Elrod Caster
Elrod Cast­er

The Elrod is the part­ner to the Lud­low for pro­duc­ing strip mate­r­i­al: that’s rules, leads and bases for mount­ing plates.  The ben­e­fits are sim­i­lar to the Lud­low: one machine to pro­duce a vari­ety of mate­r­i­al that can nev­er be exhaust­ed.

Ben­jamin Elrod took inter­est in strip mate­r­i­al from 1917 while he we still a Lino­type oper­a­tor, the basis of his idea being that his machine would cast a con­tin­u­ous strip of mate­r­i­al rather than a sin­gle slug at a time.  He con­duct­ed a num­ber of exper­i­ments with the met­al pot of a Lino­type and extrud­ing mate­r­i­al with pli­ers through a mould.  The pro­ceeds from the sale of this mate­r­i­al fund­ed fur­ther devel­op­ment of the Elrod.   Mr Elrod had approached the Lud­low peo­ple and agreed to sell his machine to the firm in June 1920.  By 1929 elec­tri­cal heat­ing was being used in Elrods.

Moulds between 12pt and 36pt are ‘cored’, that is to say the mate­r­i­al has holes in the mid­dle, reduc­ing weight and also met­al used.  Lubri­ca­tion of the mould is achieved by dis­pers­ing oil in the molten met­al, which comes to the sur­face as the met­al cools, thus lubri­cat­ing the mould.  The ‘pulling mech­a­nism’ drags mate­r­i­al out of the machine, which in the­o­ry might reach an end­less length!

Andy Tay­lor has pro­vid­ed this excel­lent clip of his Elrod in oper­a­tion.  He adds: “just for inter­ests sake its my Mod­el F Elrod cast­ing 36pt low leads for 8 gauge plate mount that as you point out is the max­i­mum size it could achieve. I’ve also got a Mod­el K which could cast up to 18pt.”