Wood Leading

I have recently purchased some type/founts and leading.

The leading is wood.

Does anyone know a successful way to cut this leading to size effectively?…my craft knife is having problems and it seems like it may require something a little more robust.

Any help offered would be greatly appreciated.

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Typeface18 Are you UK-based? And is it leading or furniture? If it is leading I would forget about it and order some lengths of leading from Supertype in Gomersall, West Yorkshire or from Caslon. It’s much easier and more accurate. Caslon might be able to supply you with a small lead and rule cutter as well.

Hi…its furniture and lots and lots of leading.

Im in London and have ordered from Caslon before. Will check them out…thank you.

Whats the problem with wood leading?…does it warp??

What youre most likely talking about is riglets, not leads and slugs. Riglets are traditionally used between quoins, furniture and the chase, and not normally between lines of a form. They do compress making them sort of undesirable for line spacing, but perfect for making sure that a form of type doesnt fall out of your chase because the quoins (especially wedgies) or furniture slipped out.

HiTypeface18 !

The wood leading you are referring to is known as a reglet; and is normally either 6pt or 12 pt in thickness.

In my day; going back to the 50s, it was usually supplied in lengths of around three feet, and was cut down to the most common used sizes using a band saw.

The cutting was not highly accurate. and the ends had a tendency to chamfer; so obviously the reglet would rarely be placed directly against a line of type.

In my experience they were mainly used as a compressable packing between pieces of metal furniture.

I’m sorry to disagree with Dale, but the use of reglets will not prevent a forme disintegrating if the quoins fall-out or slacken off!

I concur with Bern,

A 6pt piece of wood will not save a form from a lazy quoin =)

What I was trying to say and may not have worded correctly, is that your form has a much higher chance of passing the push test (over the imposing stone) using riglets between your quoin and its metallic neighbors. Especially when youre using a weeble-wobbly (you know what im talking about if you have em) wickershim. The fact that the riglets compress makes them fantastic at binding the whole kit-n-kaboodle far better than steel on steel.

Typeface18 My advice: join the British Printing Society and check out their monthly journal, ‘Small Printer’, for ads offering you everything you might need. Type, spaces, quoins, leading, rollers etc.
And the correct term is reglet and not riglet.
In theory leading is in metal, and furniture either in metal or wood, in some countries you will find bakelite and plastic as well.

Thank you for all the info.
So good to know that these are reglets and not leading. When I purchased everything there were a couple of forms present composed with the wood strips as leading, something I had never seen before and guessed that it was basically a cheaper alternative.

I have purchased some leading from Caslon and am bidding on a lead cutter from ebay.

….will also endevour to use the reglets for their proper purpose.

Thanks again.

Reglets were designed as a thicker (and lighter) version of leading. When I did poster work we used reglet spacing almost exclusively. If we had tried to use only lead we would have never gotten the form off the stone. The reglet in the US seems pretty accurate to me, and sure it wears out but that takes time. I don’t believe anyone in the US makes it anymore, but decent used reglets come up on the market fairly often. I’ve used it as regular line spacing for my entire career and never had a real problem. It is a part of the compositor’s tools, just like lead spacing.

Wouldn’t leading be lead?
Probably reglets.

A printer/typecaster I know always refers to the 12-pointers as reglets and the 6-pointers as nonpareils, which harkens back to the days before the point system when different sized-type went by different names (great primer, burgeois, etc.).