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.