Bought Lead Type

Hi, I just bought a box of old leady type from a small print shop. It's a display sized Black Letter family. There seem to be mixed pieces of 72 and 60 pt in the box.

¿Any idea on how to clean this? Most of the dirtiness is dust but there are also some rusted pieces.


blank's picture

Lye and a stiff toothbrush.

oldnick's picture

Better to polish the corrosion off by laying down a sheet of emery cloth (1000 or finer grit) on a hard, flat surface and using gentle, orbital motions...

Jean Paul Beumer's picture

Beautiful stuff (& photo's BTW)!

Theunis de Jong's picture

A treasure chest, but filled with lead and not gold!

dezcom's picture

Actually, you might try denture cleaning tablets like Polydent but get the cheap generic brand.

oprion's picture

Watch out for type lice!

Bleisetzer's picture

Don't use anything hard to rub it. There are some leather pads, you can buy in any supermarket for cleaning plates and whatever. Its useful. On the oder hand: You don't want to print with it anymore, do you? So you can use harder solutions, too.

You might see the round marks on the side of the types? This are "Gussmarken" - I don't know the english word. This is one from Schelter & Giesecke:

Your american types should have an height of 23,32 mm. German height is at 23,56 mm.

If you need any more types, use: ;-)

Don McCahill's picture

> I don't know the English word.

I think it is just called the notch.

oprion's picture

Gussmarken are called pin-marks in english. There used to be a great collection of these on the old BriarPress website.

You can still get to it from the internet archive:

Robert Trogman's picture

I use lacquer thinner and a tooth brush

rs_donsata's picture

Excellent, thanks all.

I'll show you the result soon.

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