Composing Stick
Com­pos­ing Stick

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