Holes in Metal Type

I recently acquired a few cabinets of metal type that have been dormant for a couple decades and have started cleaning/sorting it all. (Very helpful tips on this discussion board for that, so thank you!) Most of it is in excellent condition aside from a layer of dust, but recently came across a handful that have these holes in the body. I haven’t been able to find any info about what the cause of this may be. Curious if they are still usable for printing or if I should discard (or pose any harm to the other type).

Appreciate any insight!

image: Metal Type

Metal Type

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Can have multiple reasons:

Mold to cold, than the metal hist the mold it immediately hardens,

Not enough pressure on the Pump, just not enough metal moved into the cavity.

I would discard them. eg melt down for something new

These are voids, and are present to a greater or lesser degree inside most type, but you rarely see it unless you bowl it down, or it collapses under printing pressure.

These in the photo are exceptionally large and numerous, but shouldn’t cause much of a problem during printing unless you apply exceptional pressure.

Hah, bppayne.

All that information makes a lot of sense now in hindsight considering most of the pieces have had the nick side of the body cut down.

Thank you all for taking the time to reply! Back to sorting…

If you have decent looking newly cast type, silvery in appearance, its has not lost any of the two minor but vital components in the mixture. Monotype metal at its best was
called ‘10-16’, these being percentages of tin and antimony
the rest being lead. Now, if melted down after printing and re-used i.e. cast as type again and again , it very gradually deteriorates, loosing those two lesser components. The mixture is no longer right, cast letters are now dull and grey
and tend to have holes, even if the casting temp is correct.
Typically very thin letters collapse. under impression.
When Japan surrendered after WW2, its principal newspaper had not been able to access the special alloy
‘metal reviving ingots’ ( to restore the recipe mix) and it was almost unable to print. The UK component of the then
(1946) occupation force quietly organised a supply of those
reviving ingots, to allow ….

Those sorts have been sawn or shaved to reduce letter-spacing or alignment. No type comes out of the mold with sides like that, only interiors. You can fill the voids if needed, and I like Plastic Steel Epoxy from Devcon.