I’m wondering if any of you have suggestions on how to mix wood and metal type successfully in the same form? I’m new to using wood and am concerned about the difference in type high that there seems to be between wood and metal. Thanks. Ren
I usually print wood type and metal type separately because they print differently. They typically need different amounts of ink (the wood takes more because of the larger size), and may need different amounts of packing depending on how old and worn down the wood type is. Also, metal type usually takes more care in getting a good print – I’d set the rollers up slightly higher than for wood, and be careful not to over-ink (not quite as noticeable when printing from wood). Overall, you’ll get a better print if you don’t lock them up together, and print them as separate runs.Type height is the same for both – you might be seeing a difference due to wearing down of the wood over time.
I find that my wood type ranges in height, probably due to wear and age; some are higher than the metal I use and some are lower. I can mix them pretty successfully though with a little care. I don’t mix large, fat faces of wood with tiny metal, but if you have some 8- or 10-line wood type it’s not so bad. Regardless of the press I’m on, I usually lock in bearers on either side of the forme to insure equal inking. Then I generally end up building up the wood type a bit. I do it by putting pieces of packing tape on the bottom side of just the letters that need a bit of uumph. Or, if you’re on a Vandy, you can just put super thin pieces of paper underneath them on the press.It’s also good to remember there’s a compromise in inking. I usually shoot to have the metal type print and ink as perfectly as possible, which often means that the wood type is a little underinked. I think this is fine because you’ll get a bit more of the character of the wood type, and the metal type will pull the weight for you in terms of readability. I think you get better results combining them when printing on a Vandy, though a C&P is definitely possible (if you’re using a smaller amount of wood type).Happy to help if you have any more questions- we’re doing a lot of mixing these days!