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  #21  
Old 02-26-2022, 12:09 PM
Laurence Finston Laurence Finston is offline
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I managed to get my camera to work again. The photos from earlier today are lost, though. I would have deleted my last posting but that doesn't seem to be possible.
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  #22  
Old 02-26-2022, 10:42 PM
Laurence Finston Laurence Finston is offline
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First cast

The photos before and during casting were lost, but the wax model survived removing the cast, so I could photograph it. It can be improved and reused. It's not perfect but I'd reached the point of diminishing returns with making corrections.

Some plaster got stuck in the depressions in the mold. I waited two hours before removing the cast. Next time, I'll wait longer, in case that might help. However, the result is usable. I will build up the cast using spackle and carve it into shape. Obviously, the surrounding circles aren't perfectly circular. I want to try to correct the worst place or two by spackling and carving.

The next step after fixing up the cast (soon to be a mold) is to cast a plaster negative, which I can then use for casting a positive with the type metal.
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Last edited by Laurence Finston; 02-26-2022 at 10:55 PM.
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  #23  
Old 02-27-2022, 12:59 AM
Laurence Finston Laurence Finston is offline
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Spackling

Started fixing up the plaster cast/mold with spackle. The latter will be dry in a couple of hours and I could do some rough carving. For any finer carving, filing or sanding I'll have to wait until the plaster is dry enough, which should take a couple of days.

I'll probably have to add spackle and carve it down at least once again and maybe more times.

I used a plaster knife for mixing the spackle but the palette knives for applying it. Unlike plaster knives or paint scrapers, which are rigid, palette knives are flexible so it's possible to do finer work.

I've seen some very nice plasterwork on and in buildings in Germany, particularly of the Baroque era.
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Lettering-sscf0011.jpg   Lettering-sscf0012.jpg  
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  #24  
Old 02-28-2022, 02:18 AM
Laurence Finston Laurence Finston is offline
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I built up the cast with spackle and started to carve it back down. However, I soon decided to build it up some more before doing this. I will put on another layer of spackle after this one. I hope that will be enough.

I've lost the exact outlines of the letters, which is too bad. I'll have to trace them onto the plaster and carve them out.

I probably could have avoided having to do this by making sure the sides of the cut out letters were perpendicular to the surface and the bottoms were flat or by starting with a wax positive in the first place. However, things usually don't work right the first time and it was worth a try using a wax negative.
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Lettering-uscf0004.jpg   Lettering-uscf0005.jpg   Lettering-uscf0006.jpg   Lettering-uscf0007.jpg   Lettering-uscf0008.jpg  

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  #25  
Old 03-02-2022, 12:51 AM
Laurence Finston Laurence Finston is offline
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I've built up the form for the last time, I hope. It will take a couple of hours for the spackle to dry but I may be able to work on this this afternoon.

I've built it up pretty high, but I actually don't want that much relief, in order not to waste the type metal. There's also no need for it to be that high.

I may have to add a dab of spackle here and there once I start carving back down, but I hope I won't have to add large amounts anymore. I do plan on building up the rim before casting. However, it will be much easier to work on the surface without the built-up rim, especially seeing as how I don't have many chisels with curved or offset shafts.

It's a lot like frosting a cake and that's the way it looks, too.
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  #26  
Old 07-17-2022, 10:43 PM
Laurence Finston Laurence Finston is offline
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New attempt

After a couple of failed attempts, I'm making a new one.

Carving a negative in the wax didn't work well, so I filled it in again and started carving a reversed positive. This looks more promising and I'm optimistic that it will work this time.
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Lettering-ztcg0001.jpg   Lettering-ztcg0002.jpg   Lettering-ztcg0003.jpg  
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  #27  
Old 07-19-2022, 02:41 PM
John Wagenseil John Wagenseil is offline
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I have been following your posts and am amazed at your high level of "kitchen table" craftsmanship.
Is to possible to use a laser cutter to make stencils for printing or to cut the blocks for woodblock printing? Might it also be possible to use 3D printing to print molds for typeface and even blocks of reversed letters and images that can be inked and printed?
Near where I live there are stores that do laser engraving and cutting that are almost affordable, and downtown there are jobbing shops that will do one off 3D printing or milling if you supply them with the program and a lot of money, and there are on line shops that do 3D printing and CNC milling.

Are CNC milling and 3D printing capable of the fine detail needed to reproduce letter press type, or cut a printer's block of type or a mold into which you cold pour type metal?
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  #28  
Old 07-19-2022, 03:09 PM
Laurence Finston Laurence Finston is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Wagenseil View Post
I have been following your posts and am amazed at your high level of "kitchen table" craftsmanship.
Thank you very much! I don't know whether I've mentioned this before, but that literally is my kitchen table. I'm starting to look into renting some space for a workshop again (after about 25 years), but I may move to another town because of the inflated real estate prices (and rents?) where I live, so nothing's decided yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Wagenseil View Post
Is to possible to use a laser cutter to make stencils for printing or to cut the blocks for woodblock printing?
Stencils for sure. Linoleum blocks, I think so. Wood blocks (I'm using plywood made of lindenwood), I don't know. I haven't considered a laser cutter because of the price. I have considered a cutting plotter, but they don't seem to be available for GNU/Linux and I don't want to buy a second computer or install Windows parallel to GNU/Linux on my PC. I just don't like Windows and don't want to get into that.

I don't know whether a cutting plotter would be able to cut with as much accuracy as I would need. A laser cutter for sure would be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Wagenseil View Post
Might it also be possible to use 3D printing to print molds for typeface and even blocks of reversed letters and images that can be inked and printed?
I'm sure it would. I don't know whether the workpieces would withstand the heat of molten casting metal (even though that's not extremely hot), but you could probably use them to cast plaster molds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Wagenseil View Post
Near where I live there are stores that do laser engraving and cutting that are almost affordable, and downtown there are jobbing shops that will do one off 3D printing or milling if you supply them with the program and a lot of money, and there are on line shops will also do that. Are CNC milling and 3D printing capable of the fine detail needed to reproduce letter press type, or cut a printer's block of type or a mold into which you cold pour type metal?
I'm not sure exactly what milling is, but CNC metalworking machines are certainly capable of more detail and greater accuracy than a person. There is even a hobbyist-grade engraving machine from the company Proxxon that I've had my eye on. They make a whole line of small tools for hobbyist modelmakers and also have other tools for professionals, like for dental modelling. They're all pretty reasonable. I have the catalogue from 2021 and it says the prices would be increased by 4.8% in September 2021. The price of the engraving machine in the catalogue is 195 (Graviereinrichtung GE20).

They've got little drills with bits for filing and sanding, miniature lathes, etc. They also have a stationary tool for cutting with a CNC interface. I don't own any of their tools (yet).

I can do 3D printing at the university library for very little money. Haven't tried this yet.

I would definitely test all of these things, given a chance, but I really enjoy doing things by hand. I would rather make prototypes than go into production.

I hope this doesn't sound too crass, but I do plan to sell things: the prints, casts in plaster and papier-mache and plaster molds. I set up an online-shop for this purpose. I don't have anything to sell yet. (That may be why business has been so bad.) It's just a hobby, I'm retired and out of the rat race and am only doing it for fun. My prices would not be outrageous but anything hand-made is going to be more expensive than a factory-made product that's manufactured in huge lots.

So, if it works and you just wanted a plaster mold for casting type, I'd be happy to sell one to you (or anybody else). I doubt that it will work the first time, but I'm pretty certain I'll get there.
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  #29  
Old 07-20-2022, 08:01 PM
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whulsey whulsey is offline
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Really interesting thread, as all of yours are.
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  #30  
Old 07-20-2022, 10:10 PM
Laurence Finston Laurence Finston is offline
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Thank you very much! I'll be out of town for a couple of days and will reply next week, if anyone posts anything more.
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