Monotype: progress and setbacks

8 April 2010

The good news is that yesterday we cast type on our composition caster for the first time. The not so good is that the letters were coming out in the wrong order. An email to Bill Welliver, who developed the computer system we’re using, revealed that we had attached the interface to the caster upside down. We’ve turned it round, but when we started to test it we found that the nozzle that injects the molten type metal into the mould was blocked. We don’t have any imperial sized drill bits in the workshop and we have no intention of fooling around with this high precision machinery, so the next step is a trip to C W Tyzack in Kingsland Road to pick some up.

We feel that we’ve learnt quite a lot in getting this far. We know that we have to take good care of the pump piston, that the machine won’t cast type unless the pump is seated properly, how to stop and start it… All being well this knowledge will result in some usable metal type before too long.

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