Skip to content
Mar 1 / Scott

Every Printer needs some Dots

In the past four years of cutting wood type and working with printers from all over the world I have been amazed to find that with all the beautiful catchwords, ornaments, stars and snowflakes I make, they keep telling me how much they use the dots. I have always made dots from the beginning. Some just solid circles and some with designs cut out of the dots. I gave them away as promotions, as part of special orders, and mostly just as “free” extra new wood type to fill out the box on an order.

The dots are made from the many small pieces of prepared maple left from cutting out other type. Since there is no grain direction to worry about with end grain, you can get a 4 x 4, or 5 x 5 pica square out the long strips left from laser cutting wood type. You need to cut the larger dots out of nice new slabs of hard maple. You can get lots of dots out of a big slab when that is all you are making.

It is fun to make different designs. I have found inspiration in nature, patterns, and in old type specimen books. Some patterns are laser cut, some are turned on a wood lathe, and some made out the scrap pieces of plywood left from other patterns.

Last year I sold a special Valentine’s Day gift for the “Printer You Love” in a nice heart shaped red metal tin. I ran out of time this year, but will be selling them again next winter.

I took the 540 dots I had been making for the past three months and put them in nice gift boxes. Each “Box of Dots” contains 15 pairs of dots. Twenty dots are 4 pica, eight are 5 pica and there are two solid ones that are 6 pica. The solid dots are trapped .005” smaller than the pattern ones.

I have seen the dots used as flowers, eyes, wheels, borders, spacers, and what ever a creative printer needs. There are only 17 boxes this year and they are in the Moore Wood Type Store. (The link is also on the top right) I also will take special orders for any design at any size for a good price.


Leave a Comment