Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Hard to find!

 The block of metal is a machined .918 reference to zero the device

 You can measure well into the block. A standard micrometer can only deal with edges

At lasting impressions we are still building our equipment list and supplies like type and paper. We use Van Son inks and slowly we are building the supplies as well. Occasionally I pick up a nice piece of equipment on eBay. But a warning - just go for Buy Now offers. Auctions are not true auctions on eBay - people use software to “snipe’ your bid in the last 5 seconds so that you can’t respond. Be warned! Nevertheless I always look at EBay for nice pieces of equipment. I did get this beauty recently.
 Type high gauges were prevalent in industry because they gave us the ability to have a rugged accurate micrometer in the press room. We use them because they can measure into the centre of a block (say), or various sheets of paper. Very handy, and much more useful than a simple micrometer or the newer electronic version, which can only measure in from edges. Letterpress works with the magic .918 (type high). Rollers are set to this height as are the platen packing surfaces. This device gives a a easy to use way of measuring that doesn’t depend on batteries. I have to leave my veneer gauge in the sun and let it warm up before using it to measure - but is it really?
 These don’t come up for sale very often but if your interest is in Letterpress try and get one. Another good example of German post war engineering I’d say. They generally turned up in any shop that had Swedish or German presses and they were the basis of quality control. You can measure paper thickness, measure blocks, type, etc, and underlay to get a level, perfect, set up.

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