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A Maker's Mark Redux and how it was done old school.

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  • A Maker's Mark Redux and how it was done old school.

    As I am very slowly unpacking the shop in it's new home, I ran across this last night and thought about Jim's recent post on marking projects.

    This is from a box of antique tools that is a mix of my grandpa's great grandpa's toolbox. Casper Halberg. was great grandpa so this is likely from the late 1800's or very early 1900's

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    Chr's
    __________
    An ethical man knows the right thing to do.
    A moral man does it.

  • #2
    Oh, that's cool.

    I'm trying to figure out how they would have made this stamp.

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    • #3
      I recall years ago, one of the mail order houses offered custom name embosser tools just like the one your ancestor had.
      Jim Frye
      The Nut in the Cellar.
      ”Sawdust Is Man Glitter”

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      • #4
        I think there's some places that can do it.
        Google something like custom metal stamps.
        Loring in Katy, TX USA
        If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
        BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

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        • #5
          This is pure speculation based on my limited printing and typesetting knowledge gained from my father in law who maintained printing presses for four decades.

          My guess would be it was cast. They did have hot metal printing then where they would pour molten tin into molds with reverse type set to make a line of type for a printing press. As long as the reverse type could handle the additional heat of molten iron, it should be the same process.
          Chr's
          __________
          An ethical man knows the right thing to do.
          A moral man does it.

          Comment


          • #6
            I am actually somewhat familiar with that process of molten lead type setting. Back in 1966 when I first started my career as an illustrator we had to rely on several different local establishments to get the photo stats, type setting, etc. done for the documents we'd illustrate, write, and publish. I'd spend some time working with a couple of local typesetter's back then. One place, Triple Cities Typeset, had several Linotype machines which they would use to print the type galley's (strips of printed paper about 14 inches long). To get that, I'd write the document by hand on a yellow pad of paper, the clerk would type it up, double-space, we'd proof-read it, make the corrections, I'd mark the specs and we'd take it to the typesetter where they'd use a Linotype machine. The Linotype was actually a big mechanical machine with a heavy keyboard, that the operator would have to punch the keys. I've long ago forgotten the specifics but basically, each keystroke would slide a mold (matrice) into position on a line and when the line was complete, a 'slug' would be cast from a drip of molten lead and the machine would slip that slug into into a stack; the matrice would be returned to it's magazine chute at the top of the machine. Once the stack was filled with with each line of slugs, it would then be taken to a frame where the galley would be set, any headings could be added from individual pre-cast type. Once done, the galley frame would be tapped down so all the slugs were even on their face, and then it would be placed on the letter press where it would be inked and then offset printed onto paper. When the project was completed the galley's would be sent back to me and on the drawing board, I'd rubber-cement them into page formats, cutting where necessary, splicing in any word or sentence that I'd find in error and placing, what we called 'rubylith matt' wherever a photo or illustration was required. Then it would go to a printer where negatives were made of the pasted-up pages, illustrations and photographs and then then the printer's prep artists would tape all that together, make a photo proof and send that back to me. On acceptance printing plates would be made for the offset presses to make the final multi-page prints, which would then be cut, folded, and bound.

            The Linotype machine was a large, very complex piece of machinery and the keyboard was tough on the fingers, not to mention the fact that the whole time, the operator had that molten pot of lead* right there where he could breath the fumes all day long. Sure beat hand-setting the type which is how they did it before the late 1800's. In my experience, I was still buying Linotype galley's right up to the late 70's, when it was replaced with photo-typeset. Even then, I was still getting just galley strips for paste-up and didn't actually get "desktop publishing" until the very early 90's, IIRC. That whole process took dozens of people and hundreds of hours. Today, except for binding, I can do that whole process right here on my laptop and laser printer.

            CWS

            * Note that the "lead" I referred to was actually a mixture referred to as "type metal', which was lead 50‒86%, antimony 11‒30% and tin 3‒20%. I had to look that up on Wikipedia. There are also a few informational videos on YouTube if anyone's really interested. Just search of "Linotype machine".
            Last edited by cwsmith; 03-05-2021, 12:51 PM. Reason: Additional information added
            Think it Through Before You Do!

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            • #7
              At Ingersoll-Rand's Painted Post plant where I worked, we had a rather large foundry. It wasn't a particularly great place to have to work, but it was interesting to see the iron casting process. There they primarily used sand for making the casting molds. Near the end of that foundary we had a couple of very interesting young brothers working there, both were engineers. As I recall, their father (and perhaps their grandfather) were both foundry men and they grew up with it. I recall them telling of getting a small casting foundry for Christmas when they were young. Those two guys knew everything and based upon some things discussed with them (we were in Toastmasters together) I would think that something like the embossing iron was probably well within the capabilities of many more people back a hundred years ago, than now. Blacksmiths, were still prevalent well into the 20th Century and having skills in iron workmanship was a major skill to have even today. The husband of one of the ladies I worked with back in the 70's, ran a blacksmith shop down near Lawrenceville, PA which is just south of Painted Post. I wouldn't be surprised if such skills couldn't still be found within reach of most places.

              CWS
              Think it Through Before You Do!

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              • #8
                That stamp in the OP has been used! The top has been pounded hard, and the bottom is cracked. Was probably used on steel or iron!
                Hank Lee

                Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

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                • LCHIEN
                  LCHIEN commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I agree with that assessment!

              • #9
                My guess is cast as well. That would partly explain the crack. Cast iron is on the fragile side and doesn't take impact well. Really interesting piece of history and heirloom you have there Chr's.

                Linotype. I don't know much about printing but i do know a bit about Linotype. I currently have a stash of about 300 pounds of this wonderful metal. The perfect blend is 4 Sn 12 Sb 84 Pb. With use the alloy loses Sn, it burns off. Sn ans Sb both add hardness and improve the flow and fill characteristics of lead. Without them pure lead would give poor type and would quickly wear with each use. The proper term escapes me but Linotype is a true alloy in that it melts at below the temp of Sb but above that of Pb and once alloyed remains alloyed. You might be asking how it is i know or care about such things.

                One of my other hobbies is cast bullet shooting. Linotype just happens to be the alloy that shoots best in my heavy benchrest rifle chambered in .30BR. For most uses Linotype is too hard for bullets but it works in my application. For years bullet casters have used Linotype and alloyed it with either pure lead or the once commonly available clip on wheel weights to make a softer bullet for handguns or lower velocity rifle bullets.
                just another brick in the wall...

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                • #10
                  I have a set of individual letter stamps that I use for marking items I have made out of silver, primarily pendants and rings. I bought it from Rio Grade, a seller of supplies and tools for jewelry making. The link below should get you to one of the items in their catalog. Perhaps the manufacturer of the individual stamps will also make stamps with a complete name. I still have a set but right now I can’t find it - I’m challenged by too many unorganized tools.


                  https://www.riogrande.com/product/st...racters/111344

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