It’s a wonderful feeling to have a metal chase in front of you filled with type, knowing that it’s only held in with the wooden and metal spacing and the expanding metal quoins you’ve used. It’s a difficult thing to master, but practice is your friend.
You need to start by assembling the type in a composing stick, then transferring this to a level surface to ‘lock up’. There are some additional bits and pieces you’ll need
This is an iterative process and you’ll have to go over setting type and locking up multiple times before you can be sure it’s safe to attach to the press. The steps are outlined in this guide to locking up
Where the type meets the impression of the press there’s the tricky business of makeready: getting all of your type, blocks of images and other things to be printed to be perfectly level so that you can get the right impression on the press. There’s a few pointers in this technical notes on ‘makeready’