Sortin' the sorts
















I can now check quite a few items off of my letterpress to-acquire list. I discovered that, in fact, I already had a chase for my press. Silly me, I'm still getting the hang of identifying all of these cast-iron press parts; and what I had assumed was one piece was actually two--the chase being released by a little hidden lever at the back. Next, the rollers which had been held for me by my personal letterpress godfather, master printer Mike Kaylor, have come home. So I ordered the roller trucks from NA Graphics and they arrived a few days ago. Things are really starting to come together.

Then, on Martin Luther King Day (a blessed day off work), Mike invited me to come along with him to move a local press and some type from a fellow printer looking to downsize. It was a cold day hauling type cases from a cold garage; 
A strikingly similar Golding Pear
but inside the house where the press (a beautiful Golding Pearl) lived, it was warm and cozy, heated by a lovely woodstove and periodically punctuated by ringing from the antique black rotary phone hanging on the wall. This press was a beauty, with a flywheel on its left side to crank it. And it was small, so small: so delicate and so heavily industrial at once. 
This press we moved to the Print Shop at the Rose O'Neill Literary House, where it will certainly be put to good use. Possibly moved around to different literary conferences for demonstrations.

And lucky me! For helping him move this stuff, Mike let me have my pick of the type we hauled away. There was some good stuff in there, too. So now I have a couple drawers worth of Century font, in various sizes and styles; a case of 14 pt. Garamond; a fancy 12 pt. font called Rivoli; and an art deco style one, 18 pt. Bernard Fashion.

So now that I have those empty type drawers waiting in my cabinet and type to fill them with, I have begun the transfer process, which is a bit long and tedious. I'm moving this type from the larger California style job case to my two-thirds California type drawers; so the layout is a bit more compacted (a much better fit for my tiny living room). And I also need to check each piece of type (also called sorts) to make sure that it is what and where it's supposed to be. I'm also cleaning them up a little in the move because other people's type is dirty! Dust and dirt and dead insects and mouse poop. That is the usual debris in old type cases. But they get to start fresh now with a good dust off and re-sorting into cleaned-out drawers.















But of course, all of this means that between working seven days a week, taking care of the dog and cats, eating, sleeping, and working on my projects, the housework has fallen very far behind. Dust and dog-cat fur-bunnies have accumulated to an alarming degree, carpets and floorboards are littered with things including my project supplies/materials, the bathtub and toilet need serious scrubbing, not to mention dishes and laundry steadily needing washing, drying, putting away. Where's a house-husband when you need one?


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