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:
I’ve had several cases of distributor jams, where the mats, instead of falling into the magazine channels, stay in the guide channels of the distributor, eventually causing the worm screws which shift the mats across the distributor kicks out their drive clutch.
The first cause of this was that the font had too many (more than 22) matrices for one channel (I think it was the thin space). Once the magazine is full, there is no place for the matrices to go and they stay in the distributor. Enough of these and they cause a jam. This was easily solved by setting aside the excess matrices.
The other jam was a bit stranger: I found that the jammed matrices seemed to include two different characters. After closely looking at the mats and determining which one actually belonged in the channel where I found them, I saw that one of the mats was missing some of its coding teeth. Had it had the proper teeth it would have dropped into another channel, further to the right on the caster. As it turns out the bad matrix was thicker than the ones that belonged in the channel, and so the lugs were too thick to enter that slot of the magazine. If this were not the case the matrix would have entered the magazine properly and the only symptom would be that a cast line would occasionally contain the wrong letter.
The mis-coded matrix would stay hung up at the top of the magazine, causing other mats destined for the same channel to hang up as well, eventually jamming the distributor. The offending mat could not be corrected or repaired, so it has been destroyed so it will not turn up again to cause problems.
Not really a distributor jam, but I’m finding that some of the keys must be pressed twice or more to get a matrix to fall into the assembly area. Sometimes banging on the top of the magazine is necessary. The mats just don’t seem to slide down the magazine smoothly all the time. It seems that the magazine needs to be cleaned so some day soon I will run all the mats out of the magazine and give it a cleaning with solvent and the special magazine cleaning brush.
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