Guides, Gauge Pins, Galore


HOW TO
We get so happy when we receive new letterpress stuff, so when we got a new set of Kort Adjustable Quad Guides we had to take some pictures of them and share them with you. Printing in the shop has changed quite a bit over the past year. When we first started out, we used […]

We get so happy when we receive new letterpress stuff, so when we got a new set of Kort Adjustable Quad Guides we had to take some pictures of them and share them with you. Printing in the shop has changed quite a bit over the past year. When we first started out, we used photo corners or paper flaps to hold paper on the tympan when printing. This can be a quick/cheap solution and can be useful if the design your printing has a bleed on multiple sides.

A while ago we switched to Megill Spring Tongue Gauge Pins (below). These gauge pins have adjustable tongues and attach to the tympan much like a paper clip. The pointed side is used to create a slit in the tympan to secure the gauge pin. Once secured, the gauge pin can be slid up/down or left/right to register the print properly on the paper. For most applications, the gauge pins will stay in place while printing however sealing wax can be melted around the gauge pin to secure it further to the tympan. Here are some pictures of the Megill Gauge Pins we use in the shop:

Megill Spring Tongue Gauge Pins Megill Spring Tongue Gauge Pins Megill Spring Tongue Gauge Pins Megill Spring Tongue Gauge Pins

The new Quad Guides we got from John Barrett’s Letterpress Things are much higher quality and will be perfect for feeding heavier stock such as 220# Lettra. A set of three quad guides plus extra tongues cost $26 plus shipping. To attach a Kort Adjustable Guide to the tympan:

  1. Use a make-ready knife (X-Acto knife) to cut a slit in the tympan 18 points below and parallel to the guide line.
  2. Unlock the guide, grip it with your thumb and forefinger and squeeze together inserting the bottom of the guide on an angle into the slit in the tympan.
  3. Slide the guide in as far as it will go and make a second slit at the rear of the guide. Insert the tip of the make-ready knife in the rear slit on the right side of the guide to open the slit. Slide the guide back so that the bottom steel base slips under the tympan and the front of the guide lines up with the guide line. To secure the guide, press the release lever down.The quad guide is firm enough to feed light stock to 10-ply board without slipping.No sealing wax is needed to secure the guide to the tympan.

Here are some pictures of the quad guides and the packaging:

Kort Adjustable Quad Guides Kort Adjustable Quad Guides Kort Adjustable Quad Guides

Since these guides are much more expensive than the Megill Gauge Pins, you want to be extra careful not to smash the guide against your plate, base, or gripper bars. If you have any question about these guides/gauge pins, please feel free to ask.

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