Tag: Wood Type

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  • Always Make Waves

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    Daniel Schneider, a graduate of the Industrial Archaeology program at Michigan Technological University, has been hard at work on a new border design. Dan got the die stamper in production for the first time in half a century and designed a new border in the process. Very little was known about this incredible machine until Dan started revealing some of its secrets. Now he is working on producing a new border that he designed.

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  • Making Mardell: An Interview with Louise Fili

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    The Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum staff is honored to partner with New York-based graphic designer Louise Fili on her first font release project. The new font, “Mardell,” is named for Hamilton retiree and wood type cutter Mardell Doubek. Lousie visited the museum for an interview on March 17, 2016. It was fun night of talking process, wood type, and design.

    This is the fourth font to be cut for the museum as part of the Wood Type Legacy Project. The project enlists internationally known designers to create original designs, naming the fonts after Hamilton Manufacturing employees who have helped preserve and carry on the rare craft of making wood type. Louise joins Matthew Carter, Erik Spiekermann and Nick Sherman who have all designed fonts for this project.

    Louise's design showcases her ongoing exploration of Italian Modernist graphics while featuring a futurist-inspired geometric design. The Mardell font is available for purchase at hamiltonwoodtype.com as a...

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  • Wood Type Archaeology: Motive Power

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    On my most recent trip to Two Rivers and the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum, I rigged up a one-horsepower electric motor to the die stamping machine the Hamilton Manufacturing Company used to make decorative wood type border during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I was hopeful this motor would be sufficient to power the machine through its stamping action. It takes a fair amount of force to drive a stamping die into end-grain maple blocks, and the smaller motor I had tried in early January was not up to the task.

    Motorizing the die stamping machinery is a vital precursor to the experimental work I am doing with the machine as part of my thesis research in the Industrial Archaeology program at Michigan Technological University. When the stamping machine was installed and in operation in the Hamilton Manufacturing Company’s type shop a century and more ago, it would have been in constant motion. The machine has no throw-off lever or clutch mechanism of...

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  • In the Woodshop: Learning as we go along

    Mardell Doubek, David Carpenter, and I have now been working together since July to learn how to cut wood type on the pantograph. We started out with long grain scrap wood and have now “graduated” to end grain maple. The difference between the two woods is like night and day not only in appearance but in terms of cutting ease. It is now a pleasure, instead of a chore, to cut type.

    While we felt ready to cut the real stuff, we knew we had a limited stock of processed wood to go along with our amateur skills. For those reasons, we decided to start with ornaments in a variety of sizes and shapes. The ultimate goal was to have something to sell not only at the 2014 Wayzgoose but online and in the gift shop. (The ornaments are available for sale now in the store.)

    What quickly became apparent is that the act of cutting on the pantograph is just a small part of the entire wood type...

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