Composing without leads

Any thoughts on a temporary ‘glue’ to hold type together, e.g. type of different point sizes, and/or without using leads?
I have occasionally taken others’ composition apart for reuse and found something looking like varnish holding the type together, although as the type was of great age it could’ve been degraded ink/solvent/stuff….

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It was pretty common to almost flood the type forme with solvent to clean the ink off, which allowed the type wash and ink mixture to run down and wick in between the letters by capillary action. Then it dried and the residue glues the letters together. It can be pretty strong glue. But purely unintentional.


like Bob says we used to flood the form with type wash so we could get it locked in the chase.

If the object of the exercise is to hold type together, pending reprint or storage etc, and spacing material is at a premium,! the above trick(s) should be the first line of defense, but as A.L.P. implies can end up too strong, for subsequent breaking down and/or dissing back into case, for re-use.

One well tried and tested alternative method, from a long time ago, and still taught and used by the *New Kids on the block* where possible or practical follows:-
Both the Monotype Supercaster & The Elrod produced strip material, leads and rules from 1 Point up through to 12 point and bigger,! BUT also produced >TIE UP< clumps, which were in fact, usually in the form of 6 Point low leads with a 3 point slot the length of the strip, whatever length suited the type matter, top and bottom only? the standing type *tied* up in the conventional manner, stored on Galleys/Racks etc, safely, as long as needed.!!!!

TIE UP clumps probably as rare as *Hens Teeth*, etc,

NO problem, from virtually any D.I.Y. or Wood-store, source strips of Ramin, Oak, Beech, or similar, 6-8 Feet long or whatever 5/8” high x 1/8” thick (the type of material that would normally be used to face shelves with etc).

By implication a precision bench saw is required, (apologies) the *lengths* are cut as required and then rebated centrally along the length,s 4-5 point deep, the width of the cut from the teeth is perfect to accomodate 4/5/6, turns of genuine Page cord.

There is an added advantage of acquiring and mastering the above system,….I.E, in production houses, (and possibly still now for the New ones) when multi page Jobs, Books etc. were likely to come back for reprint etc, and required to be stored, the running headings and the folios were removed, Tie Up clumps top and bottom, and stored.???

Also seen here, U.K. and has been published on B.P. before, a whole range, by length,(s) of *KEEPERS* versatile sprung loaded, 12 point thick, devices to perform exactly the same job, as above, virtually “novice proof”.

How many *Pied the Type* in the first few attempts at Tying Up.!!

The Author certainly did, but worse, PIED a Monotype,
5 point Times, Matrix case, and took more than 6 hours to re-assemble.

My last real job was a hand compositor, the shop tied all their forms, I almost always used rubber bands, couldn’t tie a form to same my soul, they made me tie up my forms, must have pied the first 5 of 10 before I got it right. Old Mick you really jogged my memory, thanks.

I’ve seen old ads for anti-workup fluids, which dry and hold the form together so no spacing material works up to printing height.

Stale beer…the old timers anti-wotkup solution.

Thanks for that. I may unintentionally follow this process when all else fails.
Given the age of the font I disassembled, I did wonder if it was rendered fish bones or similar, such was it’s sticking power.

Etinink, yes, by default and occasionally, it (the type) does stick together too well, usually prompting an attack with tweezers or the obligatory column slicing knife,??? manufactured from a Linotype space-band, both bad news in the long run, especially when damaging the face of the Last Cap *E/N/O/R/S/T, in 36 to 72 point.etc.
Type too badly stuck together, for resetting or dissing back in to case, = Baste and Marinate in shallow dish overnight etc. with any lower grade spirit, White Spirit, Turpentine or similar, best of all ordinary Auto Diesel, cost, Peanuts, after soaking lifted out en masse or as individual characters! on newsprint or blotting paper, diesel and the above eventual evaporate but do leave a minute oily residue, which *mimics* type that has been used, dissed back in etc often seen case(s) of type where the X, Z, ligatures and dithongs, have been >cased> scrupulously clean and dry and have Oxidised through NON use and no film.!!!

O.K. double edged sword in that characters with enclosed images, O D P B, o d p b q etc etc remained filled in after claening, usually because the Menials, Apprentices, Stone hands etc would not want to be held responsible for damaging, normally remedied, by an apprentice, being instructed to clean out each and every character, CAREFULLY with the obligatory Comps/Minders tweezers with the BUILT IN *bodkin* that flipped out, as per the Flick Knife, surprised that such “tool” has not yet, been posted on B.P. as far as can be ascertained, inc. the Linotype Space-band (modified) tool.??

Dick, absolutely NO disrespect, even linotype space-bands wear out eventually! but do get recycled, as far as we know the Graphic Suppliers U.K. never marketed a Column slitting tool, as in slitting the columns vertically, to insert Rules through the 6 dot leader lines, which probably could not be done on the Lino, we believe,!! Or could it.?

Again apologies for lack of communication recently, including the Sadly, Badly neglected Friend In St Paul,
Back in residence after a long siege, involving the *Burn Up* at home.!!

Most normal people inc. the Old Ones would go for a Burn Up either around our M 25 etc, U.K. or, Maybe down the Interstate, U.S.A.???

Not this VERY Old Goat, this Burn Up was indoors took out the Gas, Electricity, Water and 3 Table top Adana,s and a Sqintani S, there-fore one has imposed the penalty of (like schooldays) writing 1,000 lines >Must try Harder< one has banished ones-self from doing it Step & Repeat on the Monotype Or on the Intertype in Our Museum Print shop, even IF one were to make a donation to the funds.!. .