Page 6 - July 2017
P. 6

|  Every Little Helps |                                    |  Continued  |


       12: Type-high gauge. Using known pieces   bar, angled in the middle (like a jemmy) to
       of type as measured with a steel straight-  give leverage, and with a forked end pared
       edge is usually adequate (for checking   down thinner to slip under the edge of the
       blocks, etc.), and lengths of bold rule   plate.
       (12pt or more) will work for testing roller   18: Sheet Nibbler. (Mine is branded
       settings, but proper gauges are better – if   ‘Goscut’, but I’m not sure if anything is
       you can fi nd them. I use the type-high   available these days.) Ordinary plier-like
       bars, as I don’t fi nd the horse-shoe style   snips distort the sheet edge, this style had
       very helpful.                         a supporting pair of edges, and the blade
       13: A wooden mallet. (See also later.) You   cuts between them, so the supported
       usually need to hit something at some   edges are left fl at. Ideal for cutting
       point, and an ordinary metal hammer   polymer and metal blocks, though not
       needs to be used with care, it can be too   the thicker ones used for hot-foil or deep
       powerful. A wooden mallet is less likely to   impression.
       burr metal pieces, or crack cast iron, as it
       applies less force.
       14: A Lead Cutter. This opens up a whole
       issue of having accurate materials in your
       workshop. Ideally, have your leads and
       rules all precise lengths, and avoid cutting
       any if at all possible. However, leads do
       need to be cut – for example, when fi tting
       text round drop initials, and then a cutter
       is needed.
       15: Mitre Cutter. Likewise, avoid using if
       possible. I have some sets of pre-mitred
       rules produced commercially which I have
       used for years, and can’t remember when
       I last cut a mitre.
       16: A Dictionary. At the very least, to
       check spellings. Other reference items
       can also be helpful, such as Hart’s Rules
       for Compositors (on suggested rules for
       ‘house style’ such as when to capitalise
       words, when to use fi gures or words for
       numbers, etc), and a calendar to check
       any dates you are about to include in          Thin Space Cutter
       anything.
         Useful if you can fi nd them         19: Monotype Thin Space Cutter. Hard to
       17: Plate Lifter. Not something that is   fi nd, but very useful, this device cuts leads
       easy to come across these days, nor vital,   (or if you can get them copper half-point
       but if I ever wanted to lift an old original   and brass one-point strips) into accurate
       metal plate off its wood mount, this has   spacing-size pieces to use as hair-spaces.
       proved very useful as it minimises the risk   It works using a clamp into which you put
       of distorting the plate. It’s a thin fl at metal   a quad of the point size needed, then it
       154
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