Plastic Type Cases

Does any fellow type-slinger know a supplier of Franklin Plastic Type Cases? They are double-cap layout and fit on a 12x18 galley. Thanks!
Doug Franklin
[email protected]
iPh. 250 886-1319

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I don.t think these are still being made. I’ve wondered for years now, since Thompson Cabinet Co. went out of business, why someone had not considered molded plastic cases in California and double cap styles in at least the 2/3 size. We can still buy type from many sources, but can

To be found in the comp rooms of many private presses here in the UK, are odds and ends of a system of little plastic boxes,
marketed here under the trade name ‘Rob Roy’ (heavens knows why) which came in two - three sizes and all nested together into an open tray standard C.D. typecase size. I never recall seeing them in ‘proper use’, but invariably in small groups holding say accents used in a particular job in hand
along side the type case in actual use in the manner of a space barge. I have quite a few, holding odd border units,
and fractions etc etc etc., just as in the past.

Thank you all for your comments and advice. I am now investigating several suppliers.

One tiny method that we used to use,! since a long time ago.
Print Shops that produced business cards, Ad Infinitum, boxed/packed their business cards >3 & 1/2” x 2”< in Plastic Boxes with lids. Freebies back then, but probably available from Stationers or Craft shops, Now.

As Type boxes the possibilities are good, if not endless,
i. e. with the lids cut down as dividers, 2/3/4, maybe more! 2 vertical dividers, for 3 compartments, 2 horizontal for 3 compartments, 2 diagonal for 4 compartments etc
The plastic material, (normally used) trims down well and with a minute speck of superglue per divider, gives perfect results.
with a little forethought, facsimiles of *minature* or 1/2 size type-cases are not exactly Hi Tech, but perfectly serviceable, and always Up-gradeable.

As Harrild implies above, plastic boxes were a fairly common sight, usually located in a double sided Cap Case without horizontal OR vertical dividers, often in colour coded boxes, for variations in size of type and/or Caps, L/case, Accents, Fractions, Outside sorts, odd spacing, etc., etc. Good Luck.

If one had an original could it be duplicated by vacuum forming…even in sections if necessary….and softer vac plastic would be more preferable than that hard plastic that sends shivers up your spine when your finger nail scratches on it….hated them for that reason.

Hawthorn, Baker at Dunstable Uk (aka Cornerstone) did indeed make vacuum formed trays in a black plastic that was fitted into an empty tray case. I have two or three. It is ideal for 6 point as the thinner characters could not creep under the usual wooden divisions in a usual case. .

Here is a thing I made to address this issue:

Making modular boxes that clip together to form any imaginable type case layout is sure cool, but impractical as it takes a long time to print each box on my 3D printer.

So eventually I would like to make molds for this design and manufacture them from a casting process. Any ideas to improve would be welcome.

Mike Moore
LetterKraft Press

Mike at L.K.P. a long time ago here U.K. we toyed with the idea of reproducing type cases, similar to Your endeavours, but mostly ended up with Injection Moulding by the (expensive) professionals and without the means to supply a working Mould or prototype.
However We did study the format and construction of our U.K. cases and realised that, generally, the construction of all the internal cross sections (compartments) are made up of every vertical & horizontal strips are made by undercutting equally 50/50% slots - cross pieces from the top down and horizontal pieces from the bottom up, (or vice versa)! we sourced Ramin stripwood 3/4” high and as near as possible the thickness of the *cut* from the blade of our Table Saw (or free standing saw)

With a little forward planing we could turn out precise lengths >ad hoc< and just slotted them together as required, for whatever format was required, we did include the minutest speck of glue at the intersection, but was hardly necessary, when the slots were good fit.

At one time we even went to the extent of having a Circular saw Blade (on resharpening) having the Tips not only resharpened but ground laterally to give exactly a Pica (12 pt.) cut, at that time precisely the width of our Ramin stock.

Which turned out to have desire-able side benefit i.e. our dedicated Printers Power saws, normally have Click stop side gauges in the order of 12 Pt. per click and 1 Pt. micrometer adjustments per revolution, knowing that the blade would remove exactly a Pica per click was/is quite handy and made for economy with the material.

Apologies if the above be rubbish, but offered in good faith, and may provide food for thought. Good Luck. Mick. U.K.

This would seem like a good candidate for vacuum forming. You could start with your 3D-printed parts and use the assembled pieces as the mold for a vacuum table. You’d want to add a bit of draft and filleting to the designs before printing them, but other than that it could work well. Once formed and trimmed each case “top” could be mounted to a plywood base for rigidity if needed. It would seem to me to be a fairly simple method of new typecase construction.

Michael Hurley
Titivilus Press
Memphis, TN

The last supplier of Franklin Plasticases is Jackson Rubber Stamp Supply. I have about fifty of ‘em and still use these today. The 3D printer sounds good but very, very slow to produce a single type case. I sold two with type on Ebay but packing these with the type is a shipping nightmare. I am thinking of using styro “plugs” and running one thru my shrink wrap system. But I’m in no hurry to sell my type at this time…

Here is a photo of a case containing plastic boxes which at present holds maths and greek sorts. the boxes came in various colours and 2 sizes

image: plastic boxes.jpg

plastic boxes.jpg

The Danish company Raaco sells modular insets that I’ve been using with success to make extra storage space for spacing material.
The catalog can be downloaded here:

image: DSC07328.jpg


image: DSC07327.jpg