Ancillary Equipment for Typecasting Machines

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Larger auxiliary equipment either useful or necessary for operating type casting machines.

See also Typecasting Tools (for smaller tools, particularly those for type alignment and sizing) and operational/maintenance tool lists for individual machines (e.g., A Thompson Type Caster Toolkit).

1. Cooling

Most type casting machines require external water cooling. In the early 20th century, the typical practice was to use the building's regular water supply and to discharge into the sewer. This is now not good practice not only for environmental reasons but for reasons of maintenance and machine preservation. It is much better to use a closed-loop water cooling system with distilled water so as to reduce build-up of residue within the mold cooling passages. The fewer times you have to clean deposits out of your molds, the longer they'll last.

By 1970, the English Monotype company was suggesting closed-loop systems. Walczak cites this in his 1996 article (see below).

At the 1994 American Typecasting Fellowship meeting, in (presumably unpublished) discussions, Monroe Postman described a closed-loop system. Walczak cites this in his 1996 article (see below).

The C. C. Stern Type Foundry has devised a portable, self-contained cooling unit which has a coil of (I presume copper) tubing around a central tank. It is visible in the photographs in the blog posting by Jeff Shay for the hookup of their "Orphan Annie" Monotype display caster:

The Ludlow Typograph Company supplied external refrigeration-based cooling units for their Model M Ludlow Typograph lincasting machines and for their Elrod stripcasting machines (the Elrod coolers were much larger). Most of these have now failed (they seem to have had a design life of only a quarter century or so), but, if available, they would probably work well for typecasting.

Less elaborate systems are also possible. In my own experience, it has been possible to run a Thompson Type-Caster in my very limited use with a submersible pump and a single five gallon bucket as both source and drain. Also, at one point while apprenticing, circumstances required us to run production on two machines for entire days using a five gallon plastic bucket as the source and an empty five gallon bucket as the drain. When we ran through one bucket, on all but the hottest days it was sufficient to simply dump the full drain bucket into the source bucket.

The best-documented cooling system is that built by Jim Walczak. It has served him in practice for many years. He has written two descriptions of it - the second of which contains complete diagrams and a bill of materials.

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Walczak. Self-Contained Cooling System. (1996)

Walczak, Jim. "A Self-Contained Cooling System." In the Newsletter of the American Typecasting Fellowship, No. 19 (January 1996).

This article was not illustrated. It was reprinted, with additions, illustrations, and a bill of materials, in Walczak's 2004 article (see below).

[click image to read]

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Walczak. Self-Contained Cooling System. (2004)

Walczak, Jim. "My Self-Contained Cooling System for Type-Casting Machines." (Oxon Hill, Maryland: Sycamore Press & Typefoundry, 2004) Paper presented at the Sept. 2004 conference of the American Typecasting Fellowship, held in Terra Alta, WV. This article reprints his 1996 article (see above). It includes a new introduction and adds a schematic diagram, a pictorial diagram, and a bill of materials.

Reprinted here by the kind permission of Jim Walczak, given in converation at the 2014 ATF Conference in Salem, NH. My thanks to David C. Churchman for permitting me to scan his copy.

In the PDF linked above, I have taken the liberty of rotating the two diagrams so that they appear in horizontal format. That makes online viewing more convenient, but it may cause issues when printing the document as it mixes "portrait" and "landscape" orientations. In case it does, here is the same document with the diagram pages in their original ("portrait") orientation. walczak-atf-2004-self-contained-cooling-system-0600rgbjpg.pdf Both files are 79 Megabyte PDFs.

2. Metal Feeders

See the Metal Feeders section of the CircuitousRoot Notebooks on Common Casting Equipment

In particular, for literature on the Margach Automatic Metal Feeder (which according to the report of one current owner was fitted to at least one Thompson caster), see: Margach Feeders.

3. Remelt Furnaces and Related Equipment

See the CircuitousRoot Notebooks on Common Casting Equipment

4. Typemetal Assay Equipment

See the CircuitousRoot Notebooks on Common Casting Equipment

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