The use of corner quads is the best means for preventing mitered or butted corners of rule from slipping. Most often cast on six- and 12-point bodies, two or four-point ones will be required if margins are scant.
Cheap drug and dime store as well as printers' tweezers are too stiff & pointed for easy use. Instead get genuine surgical forceps from any surgical supply firm. With them it's easy to pick up a hairspace off the stone or to lift more than five picas of type. —John Cowles, Burlington, Vt.
Never scrub type with the finewire brushes often advertised for that purpose. These wires may deface the delicate face of the type. A soft cloth with solvent is much safer.
To reveal broken letters in a font pull a proof on calendared stock of the type.
Although it may be grammatically correct, it is not good practice from a typographical standpoint to place the period or the comma after quotation marks. Hide those punctuation marks inside the quotes.
To prevent vibration slurs on stone proofs, strike the planer with the handle end of the mallet, held vertically. This will give a solid, non-vibrating blow.
Four-pica wide wood furniture in not exactly square so for accuracy always place within the form with the grooved side up. The other dimension is a couple of points under four picas.
If necessary to dry ink immediately and competely, place the printed sheets in a warm oven. This method will dry the finished stock so completely that it may be wrapped almost immediately without any danger of offsetting.
Instead of pasting a steel strip on the tympan for the perforating rule to strike on, just cover the whole length instead with a piece of Scotch tape and lay the thing in place. Although the rule splits the tape quickly, it all stays firmly in place. It is easier to apply and comes off better.—Harrison Church, Lebanon, Ill.
If you don't have a scale but wish to know the weight of a font,' use the ATF rule of the thumb. A six-inch line of 48 point will weigh about one pound. By measuring the area of the type to get the square inches and applying the factor of 4 square inches per pound will give you a close idea of the weight. —Dave Churchman, Indianapolis, Indiana.
When proofreading, first begin at the bottom of the article and read backward. In this way one will be more apt to catch typos. Then, to detect grammatical errors, read proof from beginning.
For squaring up inside mortises on cuts, set quads or metal furniture to occupy space needed and place reglets on each side. Fill the surrounding space with plaster of paris, wood putty or sealing wax. When hard, remove quads or furniture but leave reglets in place. This will be an improvement over wedging the type with "dutchmen."
To print on rippled stock, put a sheet of thin tin just under the top sheet. This will allow the type to bite into the uneven surface of the paper without impression showing on the back.
To prevent smashing type, always lock up shipping tags so patch with eyelet is on the right. Then, if a tag is not fed to the guides, there will be no damage.
If, after setting a line containing a number of hair spaces, the Linotype operator pushes in the control lever momentarily, just as the line is transferred to the second elevator, the "thins" will shake loose and drop into the box and not foul up the spacebands.
Talcum powder, applied to the table of a paper cutter, will aid in sliding lifts of stock into position against the back and side gauges.
Never risk bending copper hair spaces by forcing them into a tight line. Instead, remove the end type character in the line, then place the copper into place and replace the end type character that was removed.
A bar of ordinary laundry soap, rubbed over the edge of a paper knife, will prove to be advantageous when cutting, soft pulpy stock.
Let any low-tack ink sit for a year or more, and its tack for letterpress is usually heightened. Full scum is the best cover —don't remove! —John T. Cowles, Burlington, Vermont.
After removing a numbering machine from a form, plug the hole with a wad of moistened toilet or cleansing tissue or paper towels. The wet paper will fill holes and give you a solid form to tie and store.
If gummed stock persists on sticking to grippers during run, apply a strip of Scotch tape along the gripper edge.
When leaving Van Son 40904 black (rubber base) on ink plate for three or four days, I cover it with a sheet of wax paper to prevent dust from accumulating. Next day it pulls off easily.—Guy Botterill, Baltimore, Maryland.
The wood base from a small discarded cut makes a good block to plane down extra small forms.
No need to wipe off misprints on the top sheet with solvent saturated rags. Instead rub a small amount of ordinary talcum powder on the top sheet. This will prevent offsetting on the back of the printed work.
The cut off finger from an old rubber glove when slipped over the first finger of the left hand will greatly assist in removing sticking sheets after they have been printed on a platen press.
A wire coat hanger twisted into a hook and fastened to the lower frame of any platen press will make a handy holder for the gripper wrench.
By turning empty galleys upside down in a galley rack they can quickly be located.
Take an impression on tympan before stabbing gauge pins into top sheet to prevent smashing of the type.—Harry F. Lincoln, Los Angeles, California.
To use a center dot to separate elements in a line, use a colon of the next larger type size. Then cut off the bottom dot.—Ward K. Schori, Evanston, Illinois.
To make round corner cards, clamp stock pile securely and cut the corners with a carpenter's gouge. Available from hardware stores, these curved chisels can be had in any radius needed.
Here's a tip on how to tell if type is hard foundry metal or not. Scrape off a bit of the metal with a pen knife. If it comes off in a curl, it's Linotype; fair-sized chunks, it is Monotype; if tiny pieces, then it's hard foundry material. —Guy Botterill, Baltimore.
When cleaning a type form following printing, pour a small amount of solvent on the bare stone. After it has spread a little, put a balled-up cloth on the solvent so only the surface gets wet. Wipe type face and when clean, wipe with dry part of the rag. Most of the ink will go up into the cloth instead of down into the counters or sides of the type. —Ward Schori, Evanston, Illinois.
To force paper off the rules on perforating and die-cutting jobs, use weatherstripping foam tape.
Paper stock which appears the same on both sides, should be fed into the press with the same side up as when it was trimmed. The knife will turn down a feather edge on the sheets. The upper edges will be clean and finished, while the undersides will be somewhat rough and "feathery."
It is preferable to add a darker or lighter shade of the same ink if possible to obtain the exact off shade desired.
Hard, dried out ink rollers can sometimes be made to print better by washing them first in lye water, followed by a good rinse in -clear water, before wiping dry.
When taking trial impressions, only ink type form once for each print taken. This will enable any weakness of the impression to be clearly visible.
To insure a uniformly flat top sheet, clip all four corners of the tympan. A flat top sheet is necessary to prevent slurring.
Gasoline, if used too often, will dry out composition rollers and take the life out of them. Kerosene is recommended instead.
If it is cold and damp, rollers may refuse to accept ink. They will not have the suction needed. They are called green. Rubbing in powdered rosin or alum may help them to take the ink.
Old time pressmen added gloss to ordinary printing inks by mixing in the white of one egg and a "tad" of drier to heavy bodied inks.
Bronze blue ink added to a regular black will result in a real rich black color.
Ink rollers in good condition are a must for good clean impressions, especially for the printing of halftones as they keep the dots of the screen in the engraving open and clear.
When you can read the watermark from left to right, that is the felt side of the sheet — the right side to print on. The other side is the wire side.
If necessary to replenish ink by hand during the run, place a very small quantity (about the size of a small pea) on the lower left side of the disc—just out of line with the form, so rollers can thoroughly distribute the ink before they contact the type.
Pressboard, used as part of the packing, is a hard, smooth fiber board, red or gray in color. Supplied usually in sheets 24 x 32, it is available in weights ranging from .012 to.026 of an inch.