Scott Moore recently retired after 35 years of teaching Industrial Arts at Pickerington High School near Columbus, OH and now continues the tradition of cutting end grain hard maple wood type by the historic pantograph method. He has two degrees from Miami University in Oxford, OH where he worked as a lab assistant in the print shop as part of his Industrial Arts studies. Letterpress and offset printing were taught as part of Industrial Arts during the 1950-70s.
Twenty-five years later his daughter, Erin Beckloff (Inky Winke Letterpress & Design) earned her BFA in Graphic Design from Miami where she first fell in love with the letterpress equipment sitting unused in her art building. Erin received a Kelsey platen press as a wedding gift and asked her Dad (Scott) to make her some special ornaments to go with her growing letterpress collection. That led to his interest in making his own pantograph to cut wood type. Scott and Erin made several trips to study the large pantographs at the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum in Two Rivers, WI and to discuss the job of cutting type with expert Norb Brylski.
Scott then built his own reproduction of a Hamilton pantograph, and with that knowledge he modified a small engraving machine into a wood cutting pantograph. To provide lots of type high, end grain maple slabs, Scott also designed and built a very accurate Type High Surfacing Machine. MWT recently acquired a Hacker Block Leveler to speed up the type high maple production process.
Scott’s company, Moore Wood Type, is located in central Ohio. For the past three years he has been making and selling historic based ornaments, catchwords, and replacement letters to letterpress printers around the world. His philosophy is that every printer deserves to have some special “printers candy” wood type to use on their own projects. In 2012-13 he has conducted wood type workshops at three universities in Ohio and enjoys sharing wood type history and production with eager learners.
Watch for future articles on the entire historic wood production process, and what he has rediscovered of the century old process.