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Composing Room

Essential items found in the Letterpress Composing Room.

We stock, as available, used HiSpeed quoins and the smaller 3", 4 1/2" and 6" quoins are hard to find. We can supply new HiSpeed Quoins made by BarPlate as they took over the line from Challenge Machinery in 1996. The HiSpeed type of quoin was first introduced in 1932 and quickly became the standard quoin used in most U.S. letterpress plants. We have new quoin keys only for the HiSpeed quoins. We do not stock Hemple or any of the 2-part wedge type quoins or quoin keys for these. We also have a stock of new Challenge brand quoins that were stored unused in a shop for many years--see the first two items on the "Specials" tab.

We have relisted the availability of 2 point leads in packages of 10 pounds each. We will be adding 6 point slugs shortly (April 2016). These ship via Flat Rate US Mail priority boxes, so that the shipping cost can be reasonable especially on larger orders. This is the very last item on this page.

"Hickory Mallet, 2 inch face, 11 1/4 inch length"
Dimensions may vary slightly on this mallet from the description.
"Rawhide Mallet, 1 1/2 inch face, 8 3/8" inches length"
MS334 Quantity
string "Form String, 2 1/2 pound cone"
Extremely strong white string used for tieing up forms. We use this same string for tieing up new fonts of Dale Guild type. This is one of the few string products still made in the USA. And in case you are wondering, there is 5,670 feet of string on a 2.5# cone.
"Brush, Black Horsehair"

The traditional brush to use for cleaning metal type and type forms as part of wash up. Can also be used on photopolymer plates. Overall size 2 1/2" x 4 1/4".

BrushZ "Brush, brass wire center with black horsehair surround"
Not recommended for cleaning metal type, use instead BR82, all-horsehair brush. This brush is useful for cleaning metal (magnesiunm, zinc, and copper) photoengravings but not photopolymer plates. Overall size 2 1/2" x 4 1/4".
"Brush, all Stainless Steel"
Fine stainless steel bristles set in a 2 1/2 x 4 1/4 hardwood block. Used as a plate or halftone brush, not for use on metal type or photopolymer. All of our printer's brushes are made in the USA.
"Line Gauge, 12" long, stainless steel"

"One side has inches and Picas and half picas, other side has points and metric. Also known as a "pica pole." The 12" line gauge has the NA Graphics logo etched on one side--see picture on the opening page of this web site.

"Line Gauge, 18" long, stainless steel"
"One side has inches, picas and half picas, other side has points and metric"
"Line Gauge, 24" long, stainless steel"
"One side has inches and picas and half picas, other side has points and metric"
"Line Gauge, 6" long pocket line gauge with clip"
LG304 Quantity
products/galleymagnet.jpg "Galley Magnet, 1/2x3/4x1 3/4"
These are very strong magnets that use a magnetic center made by Bunting. Side plates of polished steel. Ideal for holding forms in place on proof press beds, or type in galleys.
quoinhigh1.jpg "Quoin Key, T handle for HiSpeed Challenge or BarPlate quoins"
The BarPlate T handle quoin key has a plastic coating that serves to protect dies, type or plates if accidently dropped on a form. Picture shows the blue handled quoin key along with new 3", 6", 9", and 12" long high speed quoins that are sold separately. Inquire about prices for new quoins and we also have a supply of used quoins in stock. Bar-Plate continues to have periodic price increases on their quoin keys with the most current being in February 2012. Note: Picture is for illustration only--each item shown is sold and priced separately.
"HiSpeed Quoin, 3", new"
Made by Bar-Plate, former Challenge HiSpeed quoins
"HiSpeed quoin, 6", new"
Made by Bar-Plate, former Challenge HiSpeed quoin.
"HiSpeed Quoin, 9", new"
Made by Bar-Plate, former Challenge HiSpeed quoin.
"HiSpeed Quoin, 12", new"
Made by Bar-Plate, former Challenge HiSpeed quoin.
"Hi-Speed Quoin, 4 1/2", used"
QU403 Quantity
"HiSpeed Quoins, used, 7 1/2inch"
QU407 Quantity
"HiSpeed Quoins, used, 9 inch"
QU409 Quantity
"HiSpeed Quoins, used, 10 1/2" "
QU410.5* Quantity
Buntingbase "Bunting Magnetic base, Cerface design, Aluminum construction, 2.00" x 4.00""

Bunting Magnetics, located in Kansas, makes an extensive line of magnetic products. Their line of cerface magnetic bases for letterpress printing have been made for about 30 years and has long been the standard for box making and fine printing using photopolymer plates. We list stock sizes, other sizes are custom and are considerably more expensive. Two or more bases can be locked together in a chase to make a larger base. One to two week factory delivery on standard bases, longer for custom. Bunting also makes the ceramic magnets that are used in our galley magnets.
"Bunting Magnetic base, Cerface design, Aluminum construction, 6.38 x 6.75"
One to two week factory delivery.
"Bunting Magnetic base, Cerface design, Aluminum construction, 6.13 x 9.13"
One to two week factory delivery.
"Bunting Magnetic base, Cerface design, Aluminum construction, 8.50 x 11.25"
One to two week factory delivery.
"Aluminum Base with magnetic surface for steel backed photopolymer plates, 3x4"
AM34 Quantity
"Aluminum Base with magnetic surface for steel backed photopolymer plates, 4x6"
AM46 Quantity
"Aluminum Base with magnetic surface for steel backed photopolymer plates, 5x7"
AM57 Quantity
"Aluminum Base with magnetic surface for steel backed photopolymer plates, 5x8"
AM58 Quantity
"Aluminum Base with magnetic surface for steel backed photopolymer plates, 6x8"
AM68 Quantity
"Aluminum Base with magnetic surface for steel backed photopolymer plates, 7x10"
AM710 Quantity
"Aluminum Base with magnetic surface for steel backed photopolymer plates, 10x12"
This is the world famous Patmag base, made by veteran printer and type caster Pat Reagh. The sizes that follow this one are all Patmag bases. Pat's experience goes back before most of us were born, and he continues to produce exquisite letterpress work and the Patmag base from his work shop tucked away in the country north of the Bay Area in Northern California. Our prices are Pat's list prices, and he drop ships for us direct from his shop. Pat won't take credit cards, but we do, so buy two or three and help the economy. Remember that one large base that fills up most of the chase can put a serious crimp in your ability to print, so give us a call if in doubt.

PatMag bases can be resurfaced if magnetic covering becomes damaged, worn, or if excessive use of solvent loosens the attaching adhesive. Damaged aluminum can not be repaired. Return base to NA Graphics and Pat will speedily replace the covering and ship direct. Cost to resurface is far less than buying a new base.

"Aluminum Base with magnetic surface for steel backed photopolymer plates, 12x16"
AM1216 Quantity
SterlingToggleNo0 "Sterling No. 0 Toggle Hook"
The following information pertains to all the Sterling Toggle hooks listed on our web site. The low height hooks are special order.

Toggle Hooks

Manufactured in the USA

Sterling Toggle hooks are used in our honeycomb plate mounting system and are the industry's standard for locking and registering embossing and foil stamping dies into position.

Finishing specialists appreciate the ease and convenience of obtaining hairline die registration using toggle hooks. The combined forward and downward travel of the toggle hook locks the die firmly into place. A ten-degree bevel is required along the perimeter of the die.

All components of the Toggle Hook are manufactured and assembled in West Babylon, NY.

Do not be fooled by cheap imitation toggle hooks that are made from castings.

We take great care and pride in our manufacturing process to ensure our customers are getting the highest quality toggle hooks.

Our Toggle Hooks go though special procedures for maximum strength and a long product life.

Toggle hooks are also known as die fixings, die catches, die locking, die attache, die fixture and die befestigungs stueck.

Standard Size - Used with honeycomb chases with a thickness of .668" - .759" (17mm -19.28mm)

Low Height Size - Used with honeycomb chases with a thickness of .540" - .668" (13.71mm -17mm)

"Sterling No. 1 Toggle Hook"
• Redesigned to insure longer life. • State of the art heat treat procedures to eliminate cracking in high stress areas. • Manufactured from bar stock eliminating porosity problems found in castings. • Made in USA. No. 0 Narrow Margin Hook-used when less than 1/8” (3mm) margin is required. No. 1 Standard Register Hook-can be used most of the time. No. 2 Register Hook-has a jaw width slightly larger than the No.1 hook, it's Sterling's second most popular hook. No. 3E Extended Jaw Register Hook-this hook has a jaw length that is in between the No. 2 and No. 4 hooks. No. 4 Extra Extended Hook-used for locking up dies on honeycomb bases that do not use Sterling's standard hole pattern, such as a heated honeycomb base.
"Sterling Toggle Hook No. 2"
ST530-102 Quantity
"Sterling Toggle Hook No. 3"
ST530-103 Quantity
"Sterling Toggle Hook No. 3E"
ST530-103E Quantity
"Sterling Toggle Hook No. 4"
ST530-104 Quantity
SterlingKey "Sterling Toggle Key"
Toggle key, needed to tighten the toggle hooks, and is shown in the middle of this illustration. Also shown is a replacement toggle key bit and at the top of the illustration, a toggle key driver.
BunterPost "Bunter Post, 200-245, standard height, complete with 1/4 inch flat head machine screw"
The Bunter Post is used to lock embossing or stamping dies when using a honey comb heated base. The bunter post is screwed into the base or removable front plate with the flat head screw. The adjusting screw securely locks the die into place. Standard height bunter posts can generally be used on all U.S. presses. Low height bunter posts are usually used on presses outside the U.S., such as Heidelberg. Before ordering bunter posts, please check the thread size of your heater. Standard height Bunter flat head screws are 1/4 x 28 thread. Made by Sterling Toggle.
"Bunter Post, 200-250, low height, complete with 1/4 inch flat head machine screw"
Made by Sterling Toggle
"Sterling Toggle bit replacement"
Replacement Bits for the toggle key. The damaged bit is easily removed and replaced.
"Honeycomb Base, Aluminum. 5x8 inches"
Take your presswork beyond the limitations of photopolymer and wood mounted cuts. Honeycomb base made of ground aluminum at .668" for mounting 1/4 inch, .250" copper or magnesium dies for cold embossing or letterpress printing. These are made by Sterling Toggle, Inc., a company with roots that date to the early 20th Century under the former name of PMC. These bases give a solid and accurate means for securing plates. Bases are locked in a chase like regular type or cuts. Photoengravings for use on honeycomb bases can be made by any photoengraver--just let them know you are using the Sterling base and they will cut the proper bevel on all 4 sides of the plate. Sizes other than those listed here are available, as well as honeycomb bases made to replace the chase for just about any press. Used with Sterling Toggle bits and bit key sold separately. Heights of the bases are determined on the thickness of plate being used, so we need to know that when an order is placed.
"Honeycomb Base, Aluminum. 6x10 inches"
The 6x10 size should not be used in a press smaller than an 8x12. Bases that fill, or come close to filling a chase on a hand fed press cause numerous problems--no room for gauge pins or grippers, and small items have to be fed to the bottom left of the platen which can cause inking and feeding problems. This applies to photopolymer bases as well, so think twice before buying large bases for small chases.


See the listings on the Composing Room page for the appropriate Sterling Toggle Hooks and key that are required to use these bases. When plates are ordered (quarter inch thick, or .250")for use on these bases, advise your photoengraver that the plate will be used on a Sterling Honeycomb base and they will saw the appropriate bevel on each side of the plate. Magnesium or copper plates may be used that will provide the best base and sharpest image for letterpress.


"Honeycomb Base, Aluminum. 9x12 inches"
HO300 Quantity
"Morrison 6" x7/8 x 30 teeth, carbide tip, saw blade"
For Morrison/C&G Printer's saws. Carbide blades can be repaired and resharpened if the blade is not warped.
"Hammond Glider saw blade, 7" x 6 pts x 48 teeth"
Blade has holes for trimmer blades. Carbide tipped teeth. These can be resharpened and broken carbide tips replaced, but damage to the steel part of the blade or a warped blade can not be repaired.
"Printer's Apron"
Traditional printer's bib design design with 2 large pockets at bottom of apron, pocket for line gauge, and small pocket for pens on top of bib. Blue polyester (65%) and Cotton (35%) blend, Sanforized. Made in USA.
"Printers Apron, Larger Size"
This is a larger size of our regular apron. It features a wider bib top, wider girth on apron body, and is sligthly longer.
mediguardlatex "Disposable Latex Gloves"

Specify size in Special Instructions on order page--Small, Medium, Large, ExtraLarge. Don't delay your order by neglecting to tell us what size of glove you need!

Protect your hands during wash up from chemicals, and substantially reduce washing of hands. These gloves are medical grade latex and will last for several uses, but will tear from sharp objects and rough usage. Box of 100.

Specify size in Special Instructions on order page--Small, Medium, Large, ExtraLarge.

medlinenitrile "Disposable Nitrile Gloves"

Specify size in Special Instructions on order page--Small, Medium, Large, ExtraLarge. Don't delay your order by neglecting to tell us what size of glove you need!

The SensiCare® Nitrile Powder-Free Medical Gloves Offer Exceptional Protection Against Abrasions and Chemicals. The patented durable thin mil nitrile material provides maximum protection against chemicals, harmful abrasions, and Type I allergic reactions. Nitrile offers greater protection from various chemicals (except acetone) and is a more durable material than the latex gloves offering extended use especially for press wash ups. Box of 100.

Plungercan "Plunger can, Justrite brand, 1 pint"
Pushing down fills upper pan for moistening wipe up rag. Surplus liquid drains safely back into reservoir. The perforated pan screen serves as a flame arrester. These have been standard items in print shops for decades. Size of pint bottom can 4 7/8" OD x 6" high.
"Plunger can, Justrite brand, 1 quart"
Pictured in another listing, size of bottom can 7 1/4" OD x 6 1/2" high. These are the traditional solvent dispensing cans for use in print shops.
"Plunger can, Justrite brand, 2 quart"
Size of bottom can 7 1/4" OD x 11" high
Success.jpg "Success style dispenser can, 8oz"
Nonmetallic body with brass dispensing nozzle, this is the modern day equal (of sorts) of the traditional brass can body Success Benzine can. Can body size 3 1/8" OD x 5 1/2" high. The can labeled 14004 is the 8oz. and 14010 is the quart.
"Success style dispenser can, 2 pint"
Both the pint and 1 quart (2 pints) size cans are made from polyethlene, are easy to grip, OSHA approved, and are made by Justrite. The brass dispensing nozzle is the same as those made for the old round brass cans.
"Tweezers, used as an aid in handsetting type"
Nicely made tweezers used in hand setting type. We use these in our shop.
JustriteSafetyCan "Safety Can, Justrite brand, 5 Gallon"
Choose Type I Nonmetallic Safety Cans when dent and chemical resistance are most important. Five gallon capacity, UL rated for OSHA compliance, safety closure (but not child proof). Size 12.75" diameter, 16" tall, ideal for type wash and roller cleaner, or any other flamable liquid.
"Linotype Metal"
Linotype metal in pig form, with feeder ears for metal feeders such as Margach, each pig weighs between 22 and 25 pounds, depending on mold used. This is remelt metal that has been fluxed and cleaned with added Plus Metal. This will work in any line casting machine including Ludlows. The metal has not been verified for content, but we use it with great success in our model 31 Linotype and Ludlow at NA Graphic's print shop. Priced by the pound and each pig is weighed separately. Up to 2 pigs can be shipped by UPS per package. There is a shipping charge of an extra $5.00 per package for fabrication of a wood box for shipping. Call for options on large quantities--we have several tons available. Current prices (2011) for "new" metal in quantity range from $3.95 to $4.95 per pound.
" Bed Plate for SP15"
Bed Plate used on Vandercook SP 15 Presses that have a bed ground to .968". Bed plate is used in place of a galley to bring metal type or bases up to type high of .918".
Screen Finder.jpg "Screen Finder, used to determine halftone screens"
HS719 Quantity
"Leads, 2 point, 2 foot strips, per pound, in units of 10 pounds only"
Price is based on a per pound price of $7.75. Leads and slugs are sold in units of 10 pounds only, at lengths of approximately 23 inches. These are drop shipped direct from our supplier. Prices reflect the current prices for replacement Linotype metal and the labor involved in making this product. This item ships by Flat Rate U. S. Priority Mail only up to a 60 pound limit per package (this allows for protective padding around the metal). Shipping rate is $19.25 including handling for 10 through 60 pounds for shipping within the Continental United States only. Ignore what the web site calculates for shipping. UPS shipping is not available.

Ten pounds may sound like a lot of material, but type metal is heavy. Ten pounds of 2 pt leads is about 54 strips of metal. A reasonably well supplied small letterpress shop may have several hundred pounds of leads on hand.