Master Typecutter Georgie Liesch recently embarked on an adventure to cut an arrow we had never cut before at the Museum.
The pattern was uncovered as some of our larger patterns were being documented. Unlike some other arrows and wood type ornaments, it did not appear to be part of a larger set of patterns.
This pattern is an older one, as evidenced by the lack of a "side lip" preventing the tracer bit from dropping down after tracing the form.
Because it is brittle and very long, this pattern is also vulnerable to pressure. When locking the pattern into place for tracing, Georgie had to bolster it with a brace in order to lessen the direct pressure on the pattern itself.
The pattern is 72 lines along the length of the arrow, and 6.5 lines wide. Normally a pattern like this would be traced and cut along its length, but a 72-line horizontal pattern stretches the pantograph to the point where it is harder to maintain control while cutting.
The 72-line pattern was locked in vertically (pointing away from Georgie) and cut using a 1/3 ratio, resulting in wood type arrows with a length of 24 lines. It was a great chance to use some of the long, narrow "ends" from half-rounds left over after using the bulk of the half-round for type with larger line height.
These very long and lean arrows have now been cut for the pointing pleasure of printers who might see fit to ink them up for printing.