, put a couple of blank spacers either side, and sent the line away. With John standing a safe distance away, and me having a recurrence of "Lino operator's twitch", a line was cast nonetheless, with fantastic results, considering the pot has only one row of mouthpiece holes. I have subsequently made a short sort of instruction film - lots of stills, and a very short video of the cast. One of my intentions was to be able to cast lines of the letters, then cut the lines up into the individual letters, to use for hand-set for various groups that visit the museum.

Dave Hughes

Sorry for the delay in replying - I've been out of the country.

Wouldn't mind a look at the video. Could even use it on the site if it's OK with you!
Printle: Word Puzzle for Printers Play Now

Keep in touch with Metal Type Get our newsletters


Hi Dave,
I have sent the video through my e-mail, as it was a bit large to be successfully attached here. The video portion is very short -  I was holding the camera with one hand, and trying to operate the machine etc, with the other! It is really meant to be a practical step-by-step tutorial, for those who may still have the bits and pieces for their machines on hand, but have not yet had a go. And of course, for posterity for the future for us all.

Dave Hughes

I'm pleased to say that the video has now come through.

Many thanks to Terry for sharing this with us.

Printle: Word Puzzle for Printers Play Now

Keep in touch with Metal Type Get our newsletters


Very impressive Terry. I would imagine that after a couple of lines the mold disc would get pretty hot. The first time I saw a Linotype, the old operator of the machine, set my name in 24 point and handed it to me. He thought it was hilarious when I dropped the slug and stuck my fingers in my mouth to cool them.
George Finn (Mechanic)
Gold Coast


Great to see my very first attempt at this type of video/film presentation on this site, so thanks Dave. I cast about 10-12 lines of the 60 point in total that day and the mold wheel didn't get appreciably hot, bearing in mind that there was quite some time in hand-setting the mats, and dissing them afterwards, as well as having the blower operating. Mind you, the metal seemed to drop in the pot pretty quick!

Bruce Anderton

It is a very good cast for so large a face, but Bodoni is not too heavy and a bolder face might not have cast so well, when the Ludlow Supersurfacer would have come into its own. It was possible to increase the plunger pressure when casting large faces.

Quick Reply

Please leave this box empty:
Type the letters shown in the picture
Listen to the letters / Request another image

Type the letters shown in the picture:

Shortcuts: ALT+S post or ALT+P preview

Printers' Tales - Over 30 stories from the pre-digital age. Buy now on Amazon/Apple Books

☛ Don't miss our illustrated newsletters. Click here to see examples and subscribe. ☚