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Jan 15 / Scott

Replacement Letters for Christmas

My daughter says one of the best things about Christmas, ever since she got her Vandercook 4 several years ago, are the heavy boxes from Santa that rattle when you shake them.

Only a true letterpress printer appreciates old, dirty, used wood type in a new shirt box. I have been very lucky to have several sources of used wood type for her. Dave Churchman’s “Boutique de Junk” in Indianapolis; Steve Robinson of Letterpreservation in Rising Sun, Indiana; and Don Black in Toronto. I also have lots of luck at antique malls and flea markets for sorts, ornaments, brass galley trays, and composition sticks. Some stay with me, but most end up with Erin for her shop.  The Easter bunny has even been known to leave a set of 6 line French Clarendon in her Easter Basket.

For Christmas this year she received three fonts of used type from Don Black Linecasting. We made the trip this Summer and brought back a CRV full of used type, books, and two large old machines that will be modified into a block leveler and border stamping machine this Summer.

She also had made a Christmas list of fonts she liked but could not afford at the time. I paid for Don to ship me four of the fonts from her list at his always very fair price. They were missing a few letters or only had one piece of several letters. Missing letters are never a problem when your father is a type cutter.

By the time Christmas morning came around the type boxes were complete, with several crushed letters repaired, extra E’s, A’s, R’s and several replacement figures cut.

MWT Christmas hats

One of the long term goals of Moore Wood Type is to make replacement letters. Once I work out the details I will be offering that service in the future.


P.S. I received a gift of professionally embroidered MWT hats, MWT dress shirts and a MWT computer bag from my wife and daughter. Now I will look like a real type cutter when I travel to shows to sell wood type this summer.


One Comment

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  1. Kim / Jan 24 2012


    my name is Kim, I am a designer and printer who is currently looking into making wood-type for personal projects, using CNC milling. I have been reading your blog posts for a while and your trials and process have been a great inspiration.

    I was wondering what types of mills your use and whether you finish the details by hand? I am fairly new to woodworking and while I am looking forward to trial and failure, the learning process being as much a motivator as money saved on eBay, I figured that asking someone with this specific expertise could save me some heartbreak.


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