Page 13 - May 2014
P. 13

Tim Honnor (5578)

although exceedingly dangerous if you             It needed two or three washes to get most of
inhaled the fumes. From this I progressed to      the blackened ink and accumulated dirt from
Nitromose paint stripper that I remember          off the type, and every piece of type had to
seemed to do a good job and was not quite as      be brushed on all sides and with a fairly hard
dangerous to ones health.                         bristle brush. In this I was conscious of not
                                                  brushing too hard on the face of the type, but
So having gone out and bought a new Ɵn            hoped that being founders metal, the pieces
of Nitromors I placed the type in a galley        of type could take some hard brushing without
and proceeded to brush on two layers of           too much damage.
Nitromors and leŌ to soak overnight. The
results in (Picture 3) were saƟsfactory, but not  AŌer a lot of hard work in a sink filled with
as dramaƟc as I remember in the past, and         causƟc (of course wearing rubber gloves and
I have now found that the new formula for         an eye shield) and then carefully drying each
Nitromors is not nearly as strong as it was.      piece of type, the fonts have been brought
It was clear that it would not clean the type     back to life. I have yet to print from them, but
properly. So what to do next?—I remembered        I have every hope that they will not have been


                                                  4                                                              5

about Printers’ Lye, basically a soluƟon of       damaged in any way and that I will have an
sodium hydroxide. I made up a strong soluƟon      interesƟng and unusual font to use on my
of causƟc soda and did a trial on two pieces      small Stephenson Blake proofing press.
of type. This produced a much beƩer result,       I then had the inspiraƟon to clean up the
especially on the face of the type. I then took   wooden case too! (Picture 5)
the plunge and decided to causƟc soda wash
the whole two fonts. (Picture 4)                                                                             13
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