Based on the data from Alembic Press’s Monotype information, there are a few normal wedges that are interchangeable. So far, this is just theoretical, so I haven’t tried this. And of course, any errors in my source data will reflect as errors here as well (as will confusion on my part).
First, the following are completely equivalent:
Furthermore, if you have Unit Shift available but are only using 15-row matcases, you can use Unit Shift to find the correct width from the next narrower row position for the following wedges:
So, for instance, if the arrangement calls for an S119 wedge, and you want to use S5 instead, when you need to cast from row 5 of the matcase (width 8 units on S119, but 9 units on S5), you instead code for row 4 with Unit Shift engaged. This will move the wedge to position 4 (width 8 units on S5 wedge) but the matcase to row position 5 selecting the correct matrix. I think this will all happen automatically if you are using the CompCat software to drive the caster and tell it you have an S5 wedge installed when you generate the ribbon file. Note that if you ribbon codes for row 15 with Unit Shift selected, the matcase may crash against the left hand side of the bridge (so don’t do that).
Finally, again using Unit Shift, you can also adjust (lengthen) the front drawbar so that the rows in the matrix case get their regular width when Unit Shift is selected for the cast, and without Unit Shift selected, you get the width from the next larger row. Note, though, that if your ribbon codes for row 1 with no Unit Shift, the matcase may crash against the right side of the bridge (again, so don’t do that).
This is the reverse of the first effect; To get this when using CompCat you must make up a 16-row MCA with the first row empty and the remaining rows shifted down one from their normal positions, and you must have the individual mats coded with their proper widths as if using the original wedge and a 15-row matcase.