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Blog entry by EMVarona posted 10-08-2010 01:38 PM 3241 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Printing used to be one of my hobbies. I have an antique hand operated platen press (letterpress) complete with metal types (fonts) and accessories. I have not done much letterpress printing since the desk top computer came in.

In letterpress printing, the metal types are assembled in words and sentences and clamped down in a metal frame. The devices used to clamp are called quoins.

Very often ideas pop-up from the most unlikely places. The quoin is thought of as a device related to printing. Thinking however “outside of the box” quoins can be used in wood working as well.

-- Ed "Real happiness is one that you share."

5 comments so far

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23 posts in 3039 days

#1 posted 10-08-2010 01:57 PM

Ingenuity at work! Great idea!

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13641 posts in 3581 days

#2 posted 10-08-2010 02:06 PM

good source for clamping

i do similar
take a rectangle scrap
saw diagonal (band saw)
invert them (smothe side together)
number the parts (same taper)
leave the ends blunt (so you can undo them)

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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3564 posts in 3211 days

#3 posted 10-12-2010 07:20 PM

I like the linear gear used for tightening them up. Less jarring than a mallet tap. I’ll have to keep my eye open at some of the junk shops I visit.

-- Galootish log blog,

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437 posts in 3075 days

#4 posted 10-13-2010 12:02 AM

That is very interesting (the old book page). The size of my antique hand press is 8×10 in. The metal frame (or chase) can be used to clamp down small wood work pieces. Letterpress machines using the metal frame may even go as wide and large as 20×24 in. That’s just right for clamping down most picture frames. Some quoins do not have gear like things. A quoin consists of off-center cylinders in some kind of metal casing. When the wheels are turned (with a key) the metal casing expands.

-- Ed "Real happiness is one that you share."

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232 posts in 3150 days

#5 posted 02-10-2011 02:56 PM

this is the method of clamping when i built my bed project for my son James. I used wood wedges in the absence of large pipe clamps.

Hi Ed, I’m in the printing industry since 1978 during my high school years. I started as typesetter (paste up) then moved up to platemaker, offset operator, multi-color film stripper, large format printer operator and now I’m the 14th year as production manager of philippines’ largest security printing company. I invented several type of security fonts for our digital presses to combat forgeries on cheques.

Nice to know that you were involved in printing too.

-- My Master is Mankind's Greatest Carpenter.

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