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Nov. 15th, 2012 @ 09:42 pm Embossing printing
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For a book cover I wanted to print a text embossed onto the linen. I made a small testing piece with a strip of board and a small piece of linen that I had lying around. I set the text in lead type (in this case, 24pt Gill Sans), set it in my printing press and... pressed. No ink, just pressing the letters into the board.


Crappy cellphone photo of the result. I'm pleased with this: the embossing is nice and deep, and the edges are quite clear.

Later on, I wanted to emboss another text (starting with a capital W) onto another cover. Swapping out the type, and then making a few testing prints to find out where I should position the board to get the test just so. And then I saw that one side of the W didn't get properly embossed, even though I was making sure I kept the board straight: the pressure should be applied evenly for the whole text.

Then I checked the letter, and saw that a piece had simply broken off!

It seems that, when this letter was made (by a monotype machine), there was a slight stutter in the lead pump and an air bubble got trapped within the letter. Applying the pressure make it break: lead is kinda soft... So now I'll have to make do with one 'W' less. I'll cope, I think.
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hand-eye coordination
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From:couri
Date:November 15th, 2012 09:01 pm (UTC)
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Oh, wow, that's really cool!
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From:fub
Date:November 17th, 2012 03:44 pm (UTC)
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Ha! Wait until you see what I did with it. :)
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From:couri
Date:November 17th, 2012 04:50 pm (UTC)
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That sounds intriguing. I'm not good with logic so I just admire people who can do cool things.
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From:crustycurmudgeo
Date:November 16th, 2012 10:16 pm (UTC)
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Most printers had molds they used to recycle the lead/tin/antimony metal. If they were short a letter/font for a printing, they would melt any unused type and remold that. This was a just a regular part of the job.
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From:fub
Date:November 17th, 2012 03:44 pm (UTC)
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I've had this lead type from a foundation that's keeping some old Monotype machines running -- they fund the maintenance with the sale of type to hobbyists like myself. We've been there once to see the machines in operation, which was fun and interesting.
It was slightly disapointing to find that this particular 'W' was not of the high quality I would expect from them.
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