It very often happens that the stereo. type requires some wort done upon lis face, such as cutting away the parts corresponding to large while surfaces, raising low parts, or " sloes," or soldering in letters or electrotypes. For chipping away ex ten ltd whiles, ft very convenient tool is the carpruters gouge, driven by a rather light mallat, an assortment of 4 or 5 gouges, the narrowest about 3/16-in. across, being ample. When chipping away the metal with gouge and maliet, it is desirable to place the stereotype on a planed iron surface, provided with a transverse bar against which it can rest, the iron shooting board (Fig. 306) being convenient for this purpose. For working in narrow places, and close up to the type face, a " firmer " chisel of suitable width may be used, or a scraper shaped like Fig, 310, and one angle of the scraper may advantageously be ground on the edge of the grindstone, so as to shape it into a chisel-like tongue about 1/16-in. wide, or a special tool, tike Fig. 311 may be used for scraping between the lines.
Sometimes a routing-out machine is used, in which a conical dome-shaped revolving cutter.
provided with universal movements, is brought down on the plate; but, in ordinary case, there is little or no sating of lime by the use of such a machine. When there is a "sink "on the face of the stereotype - this being generally the result of an arching of the mould* - it may be brought up by laying the plate face down on a planed iron surface (a sheet of paper being interposed if this is thought necessary), and hammering on the back with a broad and round-faced hammer, such as that used by shoemakers for beating out leather; a little paper packing being then pasted on the back to support the hollow. In beating down the "sink," care must be taken to strike in the middle of the place rather than at the edges, and to strike the fewest blows that will do the work, otherwise the plate may be distorted so much as to render it useless. In the case of the thick curved stereotypes used for newspaper work on rotary machines, the machine minder will often bring up a low line * by driving a chisel obliquely into the metal above it and below it. Cutting out a false letter and soldering in a type requires some care and watchfulness, but it is very easily done.
The stereotype is clamped face upwards on the punching-out slab (Fig. 312), and with the line containing the false letter immediately in front of the bridge. The adjustable part of the bed, shown at the left of the diagram, being now set so as to leave a gap exactly under the line, the chisel (Fig. 313) is used to make an indentation round the letter, at any rate on those sides where access can be had, the chisel being placed with the imbeveiled side next the letter to be removed, and being held vertically. A punch like one of those shown in Fig. 313, and of the right size for the letter to be removed, is now held firmly atop of the letter, and is driven through the plate by a hammer. Any metal driven beyond the plane of the back may now be cut off with a sharp chisel; and if any indentation of the face round about the hole is visible, it can be dealt with as recommended in the case of a "sink." The hole is now trimmed, by means of a rectangular file †, to the bare size of the type to be inserted, and the type, after having been scraped clean on the sides, is inserted from the back. The face of the letter having been adjusted to its exact position and level, the stereotype is laid face downwards on the punching-out slab, no paper being interposed between them.
A little powdered rosin is dusted on, and with a rather fine-pointed soldering bit a trace of solder is applied at two opposite points of the join. The shank of the type is then nipped or broken off, and the place is filed or scraped level. Sometimes a skilled workman will put a patch «of solder over a false letter, and out of this engrave the required character, but such a method of working is more usually adopted when a dot or the tail of a letter is broken off and must be replaced.
Parallel ended scraper.
* The standing lines in newspapers and periodicals ore often low to paper.
† Files of rectangular section down to a square file about 1/50 in. across can be obtained at watchmakers material shops of Clerkenwell or Soho.
Tools for removing false letters.
The soldering is very easy if a few points are attended to. The copper bit being heated to a heat a little under redness, is rapidly cleaned about the point with a file, and quickly dipped into an acid solution of chloride of zinc,* and then rubbed on a stick of soft solder which itself has been moistened with the same solution; it thus becomes well amalgamated with the solder, or is " tinned," to use the expression of the workshop. To keep the soldering bit in a good condition, its tip may be rapidly dipped in the acid chloride of zinc solution after each heating, and being then charged with solder it is ready for use on the stereotype plate, and if the part to be soldered is sprinkled over with powdered rosin, this will be sufficient protection, and the small drop of solder carried up on the tip of the bit will unite and flow readily. The acid chloride of zinc solution should not be applied to the type metal, as it rather corrodes it than protects it.
When much soldering has to be done, as for example, if electrotypes of woodcuts are to be soldered into stereotype plates, a soldering bit, heated by a small gas blowpipe, is a great convenience and saving of time, and the device represented in Fig. 314 is a specially convenient one for the stereotyper, and the instrument itself can easily be constructed by any all-round mechanic. The tubes leading gas and air respectively (the air being conveniently supplied by a foot bellows) are shown first passing through a wooden handle and thence into the cylindrical head of the apparatus, where is fitted a small Herapath's blowpipe, the flame of which plays upon the small copper hit held, as shown, by two lugs extending from the cylindrical head. A cock is placed on the gas-pipe just over the handle, and where it can be operated by the thumb of the right-hand, while the crutch shown on the figure forms a convenient support for the blowpipe when not in use.