Category: Matrix Making

How Not to Make Matrix Blanks

The Lanston Monotype display matrices are essentially rectangles of brass (or aluminum) approximately 1⅛×¾×0.094″ with two corners cut off at an angle. It would seem that the best material to start with would be 1/8×¾″ brass strip, and the first

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Tramming the Mill

In order to get a good finish when milling the top surface of a part, as I will be doing to prepare matrix blanks, it is necessary that the axis of the mill spindle be perpendicular to the surface of

An Interem Solution to the Pneumatic Valves Problems

This week I’ve been occupied with (finally) putting away all the display mats I bought last year at the Anderson and Skyline matrix auctions. They have been cluttering up the shop since last summer with their variety of packaging. I

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Converting the Outline to a Pantograph Template

In the process of cutting a matrix for the 18-point @ I made up to go with Swing Bold, I need to make a template to run the pantograph tracer against. The edge of the template has to be high

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Matrix Making: Handling Ink Gain

Letterpress printing has a property called “ink gain” where the inked area left on the printed sheet is a tiny bit larger than the type used to do the printing. Because of this, when designing type (which includes designing the

Designing Swing Bold @ 18 point

Having decided to use my pantograph to try making a display matrix for my Monotype caster, and having chosen to make an at-sign (@) to match 18-point Swing Bold, the next task was to actually examine other letters in this

Making a Display Matrix, but Which One?

It seems natural for me, as a first project using my new pantograph engraver, to try making a matrix. Rather than designing a whole new family of typefaces (or even a single typeface), I decided to make a single character.

Electroformed Matrix: the Reveal

During a lull at the recent ATF conference, I took the opportunity to remove the matrix I had electroformed from its rubber mould and pass it around. The matrix copy appears to have excellent detail. Unfortunately, the matrix copy is

Adventures in Matrix Copying – Part 3

My last post on this subject showed the initial copper plating almost covering the graphite. An hour or two of further plating produced a nice bright copper layer over the entire surface of the rubber mould. The plating was fairly

Adventures in Matrix Copying – Part 2

My first attempt at making a rubber mould of a Lanston display matrix ended up with a fatal flaw due to an air bubble. I made a second attempt, hoping to avoid repeating this flaw. The instructions for the casting