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Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 4

To Accurately Reduce the Size of Types.—

To Accurately Reduce the Size of Types.—

In the better class of job-work, it is sometimes necessary to cut one or more types down from one body to a smaller one. As a rule, this is done either by whittling or filing, or both, and the result is inaccurate and unsatisfactory; the type is often battered or broken in the process, and the cut side is wedged, jagged, and uneven. Typo once had to reduce a number of brevier figures, with decimal points, to nonpareil, removing the beard, the object being to indicate at intervals, by the insertion of a brass-rule in a close column showing equation of time, the change from + to —, and vice versâ. After some trouble, we devised a plan which, without any special apparatus, enabled the work to be done without injury to the letter, and with absolute accuracy. Let it be required, for example, to reduce a 10-point type to 8-point, the character still maintaining the same relative position to the centre of the body. By the ordinary method, with knife or file, the comp might spoil a dozen letters, without succeeding in fulfilling the conditions. He can, however, readily do it in this manner. Take two brass-rules, quads, or other suitable pieces, to 9-point standard, and lay them on the middle-bar of the lower-case, with the 10-point type between them, nick upwards, the face of the letter (protected by a pad of blotting-paper) resting against the inner surface of the fore-edge of the case. The 10-point type will stand exactly 1 point above the gauges on each side. Keeping the three pieces close together, shave with a sharp knife or chisel, beginning a little above the middle, and cutting towards the face, care being exercised in shaving between the nicks. The 9-point guides will prevent the tool from sinking and jagging the metal, as is unavoidable in the usual method. Scrape or shave until the gauges begin to brighten—a sign that enough metal has been removed. Then reverse the letter, and shave from the middle to the foot in the same manner. By this means the type is quickly and neatly reduced to 9-point standard. Now take two 8-point gauges, turn the nick-side downwards, and repeat the operation. If care has been taken, there will be no batter on the face of the letter, not the slightest portion of metal will have been unnecessarily removed, and the type will be as square and smooth and true, and line as well as if originally cast to 8-point standard. The plan applies equally well in the ease of lateral reductions, as for monogram brands, &c., which can be as neatly cut as by the costly appliances of a rule-factory. Try our method once—and you will never again reduce a type by filing or whittling.