3240RE: [PPLetterpress] Type case blueprint?
- Dec 1, 2004I have made racks for large numbers of cases and they are easy to make. I
never drew up formal blueprints and each rack should fit into the space
allotted to it, particularly the working surface you put on the top (plywood
My basic design is to construct two rectangles of 5/4 x 4 stock with open
mortise and tenon joints (easy to make) 18" by 43". (Don't ask me why, for
some reason that matches the height of something I bought years ago. Chose
a height that works for you.) Of course you can simply screw 18" strips of
wood to the 43" uprights as long as the 18" pieces are on the outside of the
frame, but this doesn't work for a double frame. You want a smooth surface
for the entire height on the inside to accommodate the drawers. (I know they
are CASES but from a carpentry point of view they have to work as drawers.)
You could also use pieces of plywood 18" x 43" to avoid the joinery, but you
can't really screw into the edges of plywood which you will want to do for
the stretchers and top. The frame needs to be strong because 40 cases of
lead type are very heavy.
I then get lengths of 1/2" or better, 3/4", aluminum L shaped strips
(available in hardware stores) and cut them into 16" or 18" lengths
(depending on how the length of the strips you get divides out). I drill
two holes in each piece, flair the holes with a countersink bit, and screw
these onto the frames at 1 1/8" intervals. These serve as slides for the
drawers. I put a thin strip of wood on top of the slides on each side about
17" back from the front so that all the cases will sit flush in front.
Then I attach stretchers of scrap wood (say 1 x 4) on the rear and bottom to
hold the side pieces the correct distance apart (about 32.5" for California
job cases). The top also serves to keep the frames properly spaced. A
diagonal strip of wood on the back adds rigidity. I have used a piece of 1"
flat steel bar across the bottom in front to allow for one more case, but if
you are not overflowing, a piece of wood will do.
Using the aluminum L strips allows the cases to be very tightly spaced and
thus maximizes the number of cases a rack can hold. If you are not
concerned about this, you can simply use small strips of wood.
Note that if your cases have lips in front you will have to use a wider
You should be able to build a rack in less than a day.
I hope this helps.
From: Katie Harper [mailto:knharper@...]
Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2004 10:43 PM
Subject: [PPLetterpress] Type case blueprint?
Non polymer question:
For those (like me) who persist in keeping metal type about the place...
I have a few California cases that don¹t have a cabinet. I have seen
homemade stands that can hold them, and am wondering if anyone on this list
has built one of those, and if so, if you have plans or guide to building
Ars Brevis Press
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