Linotype Mystery Parts

On the Linotype at the Mackenzie Printery and Newspaper Museum, there are a couple of parts that I can’t find in any of the parts manuals I have:

There is a lug on the slide that transfers the matrices from the first elevator to the second elevator, and a lever that, in its resting position, catches the lug and prevents this transfer. The lever is only raised to clear the lug when the first elevator is in its fully-raised position.

In particular, if the recast block is engaged, the first elevator does not rise completely (and the matrices do not all drop to the lower rail) and so the transfer is prevented. During the cycle the caster will stop when it finds the transfer has not completed and the operator will have to pull out the clutch control to bypass the stop, as which point the first elevator, still carrying the mats, will return to its idle position.

The caster already has a stop on the spaceband transfer pawl which is intended to prevent the transfer.

It would appear that the original procedure for recasting a line would be to engage the stop on the spaceband transfer pawl and also engage the recast block so the matrices would remain in the first elevator, allowing the same line to be cast again. If the operator set the recast block but not the spaceband pawl lock, I think the caster would push all the matrices out of the first elevator and dump them on the floor. Spacebands might just jam because the rail heights would not match between the first elevator and the second elevator.

So these mystery parts might have been introduced to make suppression of the transfer automatic when the recast block was in use.

But I still can’t find them in any parts book, nor in any catalog I could find for Star Parts (an aftermarket provider of Linotype parts and accessories).

So, can anyone comment on whether my analysis of the purpose of these parts is correct, or provide any reference for parts numbers or suppliers?

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BOUND Book Arts Fair, Sunday December 11th, in Toronto

After a couple years of COVID hiatus, the BOUND Book Arts Fair is back!

This year’s Fair will be held from 10:30am to 4:30pm at the Arts & Letters Club located at 14 Elm Street, near Yonge & Dundas in downtown Toronto.

We are lucky enough to have a table at this fair, this time upstairs in the Studio, where we will be selling some of our paper, marbling, bookbinding supplies, and assorted books related to the book arts. The Studio is on the third floor, but has lots of windows for plenty of natural light, and there is an elevator available if you can’t handle the stairs.

In addition to all the vendors there, this year will feature an Artist’s Talk by master printer Richard York at 2pm. Richard comes to us all the way from Salt Spring Island, BC.

Progress on the Mackenzie Printery’s Linotype (Second Elevator Transfer, part 3)

Well, this was a real easy diagnosis! Previously I noted that, on the Linotype at the Mackenzie Printery, the safety interlock that stops the machine if the transfer from the first to the second elevator did not appear to be working properly. A look at the interlock itself quickly identified the problem: Read more ›

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Progress on the Mackenzie Printery’s Linotype (Distributor Jams)

As previously mentioned, I’m trying to get the Linotype at the Mackenzie Printery & Newspaper Museum up and running again. I’ve had to fix several problems, and here are the details on one of the problems:

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Progress on the Mackenzie Printery’s Linotype (Second Elevator Transfer, part 2)

As I mentioned in a previous post, the Linotype at the Mackenzie Printery & Newspaper Museum is having problems with the horizontal transfer from the first elevator to the second elevator.

On Saturday I adjusted the alignment between the first elevator and the toothed bar on the second elevator. This is largely a visual adjustment, where you see how much light shines through the gaps between the toothed bar and the teeth of a pi matrix (which has all its coding teeth) and adjust for equal sized gaps all ’round.

I seemed to have things transferring OK, but later when I was gleaning matrices from what had been picked up off the floor over the past few years I had three matrices to load into the magazine (though one was actually a pi matrix, maybe the small-caps ‘Z’). I loaded them into the assembly elevator where the machine normally collects the mats as you type at the keyboard, and cycled the machine to send them up for distribution. Instead of rising smoothly, the second elevator lurched up and shook the whole machine.

I think what happened was that the three mats did not transfer fully to the second elevator, but the interlock (clearly out of adjustment) thought the transfer was complete and allowed the cycle to proceed. A mat was spanning the gap between the first and second elevator, causing the latter to temporarily hang before lurching up. This is particularly worrisome because the elevator is being raised by a cam, not a spring, so something has to give (read: break) if the transfer is incomplete but the interlock doesn’t stop the clutch. In this case the matrix shifted enough to release the elevator once the force built up a bit.

So clearly I have to check the alignment again to ensure a smooth transfer, and I also have to check the adjustment of the interlock so the cycle will stop if the transfer is not fully completed.

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Progress on the Mackenzie Printery’s Linotype (Second Elevator Transfer)

As previously mentioned, I’m trying to get the Linotype at the Mackenzie Printery & Newspaper Museum up and running again. I’ve had to fix several problems, and here are the details on one of the problems:

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Progress on the Mackenzie Printery’s Linotype (Stuck Keyboard Cams)

As previously mentioned, I’m trying to get the Linotype at the Mackenzie Printery & Newspaper Museum up and running again. I’ve had to fix several problems, and here are the details on one of the problems:

The keyboard cams, which provide the push to release a matrix from the magazine, were seized up pretty much solid. The caster had not been used for a couple years previously, mainly due to COVID restrictions, and the lighter parts of the lubricant had evaporated leaving a gummy residue which effectively glued the cams into their idle position.

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Progress on the Mackenzie Printery’s Linotype (Rough Delivery Slide)

As previously mentioned, I’m trying to get the Linotype at the Mackenzie Printery & Newspaper Museum up and running again. I’ve had to fix several problems, and here are the details on one of the problems:

The transfer of the line of matrices from the intermediate channel to the first elevator was very rough, often jamming completely. Manually jiggling the first elevator up and down a bit often, but not always, helped.

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Progress on the Mackenzie Printery’s Linotype (1st Elevator Hang)

As previously mentioned, I’m trying to get the Linotype at the Mackenzie Printery & Newspaper Museum up and running again. I’ve had to fix several problems, and here are the details on one of the problems:

During the Linotype’s casting cycle, after the line of matrices did its transfer from the assembly elevator to the first elevator, the latter would fail to descend to casting position, and instead of returning to the right, the delivery slide would become unlinked from its operating lever. The camshaft would stop when the machine failed to detect the first elevator in proper casting position.

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Howard Iron Works Print Expo & Fair

After a year or two off due to COVID-19, the Howard Iron Works Print Expo & Fair is on again next month! There will be fewer vendors than previously to maintain physical distancing, but we will have a table there selling paper, marbled paper, and other book arts supplies.

The fair is on Saturday, October 1st, from 10am-4pm, at Howard Iron Works, 800 Westgate Road, Oakville, Ontario (Oakville is just west of Toronto along the Lake Ontario shore).

In addition to shopping at the vendors who will be present at this fair, you can visit the extensive museum of printing equipment, see a lithography demonstration, and participate in a couple of workshops and classes offered that day.

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