Mechanick Exercises
or, the Doctrine of Handy-Works
Applied to the Art of Printing

by Joseph Moxon

No. Sec. Title
§ 10. Of the Press.
[VI] § 11. Of the Worms of the Spindle.


Or, the Doctrine of


Applied to the Art of


The Second VOLUMNE.

§. 10. Of the Press.

THere are two sorts of Presses in use, viz. the old fashion and the new fashion; The old fashion is generally used here in England; but I think for no other reason, than because many Press-men have scarce Reason enough to distinguish between an excellently improved Invention, and a make-shift slovenly contrivance, practiced in the minority of this Art.

The New-fashion’d Presses are used generally throughout all the Low-Countries; yet because the 38 Old-fashion’d Presses are used here in England (and for no other Reason) I have in Plate 3. given you a delineation of them; But though I give you a draft of them; yet the demensions of every particular Member I shall omit, referring those that think it worth their while, to the Joyners and Smiths that work to Printers: But I shall give a full description of the New-fashion’d Press, because it is not well known here in England; and if possible, I would for Publick benefit introduce it.

Plate 3: Printing Press (1683)

But before I proceed, I think it not amiss to let you know who was the Inventer this New-fashion’d Press, accounting my self so much oblig’d to his Ingeniety for the curiosity of this contrivance, that should I pass by this oppertunity without naming him, I should be injurious to his Memory.

It was Willem Jansen Blaew of Amsterdam: a Man as well famous for good and great Printing, as for his many Astronomical and Geographical exhibitions to the World. In his Youth he was bred up to Joynery, and having learn’d his Trade, betook himself (according to the mode of Holland) to Travel, and his fortune leading him to Denmark, when the noble Tycho Brahe was about setting up his Astronomical Observatory, was entertain’d into his service for the making his Mathematical-Instruments to Observe withal; in which Instrument-making he shew’d himself so intelligent and curious, that according to the general report of many of his personal acquaintance, all or most of the Syderal Observations set forth in Tycho’s name, he was intrusted to make, as well as the Instruments.


And before these Observations were publish’d to the World, Tycho, to gratify Blaew, gave him the Copies of them, with which he came away to Amsterdam, and betook himself to the making of Globes, according to those Observations. But as his Trade increased, he found it necessary to deal in Geographical Maps and Books also, and grew so curious in Engraving, that many of his best Globes and Maps were Engraved by his own Hands; and by his conversation in Printing of Books at other Printing-houses, got such in-sight in this Art, that he set up a Printing-house of his own. And now finding inconveniencies in the obsolete Invention of the Press, He contrived a remedy to every inconvenience, and fabricated nine of these New-fashioned Presses, set them all on a row in his Printing-house, and call’d each Press by the name of one of the Muses.

This short History of this excellent Man is, I confess forraign to my Title; But I hope my Reader will excuse the digression, considering it tends only to the commemoration of a Person that hath deserved well of Posterity, and whose worth without this small Monument, might else perhaps have slid into Oblivion.

Plate 4: Printing Press (1783) with details

larger view

The Press is a Machine consisting of many Members; it is delineated in Plate 4.

a a The Feet.

b b The Cheeks.

c The Cap.

d The Winter.

e The Head.

f The Till.


g g The Hose. In the Cross-Iron of which, encompassing the Spindle, is the Garter.

h h h h The Hooks on the Hose the Plattin hangs on.

i k l m n The Spindle.

i Part of the Worm below the Head, whose upper part lies in the Nut in the Head.

k l The Eye of the Spindle.

m The Shank of the Spindle.

n The Toe of the Spindle.

o o o o The Plattin tyed on the Hooks of the Hose.

p The Bar.

q The Handle of the Bar.

r r The Hind-Posts.

s s The Hind-Rails.

t t The Wedges of the Till.

u u The Mortesses of the Cheeks, in which the Tennants of the Head plays.

x x x x y y The Carriage.

x x x x The outer Frame of the Carriage.

y y The Wooden-Ribs on which the Iron-Ribs are fastned.

z The Stay of the Carriage, or the Stay.

1. The Coffin.

2. The Gutter.

3. The Planck.

4. The Gallows.

5. The Tinpans.

6. The Frisket.

7. The Points.

8. The Point-Screws.

All these several Members, by their Matter, Form and Position, do particularly contribute such an assistance G3
to the whole Machine, that it becomes an Engine manageable and proper for its intended purpose.

But because the smallness of this altogether-Draft may obscure the plain appearance of many of these Parts; Therefore I shall give you a more particular description, and large delineation of every Member in the Press: And first of the Wooden work: Where, Note, that all the Fram’d Wooden-work of a Press is made of Good, Fine, Clean, Well-season’d Oak.

Notes and Corrections: § 10.

skip to next section

Plates 4 (above) and 5 (below) use the same letters to identify their parts: Plate 4 shows the complete press, while Plate 5 gives details of the individual pieces.

should I pass by this oppertunity without naming him
text has name-/ing at line break

It was Willem Jansen Blaew of Amsterdam
[Cursory research suggests that at least 90% of later references to Blaew can be traced straight back to Moxon. There is the occasional hint of independent knowledge, as when a source mentions his father Nicholas Blaew, or names the nine presses: “Clio”, “Euterpe” and so on.]

[Illustration] Plate 4
[It may look as if part of the Frisket, marked 6, is missing, but that really is where the plate ends.]

it becomes an Engine manageable and proper
text has managable
[The word appears several times with the expected spelling.]

Plate 5: Parts of Press

Plate 5a: Feet of printing press

¶. 1. Of the Feet.

The Feet (marked a a in Plate 5.) are two Foot nine Inches and an half long, five Inches deep; and six Inches broad, and have their out-sides Tryed to a true square, as was taught, Numb. 5. §. 15. It hath (for ornament sake) its two ends bevil’d away in a Molding, from its upper-side to its lower, about four Inches within the ends; about four Inches and three quarters within each end of each Foot is made in the middle of the Breadth of the upper-side of the Foot a Mortess two Inches wide, to receive the Tennants of the lower-end of the Cheek, and the Tennant of the lower end of the Hind-Post: The Mortess for the Cheek is eight Inches long, viz. the Breadth of the Cheek: And the Mortess for the Hind-Post is four Inches long, viz. the square of the Hind-Post.

Notes and Corrections: § 10. ¶ 1.

as was taught, Numb. 5. §. 15
[Pages 75ff. (May 1678) of the first Volume, in the section on Joynery: “Of the Square, and its Use”. If that heading sounds familiar, it is because he previously used it in the same volume’s section on Smithing.]

Plate 5b: Cheeks of printing press

¶. 2. Of the Cheeks.

The Cheeks (marked b b in Plate 5) are five Foot and ten Inches long (besides the Tennants of the top 42 and bottom) eight Inches broad, and four Inches and an half thick. All its Sides are tryed square to one another. It hath a Tennant at either end, its lower Tennant marked a to enter the Fore-end of the Foot, runs through the middle of the Breadth of the Cheek, which therefore is made to fit the Mortess in the Foot, and is about four Inches long, and therefore reaches within an Inch of the bottom of the Foot; But the Tennant at the upper end of the Cheek marked a, is cut a‑thwart the breadth of the Cheek, and therefore can have but four Inches and an half of Breadth, and its thickness is two Inches, Its length is four Inches; so that it reaches into the Mortess in the Cap, within half an Inch of the Top.

In the lower-end-Tennant is two holes bored, within an Inch and an half of either side, and within an Inch and an half of the Sholder, with a three quarter Inch Augure, to be pin’d into the Feet with an Iron Pin.

In the middle of the upper Tennant, and within an Inch and an half of the Sholder, is bored another hole, to Pin the Tennant into the Cap, also with an Iron Pin.

Between b c two Foot and half an Inch, and three Foot seven Inches of the Bottom Sholder of the Tennant, viz. from the top of the Winter to the under Sholder the Till rests upon, is cut flat away into the thickness of Cheek, three Inches in the Inside of the Cheek; so that in that place the Cheek remains but an Inch and an half thick: And the Cheeks are thus widened in this place, as well because the Duftail Tennants of the Winter may go in between them, as also 43 that the Carriage and Coffin may be made the wider.

Even with the lower Sholder of this flat cutting-in, is made a Duftail Mortess as at d, to reach eight Inches and an half, viz. the depth of the Winter below the said Sholder. This Mortess is three Inches wide on the inside the Cheek, and three Inches deep; But towards the inside the Cheek, the Mortess widens in a straight line from the said three Inches to five Inches, and so becomes a Duftail Mortess. Into this Duftail Mortess is fitted a Duftail Tennant, made at each end of the Winter.

Two Inches above the aforesaid Cutting-in, is another cutting-in of the same depth, from the Inside the Cheek as at e. This cutting-in is but one Inch broad at the farther side the Cheek, and an Inch and a quarter on the hither side the Cheek. The under side of this Cutting-in, is straight through the Cheek, viz. Square to the sides of the Cheek: But the upper side of this Cutting-in, is not square through the Cheeks, But (as aforesaid) is one quarter of an Inch higher on the fore-side the Cheek than it is on the further side; So that a Wedge of an Inch at one end, and an Inch and a quarter at the other end may fill this Cutting-in.

At an Inch within either side the Cheek, and an Inch below this Cutting-in, as at f f, is made a small Mortess an Inch and an half wide, to which two Tennants must be fitted at the ends of the Till, so that the Tennants of the Till being slid in through the Cutting-in aforesaid, may fall into these Mortesses; and a Wedge being made fit to the Cutting in, may press upon the Tennants of the Till, and force it down to keep it steddy in its place.


Here we see remains a square Sholder or substance of Wood between two Cuttings-in; But the under corner of this square Sholder is for Ornament-sake Bevil’d away and wrought into an Ogee.

At two Inches above the last Cutting-in, is another Cutting-in, but this Cutting-in goes not quite through the breadth of the Cheek, but stops at an Inch and an half within the further side the Cheek; So that above the Till and its Wedge is another Sholder or substance of Wood, whose upper Corner is also Bevil’d away, and wrought to a Molding as the former.

The last Cutting-in is marked g, and is eight Inches and a quarter above the Sholder of the Till, that it may easily contain the depth of the Head; The substance remaining is marked h. This Cutting-in is made as deep into the thickness of the Cheek as the former Cuttings-in are, viz. three Inches; and the reason the Cheek is cut-in here, is, that the Cheeks may be wide enough in this place to receive the Head, and its Tennants, without un-doing the Cap and Winter.

Just above this Cutting-in is made a square Mortess in the middle of the Cheek, as at i, it is eight Inches long, and two Inches and an half wide, for the Tennant of the Head to play in.

Upon the fore-side of the Cheek is (for Ornament sake) laid a Molding through the whole length of the Cheek (a square at the Top and Bottom an Inch deep excepted) it is laid on the outer side, and therefore can be but an Inch broad; Because the Cuttings-in on the inside leaves the substance of Stuff but an H
Inch and an half thick, and should the Moldings be made broader, it would be interrupted in the several Cuttings in, or else a square of a quarter of an Inch on either side the Molding could not be allowed, which would be ungraceful.

Plate 5c: Cap of printing press

¶. 3. Of the Cap marked c in Plate 5.

The Cap is three Foot and one inch long, four Inches and an half deep, and nine Inches and an half broad; But its fore-side is cut away under­neath to eight Inches, Viz. the breadth of the Cheeks. Three quarters of an Inch above the bottom of the Cap, is a small Facia, which stands even with the thickness of the Cheeks; Half an Inch above that a Bead-Molding, projecting half an Inch over the Facia. Two Inches above that a broad Facia, also even with the thickness of the Cheeks; and an Inch and a quarter above that is the upper Molding made projecting an Inch and an half over the two Facia’s aforesaid, and the thickness of the Cheeks.

Each end of the Cap projects three Inches quarter and half quarter over the Cheeks, partly for Ornament, but more especially that substance may be left on either end beyond the Mortesses in the Cap; and these two ends have the same Molding laid on them that the fore-side of the Cap hath.

Within two Inches and half quarter of either end, on the under-side the Cap is made a square Mortess two Inches wide, and four Inches and an half long, viz. the thickness of the Cheek inwards, as at a a, to receive the Top Tennants of the Cheeks; which Top 46 Tennants are with an Iron Pin (made tapering of about three quarters of an Inch thick) pin’d into the Mortess of the Cap, to keep the Cheeks steddy in their position.

Plate 5d: Winter of printing press

¶. 4. Of the Winter marked d in Plate 5.

The Length of the Winter besides the Tennants, is one Foot nine Inches and one quarter of an Inch; The Breadth of the Winter eight Inches, viz. the Breadth of the Cheek, and its depth nine Inches; all its sides are tryed square; But its two ends hath each a Duftail-Tennant made through the whole depth of the Winter, to fit and fall into the Duftail Mortesses made in the Cheeks: These Duftail-Tennants are intended to do the Office of a Summer, Because the spreading of the ends of these two Tennants into the spreading of the Mortesses in the Cheeks, keeps the two Cheeks in a due distance, and hinders them from flying asunder.

But yet I think it very convenient to have a Summer also, the more firmly and surer to keep the Cheeks together; This Summer is only a Rail Tennanted, and let into Mortesses made in the inside of the Cheeks, and Screwed to them as the Rails described, Numb. 15. § 4. are Screwed into the Stiles of the Case-Frame; Its depth four Inches and an half, and its breadth eight Inches, viz. the breadth of the Cheeks.

Notes and Corrections: § 10. ¶ 4.

the Rails described, Numb. 15. § 4.
[I suspect that Moxon originally intended to number his installments continuously through both volumes, and then either forgot or changed his mind. The referenced “Numb. 15” is fact Number II of the second volume: § 4 on page 22.]

Plate 5e: Head of printing press


¶. 5. Of the Head marked e in Plate 5.

The length of the Head besides the Tennant at either end, is one Foot nine Inches and one quarter of an Inch; The breadth eight Inches and an half, and its depth eight Inches. The Top, Bottom and Hind-sides are tryed Square, but the foreside projects half an Inch over the Range of the fore-sides of the Cheeks; in which Projecture is cut a Table with a hollow Molding about it, two Inches distant from all the sides of the fore-side of the Head: Its Tennants are three Inches Broad, and are cut down at either end, from the top to the bottom of the Head, and made fit to the Mortesses in the Cheeks, that they may slide tight, and yet play in them.

In the under-side of the Head is cut a square Hole, (as at a,) about four Inches square, and three Inches and an half deep, into which the Brass-Nut is to be fitted: And to keep this Nut in its place (lest the weight of it should make it fall out) is made on either side the square hole, at about half an Inch distance from it, (as at b b) a square Hole quite through the Top and Bottom of the Head about three quarters of an Inch wide; and into this square Hole is fitted a square piece of Iron to reach quite through the Head, having at its under-end a Hook turned square to clapse upon the under-side of the Nut; and on its upper-end a Male-Screw reaching about an Inch above the upper-side of the Head, which by the help of a Female-screw made in an Iron Nut, with Ears to it to turn it about draws the Clasp at the bottom of the Iron Shank 48 close against the Nut, and so keeps it from falling out.

In the middle of the wide square Hole that the Nut is let into, is bored a round Hole through the top of the Head, of about three quarters of an Inch wide, for the Press-man to pour Oyl in at so oft as the Nut and Spindle shall want Oyling.

At three Inches from either end of the Head (as at c c) is bored a Hole quite through the top and bottom of the Head, which holes have their under ends squar’d about two Inches upwards, and these squares are made so wide as to receive a square Bar of Iron three quarters of an Inch square; But the other part of these Holes remain round: Into these Holes two Irons are fitted called the Screws.

The Shanks of these Screws are made so long as to reach through the Head and through the Cap: At the upper-end of these Shanks is made Male-screws, and to these Male-screws, Iron Female-screws are fitted with two Ears to twist them the easier about.

So much of these Iron Shanks as are to lye in the square Hole of the Head aforesaid, are also squared to fit those square Holes, that when they are fitted and put into the Holes in the Head; they may not twist about.

To the lower-ends of these Iron-Shanks are made two Square, Flat Heads, which are let into and buried in the under-side of the Head; And upon the Sholders of those two Flat Heads, rests the weight of the Head of the Press; And by the Screws at the Upper end of the Shanks are hung upon the upper-side of the Cap, and Screwed up or let down as occasion requires.

Notes and Corrections: § 10. ¶ 5.

a Hook turned square to clapse upon the under-side of the Nut
text unchanged: error for claspe

Plate 5f: Till of printing press


¶. 6. Of the Till, marked f in Plate 5.

The Till is a Board about one Inch thick, and is as the Head and Winter, one Foot nine Inches and a quarter long, besides the Tennants at either end: Its Breadth is the Breadth of the Cheeks, viz. eight Inches; It hath two Tennants at either end as at a a a a, each of them about an Inch and an half long, and an Inch and an half broad, and are made at an Inch distance from the fore and Back-side, so that a space of two Inches is contained in the middle of the ends between the two Tennants; these Tennants are to be laid in the Mortesses in the Cheeks delineated at f f in Plate 5. and described in this § 10. ¶. 2.

In its middle it hath a round Hole about two Inches and an half wide, as at b, for the Shank of the Spindle to pass through.

At seven Inches and a quarter from either end, and in the middle between the Fore and Back-side, is made two square Holes through the Till, as at c c, for the Iron Hose to pass through.

Plate 6: parts of printing press

¶. 7. Of the Hind-Posts marked a a in Plate 6.

At one Foot distance from the Hind-sides of the Cheeks are placed upright to Hind-Posts, they are three Foot and four Inches long besides the Tennants, which Tennants are to be placed in the Mortesses in the hinder ends of the Feet; Their thickness is four Inches on every side, and every side is tryed square; 50 But within eight Inches of the top is turned a round Ball with a Button on it, and a Neck under it, and under that Neck a straight Plinth or Base: This turn’d work on the top is only for Ornament sake.

There are six Rails fitted into these Hind-Posts, two behind marked a b, one of them standing with its upper side at two Inches below the turned Work, the other having its upper-side lying level with the upper-side of the Winter.

These two Rails are each of them Tennanted at either end, and are made so long, that the out-sides of the Hind-Posts may stand Range or even with the outer-sides of the Cheeks; These Tennants at either end are let into Mortesses made in the in-sides of the Hind-Posts, and Pin’d up with half Inch wooden Pins, Glewed in, as was shewn Vol. 1. Numb. 5. § 17. Because the two Hind-Posts need not be separated for any alteration of the Press.

The two Side-Rails on either side the Press are Tennanted at each end, and let into Mortesses made in the Cheeks and Hind-Posts, so as they may stand Range with the outer-sides of the Cheeks and Hind-Posts; But the Tennants that enter the Mortesses in the Cheeks are not pin’d in with Wooden Pins, and Glewed, because they may be taken assunder if need be; But are Pin’d in with Iron Pins, made a little tapering towards the entring end, so as they may be driven back when occasion serves to alter the Press: And the Tennants that enter the Mortesses in the Hind-Posts are fastned in by a Female-screw, let in near the end of the Rail, which receives a Male-screw thrust through the Hind-Posts, even as I shew’d in 51 §. 4. the Fore and Back-Rails of the Case-Frames was.

Notes and Corrections: § 10. ¶ 7.

At one Foot distance from the Hind-sides of the Cheeks are placed upright to Hind-Posts
text unchanged: error for two Hind-Posts?

as was shewn Vol. 1. Numb. 5. § 17
[Pages 80ff. in the section on Joynery.]

¶. 8. Of the Ribs marked b in Plate 6.

The Ribs lye within a Frame of four Foot five Inches long, one Foot eleven Inches broad; its two End-Rails one Inch and an half thick, its Side-Rails two Inches and an half thick; and the breadth of the Side and End-Rails two Inches and an half. But the Side-Rails are cut away in the in-side an Inch and an half towards the outer sides of the Rails, and an Inch deep towards the Bottom sides of the Rails, so that a square Cheek on either Side-Rail remains. This cutting down of the Outer-Rails of the Frame is made, because the Planck of the Carriage being but one Foot eight Inches and an half broad, may easily slide, and yet be gaged between these Cheeks of the Rail, that the Cramp-Irons Nailed under the Carriage Planck joggle not on either side off the Ribs, as shall more fully be shewn in the next §.

Between the two Side-Rails are framed into the two End-Rails the two Wooden-Ribs two Inches and an half broad, and an Inch and an half thick; they are placed each at an equal distance from each Side-Rail, and also at the same distance between themselves. Upon these two Ribs are fast Nailed down the Iron-Ribs, of which more shall be said when I come to speak of the Iron-work.

Notes and Corrections: § 10. ¶ 8.

the Planck of the Carriage being but one Foot eight Inches and an half broad
text has Inches an an half

as shall more fully be shewn in the next §
[Section 11, below.]

Plate 7: parts of printing press


¶. 9. Of the Carriage, Coffin and its Planck, marked a in Plate 7.

The Planck of the Carriage is an Elm-Planck an Inch and an half thick, four Foot long, and one Foot eight Inches and three quarters broad; upon this Planck at its fore-end is firmly Nailed down a square Frame two Foot four Inches long, one Foot ten Inches broad, and the thickness of its Sides two Inches and an half square: This Frame is called the Coffin, and in it the Stone is Bedded.

Plate 7a: Carriage, Coffin and Plank of printing press

Upon each of the four Corners of this Coffin is let in and fastned down a square Iron Plate as at a a a a, with Return Sides about six Inches long each side, half a quarter of an Inch thick, and two Inches and a quarter broad; upon the upper outer-sides of each of these Plates is fastned down to them with two or three Rivets through each side, another strong Iron half an Inch deep, and whose outer Angles only are square, but the Inner Angles are obtuse, as being sloped away from the Inner-Angle towards the farther-end of each inner-side, so as the Quoins may do the Office of a Wedge between each inner-side and the Chase.

The Plates of these Corners (as I said) are let in on the Outer-Angles of the upper-side of the Frame of the Coffin, so as the upper-sides of the Plates lye even with it, and are Nailed down, or indeed rather Rivetted down through the bottom and top-sides of the Frame of the Coffin, because then the upper-sides of the Holes in the Iron Plates being square I
Bored (that is, made wider on the upper side of the Plate, as I shall shew when I come to the making of Mathematical Instruments) the ends of the Shanks of the Iron Pins may be so battered into the Square-boring, that the whole Superficies of the Plate when thus Rivetted shall be smooth, which else with the extuberancies of Nail-heads would hinder the free sliding of the Quoins.

At the hinder end of the Frame of the Coffin are fastned either with strong Nails, Rivets, or rather Screws, two Iron Half-Joynts, as at b b, which having an Iron Pin of almost half an Inch over put through them, and two Match half-Joynts fastned on the Frame of the Tympan, these two Match-half-Joynts moving upon the Iron Pin aforesaid, as on an Axis, keeps the Tinpan so truly gaged, that it always falls down upon the Form in the place, and so keeps Register good, as shall further be shewed in proper place.

Behind the Coffin is Nailed on to its outside, a Quarter, as at c c this Quarter is about three Inches longer than the breadth of the Coffin, it hath all its sides two Inches over, and three of them square; but its upper side is hollowed round to a Groove or Gutter an Inch and an half over. This Gutter is so Nailed on, that its hither end standing about an Inch higher than its further end, the Water that descends from the Tympan falling into it is carried away on the farther side the Coffin by the declivity of the farther end of the Gutter, and so keeps the Planck of the Carriage neat and cleanly, and preserves it from rotting.


Parallel to the outer sides of the hind part of the Planck of the Carriage, at three Inches distance from either side, is Nailed down on the upper side of the Planck two Female-Duftail Grooves, into which is fitted (so as they may slide) two Male-Duftails made on the two Feet of the Gallows (as at d d) that the Tinpan rests upon; and by the sliding forward or backward of these Duftail Feet, the heighth of the Tinpan is raised or depressed according to the Reason or Fancy of the Press-man.

At three Inches from the hinder Rail of the Coffin, in the middle, between both sides of the Planck, is cut an Hole four Inches square (as at e e) and upon the hither and farther side of this Hole is fastned down on each side a Stud made of Wood (as at f f) and in the middle of these two Studs is made a round Hole about half an Inch over, to receive the two round ends of an Iron Pin; which Iron Pin, though its ends be round, is through the middle of the Shank square, and upon that square is fitted a round Wooden-Rowler or Barrel, with a Shoulder on either side it, to contain so much of the Girt as shall be rowled upon it; And to one end of the Rowler is fastned an Iron Circle or Wheel, having on its edge Teeth cut to stop against a Clicker, when the Rowler with an Iron Pin is turned about to strain the Girt.

Notes and Corrections: § 10. ¶ 9.

Number V begins partway through this section, on page 53 (signa­ture I).

as I shall shew when I come to the making of Mathematical Instruments
[Search me. Perhaps he planned a Volume III which never came to fruition.]

which else with the extuberancies of Nail-heads
text has exturberancies

Plate 7b: Tympan of printing press

¶. 10. Of the Tympan and Inner-Tympan, marked b in Plate 7.

The Tympan is a square Frame, three sides whereof are Wood, and the fourth Iron. Its width is one I2
Foot eight Inches, its length two Foot two Inches; the breadth of the wooden Sides an Inch and an half, and the depth one Inch.

On its short Wooden-side, viz. its Hind-end, at the two Corners is Rivetted an Iron Match-Joynt, to be pinned on to another Half joynt fastned on the Hind-Rail of the Coffin.

The other end, viz. the Fore-end of the Tympan is made of Iron, with a square Socket at either end for the Wooden ends of the Tympan to fit and fasten into. This Iron is somewhat thinner and narrower than an ordinary Window-Casement.

Upon the outer edge of this Iron, about an Inch and an half off the ends of it, is made two Iron Half-joynts to contain a Pin of about a quarter of an Inch over, which Pin entring this half-joynt, and a match Half-joynt made upon the Frisket, serves for the Frisket to move truly upon.

In the middle of each long Rail of the Tympan, is made through the top and bottom an Hole half an Inch square, for the square Shanks of the Point-Screws to fit into.

The like Holes are also made in the Tympan, at one third part of its length from the Fore-end or Frisket-joynt, to place the Point Screws in; when a Twelves, Eighteens, &c. is wrought.

Into the Inner-side of this Tympan is fitted the Inner-Tympan, whose three sides are also made of Wood, and its fourth side of Iron, as the Tympan, but without joynts; it is made so much shorter than the Outer-Tympan, that the outer edge of the Iron of the Inner-Tympan may lye within the inner edge of the Iron on the Outer-Tympan; 56 and it is made so much narrower than the inside of the Tympan, that a convenient room may be allowed to paste a Vellom between the inside of the Tympan, and the outside of the Inner-Tympan.

About the middle, through the hither-side of the Inner Tympan, is let in and fastned an Iron Pin about a quarter of an Inch over, and stands out three quarters of an Inch upon the hither out-side of the Inner-Tympan, which three quarters of an Inch Pin fits into a round hole made in the inner-side of the Tympan, to gage and fit the Inner-Tympan right into the Tympan; for then by the help of an Iron turning Clasp on the further side the Tympan, the Inner-Tympan is kept firmly down and in its position.

Notes and Corrections: § 10. ¶ 10.

convenient room may be allowed to paste a Vellom between
text has betwen

Plate 7c: Ink Block of printing press

¶. 11. Of the Inck-Block, Slice, Brayer, and Catch of the Bar, marked c d e f in Plate 7.

To the Rail between the hither Cheek and Hind-Post is fastned the Inck-Block, which is a Beechen-board about thirteen Inches long, nine Inches broad, and commonly about two Inches thick, and hath the left hand outer corner of it cut away; it is Railed in on its farther and hinder-sides, and a little above half the hither-side, with Wainscot-Board about three quarters of an Inch thick, and two Inches and an half above the upper-side the board of the Inck-Block. It is described in Plate 7. at c.

The Brayer marked a is made of Beech: It is turned round on the sides, and flat on the bottom, its length I3
is about three Inches, and its diameter about two Inches and an half; it hath an Handle to it about four Inches long. Its Office is to rub and mingle the Inck on the Inck-Block well together.

Plate 7c: Brayer for printing press

Plate 7c: Slice for printing press

Plate 7c: Catch of Bar of printing press

The Slice is a little thin Iron Shovel three or four Inches broad, and five Inches long; it hath an Handle to it of about seven Inches long. Near the Shovel through the Handle is fitted a small Iron of about two Inches long standing Perpendicular to both the sides of the Handle, and is about the thickness of a small Curtain-Rod. It is described at e.

The Catch of the Bar described at f is a piece of Wood two Inches thick, four Inches broad, and ten Inches long; The top of it is a little Bevil’d or Slop’d off, that the Bar may by its Spring fly up the Bevil till it stick. This Bevil projects three Inches over its straight Shank, which reaches down to the bottom; in the middle of this Shank, through the fore and back-side, is a Mortess made from within an Inch of the Rounding to an Inch and an half of the bottom; This Mortess is three quarters of an Inch wide, and hath an Iron Pin with a Shoulder at one end fitted to it, so as it may slide from one end of the Mortess to the other. At the other end of the Iron Pin is made a Male Screw which enters into a Female Iron Screw let into the further Cheek of the Press; so that the Catch may be Screwed close to the Cheek, as shall further be spoken to hereafter.

Notes and Corrections: § 10. ¶ 11.

Of the Inck-Block, Slice, Brayer, and Catch of the Bar, marked c d e f in Plate 7.
[Or, if you prefer, c a (italic) e f.]

about the thickness of a small Curtain-Rod
[This is perhaps not quite as useful as the author thinks.]

Plate 8: Ironwork of printing press


¶. 12. Of the Iron-work, and first of the Spindle marked A in Plate 8.

From the Top to the Toe of the Spindle, viz. from a to b is sixteen Inches and a half, the length of the Cilinder the Worms are cut upon is three Inches and a quarter, and the diameter of that Cilinder two Inches and a quarter; between the bottom of the Worms and top of the Cube one Inch and an half; the Cube marked c c c c is two Inches and three quarters, the square Eye at d in the middle of the Cube is an Inch and a quarter through all the sides of the Cube; one Inch under the Cube at e is the Neck of the Spindle, whose diameter is two Inches, It is one Inch between the two shoulders, viz. the upper and under shoulders of the Neck at e e; so that the Cilinder of the Neck is one Inch long; the very bottom of the Spindle at b is called the Toe, it is made of an Hemispherical form, and about one Inch in diameter; This Toe should be made of Steel, and well Temper’d, that by long or careless usage, the point of pressure wear not towards one side of the Toe, but may remain in the Axis of the Spindle.


§. 11. Of the Worms of the Spindle.

I promised at the latter end of Numb. 2. to give a more copious account than there I did of making Worms, when I came to exercise upon Printing-Press Spindles; and being now arrived to it, I shall here make good my promise.

Notes and Corrections: § 11.

I promised at the latter end of Numb. 2.
[As usual, this means Number 2 of Volume 1, in the section on Smithing. At the bottom of Page 35, after a long paragraph about Worms, he says:

Thus much may at present suffice for great Screws; when I come to exercise upon Printing, I shall be more copious on Rules for Printing-Press Spindles.

I guess that counts as a promise.]

¶. 1. The Worms for Printing-Press Spindles must be projected with such a declivity, as that they may come down at an assigned progress of the Bar.

The assigned progress may be various, and yet the Spindle do its office: For if the Cheeks of the Press stand wide assunder, the sweep or progress of the same Bar will be greater than if they stand nearer together.

It is confirm’d upon good consideration and Reason as well as constant experience, that in a whole Revolution of the Spindle, in the Nut, the Toe does and ought to come down two Inches and an half; but the Spindle in work seldom makes above one quarter of a Revolution at one Pull, in which sweep it comes down but half an Inch and half a quarter of an Inch; and the reason to be given for this coming down, is the squeezing of the several parts in the Press, subject to squeeze between the Mortesses of the Winter and the Mortesses the Head works in; and every Joynt between these are subject to squeeze by the force of a Pull. As first, The Winter may squeeze down into its Mortess one third part of the thickness of a Scabbord. (Allowing a Scabbord to be half a Nomparel thick.) Secondly, The Ribs squeeze closer to 60 the Winter one Scabbord. Thirdly, The Iron-Ribs to the Wooden Ribs one Scabbord. Fourthly, The Cramp-Irons to the Planck of the Coffin one Scabbord. Fifthly, The Planck it self half a Scabbord. Sixthly, The Stone to the Planck one Scabbord. Seventhly, The Form to the Stone half a Scabbord. Eighthly, The Justifyers in the Mortess of the Head three Scabbords. Ninthly, The Nut in the Head one Scabbord. Tenthly, the Paper, Tympans and Blankets two Scabbords. Eleventhly, Play for the Irons of the Tympans four Scabbords. Altogether make fifteen Scabbords and one third part of a Scabbord thick, which (as aforesaid) by allowing two Scabbords to make a Nomparel, and as I shewed in Vol. 2. Numb. 2. §. 2. One hundred and fifty Nomparels to make one Foot gives twelve and an half Nomparels for an Inch; and consequently twenty five Scabbords for an Inch; so by proportion, fifteen Scabbords and one third part of a Scabbord, gives five eighth parts of an Inch, and a very small matter more, which is just so much as the Toe of the Spindle comes down in a quarter of a Revolution.

This is the Reason that the coming down of the Toe ought to be just thus much; for should it be less, the natural Spring that all these Joynts have, when they are unsqueez’d, would mount the Irons of the Tympans so high, that it would be troublesome and tedious for the Press-man to Run them under the Plattin, unless the Cheeks stood wider assunder, and consequently every sweep of the Bar in a Pull exceed a quarter of a Revolution, which would be both laborious for the Press-man, and would hinder his usual riddance of Work.


I shew’d in Numb. 2. fol. 31, 32, 33, 34, 35. the manner of making a Screw in general; but assigned it no particular Rise; which for the aforesaid reason, these Printing-Press Screws are strictly bound to have: Therefore its assigned Rise being two Inches and an half in a Revolution, This measure must be set off upon the Cilindrick Shank, from the top towards the Cube of the Spindle, on any part of the Cilinder, and there make a small mark with a fine Prick-Punch, and in an exact Perpendicular to this mark make another small mark on the top of the Cilinder, and laying a straight Ruler on these two marks, draw a straight line through them, and continue that line almost as low as the Cube of the Spindle. Then devide that portion of the straight line contained between the two marks into eight equal parts, and set off those equal parts from the two Inch and half mark upwards, and then downwards in the line so oft as you can: Devide also the Circumference of the Shank of the Cilinder into eight equal parts, and draw straight lines through each devision, parallel to the first upright line; and describe the Screw as you were directed in the afore-quoted place; so will you find that the revolution of every line so carried on about the Shank of the Cilinder, will be just two inches and an half off the top of the Shank: which measure and manner of working may be continued downward to within an Inch and an half of the Cube or the Spindle. This is the Rule and Measure that ought to be observ’d for ordinary Presses: But if for some by-reasons the aforesaid Measure of two Inches and an half must be varied, then the varied Measure 62 must be set off from the top of the Cilinder, and working with that varied Measure as hath been directed, the Toe of the Spindle will come down lower in a revolution if the varied Measure be longer, or not so low if the varied Measure be shorter.

There is a Notion vulgarly accepted among Workmen, that the Spindle will Rise more or less for the number of Worms winding about the Cilinder; for they think, or at least by tradition are taught to say, that a Three-Worm’d Spindle comes faster and lower down than a four-Worm’d Spindle: But the opinion is false; for if a Spindle were made but with a Single-Worm, and should have this Measure, viz. Two Inches and an half set off from the top, and a Worm cut to make a Revolution to this Measure, it would come down just as fast, and as low, as if there were two, three, four, five or six Worms, &c. cut in the same Measure: For indeed, the numbers of Worms are only made to preserve the Worms of the Spindle and Nut from wearing each other out the faster; for if the whole stress of a Pull should bear against the Sholder of a single Worm, it would wear and shake in the Nut sooner by half than if the stress should be borne by the Sholders of two Worms; and so proportionably for three, four, five Worms, &c.

But the reason why four Worms are generally made upon the Spindle, because the Diameters of the Spindle are generally of this propos’d size, and therefore a convenient strength of Mettal may be had on this size for four Worms; But should the Diameter of the Spindle be smaller, as they sometimes are when the Press is designed for small Work, only three Worms K3
will be a properer number than four; because when the Diameter is small, the thickness of the Worms would also prove small, and by the stress of a Pull would be more subject to break or tear the Worms either of the Spindle or Nut.

And thus I hope I have performed the promise here I made at the latter end of Numb. 2. Whether I refer you for the breadth, and reason of the breadth of the Worm.

Notes and Corrections: § 11. ¶ 1.

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Eighthly, The Justifyers in the Mortess of the Head three Scabbords.
final . missing

as I shewed in Vol. 2. Numb. 2. §. 2.
[§ 2. ¶ 2, “Of Letter”, listed the various type sizes by name.]

five eighth parts of an Inch
[I believe this is the only place in the entire volume that uses eighths of an inch; everywhere else it would be “half an inch and a half quarter”.]

it would be troublesome and tedious for the Press-man
text has troublesom

I shew’d in Numb. 2. fol. 31, 32, 33, 34, 35.
[Again, this means Number 2 of Volume I, under Smithing.]


¶. 13. Of the Bar marked B in Plate 8.

This Bar is Iron, containing in length about two Foot eight Inches and an half, from a to b, and its greatest thickness, except the Sholder, an Inch and a quarter; The end a hath a Male-Screw about an Inch Diameter and an Inch long, to which a Nut with a Female-Screw in it as at C is fitted. The Iron Nut in which this Female-Screw is made, must be very strong, viz. at least an Inch thick, and an Inch and three quarters in Diameter; in two opposite sides of it is made two Ears, which must also be very strong, because they must with heavy blows be knock’t upon to draw the Sholder of the square shank on the Bar, when the square Pin is in the Eye of the Spindle close and steddy up to the Cube on the Spindle. The square Pin of the Bar marked c is made to fit just into the Eye, through the middle of the Cube of the Spindle, on the hither end of this square Pin is made a Sholder or stop to this square Pin, as at d. This Sholder must be Filed exactly Flat on all its four in-sides, that they may be drawn close and tight up 64 to any flat side of the Cube on the Spindle; It is two Inches square, that it may be drawn the firmer, and stop the steddyer against any of the flat sides of the said Cube, when it is hard drawn by the strength of the Female-Screw in the aforesaid Nut at C. The thickness from d to e of this Sholder is about three quarters of an Inch, and is Bevil’d off towards the Handle of the Bar with a small Molding.

The substance of this Bar, as aforesaid, is about an Inch and a quarter; but its Corners are all the way flatted down till within five Inches of the end: And from these five Inches to the end, it is taper’d away, that the Wooden-Handle may be the stronger forced and fastned upon it.

About four Inches off the Sholder, the Bar is bowed beyond a right Angle, yet not with an Angle, but a Bow, which therefore lies ready to the Press-man’s Hand, that he may Catch at it to draw the Wooden-Handle of the Bar within his reach.

This Wooden-Handle with long Working grows oft loose; but then it is with hard blows on the end of it forced on again, which oft splits the Wooden-Handle and loosens the square Pin at the other end of the Bar, in the Eye of the Spindle: To remedy which inconvenience, I used this Help, viz. To weld a piece of a Curtain-Rod as long as the Wooden-Handle of the Bar, to the end of the Iron Bar, and made a Male-screw at the other end with a Female-screw to fit it; Then I bored an hole quite through the Wooden-Handle, and Turn’d the very end of the Wooden-Handle with a small hollow in it flat at the bottom, and deep enough to bury the Iron-Nut on the end of the Curtain 65 Rod, and when this Curtain-Rod was put through the Hollow in the Wooden-Handle and Screwed fast to it at the end, it kept the Wooden-Handle, from flying off; Or if it loosened, by twisting the Nut once or twice more about, it was fastned again.

Notes and Corrections: § 11. ¶ 13.

skip to next section

At this point the author loses track of his heading levels. The new section number (§ 11, top of page 59) means that the paragraph count should have started over again—as indeed it did, briefly, with § 11 ¶ 1. But after this, Moxon forgets that he is in a new section, and instead continues from ¶ 12 in § 10. In the printed book, headings § and ¶ are identically formatted, making it easier to mix them up.

when it is hard drawn by the strength of the Female-Screw
text has when it it is

by twisting the Nut once or twice more about, it was fastned again
text has it it was

¶. 14. Of the Hose, Garter, and Hose-Hooks.

The Hose are the-upright Irons in Plate 8. at a a, They are about three quarters of an Inch square, both their ends have Male-screws on them; The lower end is fitted into a square Hole made at the parting of the Hose-Hooks, which by a square Nut with a Female-screw in it, is Screwed tight up to them; Their upper ends are let into square Holes made at the ends of the Garter, and by Nuts with Female-Screws in them, and Ears to turn them about as at l l are drawn up higher, if the Plattin-Cords are too loose; or else let down lower if they are to tight: These upper Screws are called the Hose-Screws.

The Garter (but more properly the Coller) marked b b, is the round Hoop incompassing the flat Groove or Neck in the Shank of the Spindle at e e; This round Hoop is made of two half round Hoops, having in a Diametrical-line without the Hoop square Irons of the same piece proceeding from them, and standing out as far as g g; These Irons are so let into each other, that they comply and run Range with the square Sholders at both ends, wherein square Holes are made at the ends of the Hose. They are Screwed together with two small Screws, as at h h.


The four Hose-Hooks are marked i i i i, They proceed from two Branches of an Iron Hoop at k encompassing the lower-end of the Spindle, on either Corner of the Branch, and have notches filled in their outer-sides as in the Figure, which notches are to contain several Turns of Whip-cord in each notch, which Whip-cord being also fastned to the Hooks oh the Plattin, holds the Plattin tight to the Hooks of the Hose.

Notes and Corrections: § 11. ¶ 14.

or else let down lower if they are to tight
text unchanged

Plate 8e: Ribs of printing press

¶. 15. Of the Ribs, and Cramp-Irons.

The Ribs are delineated in Plate 8. at E, they are made of four-square Irons the length of the Wooden-Ribs and End-Rails, viz. Four Foot five Inches long, and three quarters of an Inch square, only one end is batter’d to about a quarter of an Inch thick, and about two Inches and an half broad, in which battering four or five holes are Punch’t for the nailing it down to the Hind-Rail of the Wooden-Ribs. The Fore-end is also batter’d down as the Hind-end, but bound downwards to a square, that it may be nailed down on the outer-side of the Fore-Rail of the Wooden-Ribs.

Into the bottom of these Ribs, within nine Inches of the middle, on either side is made two Female-Duftails about three quarters of an Inch broad, and half a quarter of an Inch thick, which Female-Duftails have Male-Duftails as at a a a a fitted stiff into them; about an Inch and three quarters long; and these Male-Duftails have an hole punched at either end, that when they are fitted into the Female-Duftails in the Ribs, they may in these Holes be Nailed down the firmer to the Wooden-Ribs.


These Ribs are to be between the upper and the under side exactly of an equal thickness, and both to lye exactly Horizontal in straight lines; For irregularities will both Mount and Sink the Cramp-Irons, and make them Run rumbling upon the Ribs.

The upper-sides of these Ribs must be purely Smooth-fil’d and Pollish’d, and the edges a little Bevil’d roundish away, that they may be somewhat Arching at the top; because then the Cramp-Irons Run more easily and ticklishly over them.

Plate 8f: Cramp-Irons of printing press

The Cramp-Irons are marked F in Plate 8. They are an Inch and an half long besides the Battering down at both ends as the Ribs were; They have three holes Punched in each Battering down, to Nail them to the Planck of the Coffin; They are about half an Inch deep, and one quarter and an half thick; their upper-sides are smoothed and rounded away as the Ribs.

Plate 9: assorted items used with printing press

¶. 16. Of the Spindle for the Rounce, described in Plate 9. at a.

The Axis or Spindle is a straight Bar of Iron about three quarters of an Inch square, and is about three Inches longer than the whole breadth of the Frame of the Ribs, viz. two Foot two Inches: The farther end of it is Filed to a round Pin (as at a) three quarters of an Inch long, and three quarters of an Inch in Diameter; the hither end is filed away to such another round Pin, but is two Inches and a quarter long (as at b); at an Inch and a quarter from this end is Filed a Square Pin three quarters of an Inch long, and 68 within half an Inch of the end is Filed another round Pin, which hath another Male-Screw on it, to which is fitted a square Iron Nut with a Female-Screw in it.

Plate 9a: Spindle for Rounce of printing press

On the Square Pin is fitted a Winch somewhat in form like a Jack-winch, but much stronger; the Eye of which is fitted upon the Square aforesaid, and Screwed up tight with a Female-Screw. On the straight Shank of this Winch is fitted the Rounce, marked e.

The round ends of this Axis are hung up in two Iron-Sockets (as at c c) fastned with Nails (but more properly with Screws) on the outside the Wooden Frame of the Ribs.

The Girt Barrel marked d is Turned of a Piece of Maple or Alder-wood, of such a length, that it may play easily between the two Wooden Ribs; and of such a diameter, that in one revolution of it, such a length of Girt may wind about it as shall be equal to half the length contained between the fore-end Iron of the Tympan, and the inside of the Rail of the Inner-Tympan; because two Revolutions of this Barrel must move the Carriage this length of space.

This Barrel is fitted and fastned upon the Iron Axis, at such a distance from either end, that it may move round between the Wooden Ribs aforesaid.

Notes and Corrections: § 11. ¶ 16.

Number VI probably begins with Plate 9—unpaginated, as are all plates—since the following page 67 is marked L2.

¶. 17. Of the Press-Stone.

The Press-Stone should be Marble, though sometimes Master-Printers make shift with Purbeck, either because they can buy them cheaper; or else because they can neither distinguish them by their appearance, or know their different worths.

Its thickness must be all the way throughout equal, L3
and ought to be within one half quarter of an Inch the depth of the inside of the Coffin; because the matter it is Bedded in will raise it high enough. Its length and breadth must be about half an Inch less than the length and breadth of the inside of the Coffin: Because Justifiers of Wood, the length of every side, and almost the depth of the Stone, must be thrust between the insides of the Coffin and the outsides of the Stone, to Wedge it tight and steddy in its place, after the Press-man has Bedded it. Its upper-side, or Face must be exactly straight and smooth.

I have given you this description of the Press-Stone, because they are thus generally used in all Printing-Houses: But I have had so much trouble, charge and vexation with the often breaking of Stones, either through the carelesness or unskilfulness (or both) of Press-men, that necessity compell’d me to consider how I might leave them off; and now by long experience I have found, that a piece of Lignum vitæ of the same size, and truly wrought, performs the office of a Stone in all respects as well as a Stone, and eases my mind, of the trouble, charge and vexation aforesaid, though the first cost of it be greater.

Plate 9d: Plattin (Platen) of printing press

¶. 18. Of the Plattin marked d in Plate 9.

The Plattin is commonly made of Beechen-Planck, two Inches and an half thick, its length about fourteen Inches, and its breadth about nine Inches. Its sides are Tryed Square, and the Face or under-side of the Plattin Plained exactly straight and smooth. Near the four Corners on the upper-side, it hath 70 four Iron Hooks as at a a a a, whose Shanks are Wormed in.

In the middle of the upper side is let in and fastned an Iron Plate called the Plattin-Plate, as b b b b, a quarter of an Inch thick, six Inches long, and four Inches broad; in the middle of this Plate is made a square Iron Frame about half an Inch high, and half an inch broad, as at c. Into this square Frame is fitted the Stud of the Plattin Pan, so as it may stand steddy, and yet to be taken out and put in as occasion may require.

This Stud marked d, is about an Inch thick, and then spreads wider and wider to the top (at e e e e) of it, till it becomes about two Inches and an half wide; and the sides of this spreading being but about half a quarter of an Inch thick makes the Pan. In the middle of the bottom of this Pan is a small Center hole Punch’d for the Toe of the Spindle to work in.

Plate 9e: Points and Point-Screws of printing press

¶. 19. Of the Points and Point-Screws.

The Points are made of Iron Plates about the thickness of a Queen Elizabeth Shilling: It is delineated at e in Plate 9. which is sufficient to shew the shape of it, at the end of this Plate, as at a, stands upright the Point. This Point is made of a piece of small Wyer about a quarter and half quarter of an Inch high, and hath its lower-end Filed away to a small Shank about twice the length of the thickness of the Plate; so that a Sholder may remain. This small Shank is fitted into a small Hole made near the end of the Plate, and Revetted on the other side, as was 71 taught Numb. 2. Fol. 24. At the other end of the Plate is filed a long square notch in the Plate as at b c quarter and half quarter Inch wide, to receive the square shank of the Point-Screws.

The Point-Screw marked f is made of Iron; It hath a thin Head about an Inch square, And a square Shank just under the Head, an Inch deep, and almost quarter and half quarter Inch square, that the square Notch in the hinder end of the Plate may slide on it from end to end of the Notch; Under this square Shank is a round Pin filed with a Male-Screw upon it, to which is fitted a Nut with a Female-Screw in it, and Ears on its out-side to twist about, and draw the Head of the Shank close down to the Tympan, and so hold the Point-Plate fast in its Place.

Notes and Corrections: § 11. ¶ 19.

as was taught Numb. 2. Fol. 24
[In Volume I, the section on Smithing.]

Plate 9h: printer’s Hammer

¶. 20. Of the Hammer, described at h, and Sheeps-Foot described at i in Plate 9.

The Hammer is a common Hammer about a quarter of a Pound weight; It hath no Claws but a Pen, which stands the Press-man instead when the Chase proves so big, that he is forced to use small Quoins.

The Figure of the Sheeps-Foot is description sufficient. Its use is to nail and un-nail the Balls.

The Sheeps-Foot is all made of Iron, with an Hammer-head at one end, to drive the Ball Nails into the Ball Stocks, and a Claw at the other end, to draw the Ball-Nails out of the Ball-Stocks.

Plate 9i: printer’s Sheeps-Foot


¶. 21. Of the Foot-step, Girts, Stay of the Carriage, Stay of the Frisket, Ball-Stocks, Paper-Bench, Lye-Trough, Lye-Brush, Lye-Kettle, Tray to wet Paper in, Weights to Press Paper, Pelts, or Leather, Wool or Hair, Ball-Nails or Pumping-Nails.

The Foot Step is an Inch-Board about a Foot broad, and sixteen Inches long. This Board is nailed upon a piece of Timber about seven or eight Inches high, and is Bevil’d away on its upper-side, as is also the Board on its under-side at its hither end, that the Board may stand aslope upon the Floor. It is placed fast on the Floor under the Carriage of the Press. Its Office shall be shewed when we come to treat of Exercise of the Press-man.

Girts are Thongs of Leather, cut out of the Back of an Horse-hide, or a Bulls hide, sometimes an Hogs-hide. They are about an Inch and an half, or an Inch and three quarters broad. Two of them are used to carry the Carriage out and in. These two have each of them one of their ends nailed to the Barrel on the Spindle of the Rounce, and the other ends nailed to the Barrel behind the Carriage in the Planck of the Coffin, and to the Barrel on the fore-end of the Frame of the Coffin.

The Stay of the Carriage is sometimes a piece of the same Girt fastned to the outside of the further Cheek, M
and to the further hinder side of the Frame of the Carriage. It is fastned at such a length by the Press man, that the Carriage may ride so far out, as that the Irons of the Tympan may just rise free and clear off the fore-side of the Plattin.

Another way to stay the Carriage is to let an Iron Pin into the upper-side of the further Rail of the Frame of the Ribs, just in the place where the further hinder Rail of the Carriage stands projecting over the Rib-Rail, when the Iron of the Tympan may just rise free from the Fore-side of the Plattin; for then that projecting will stop against the Iron Pin.

Plate 9g: printer’s Ball-Stock

The Stay of the Frisket is made by fastning a Batten upon the middle of the Top-side of the Cap, and by fastning a Batten to the former Batten perpen­dicularly downwards, just at such a distance, that the upper-side of the Frisket may stop against it when it is turned up just a little beyond a Perpendicular. When a Press stands at a convenient distance from a Wall, that Wall performs the office of the aforesaid Stay.

Ball-Stocks are Turn’d of Alder or Maple. Their Shape is delineated in Plate 9. at g. They are about seven Inches in Diameter, and have their under side Turned hollow, to contain the greater quantity of Wool or Hair, to keep the Ball-Leathers plump the longer.

Plate 9k: printer’s Lye-Trough

The Lye-Trough (delineated in Plate 9. at k) is a Square Trough made of Inch-Boards, about four Inches deep, two Foot four Inches long, and one Foot nine Inches broad, and flat in the Bottom. Its inside is Leaded with Sheet-Lead, which reaches up over the upper Edges of the Trough. In the middle of the two ends (for so I call the shortest sides) on the outer sides as a a, is fastned a round Iron Pin, which 74 moves in a round hole made in an Iron Stud with a square Sprig under it, to be drove and fastned into a Wooden Horse, which Horse I need not describe, because in Plate aforesaid I have given you the Figure of it.

The Paper-Bench is only a common Bench about three Foot eight Inches long, one Foot eight Inches broad, and three Foot four Inches high.

The Lye Brush is made of Hogs-Bristles fastned into a Board with Brass-Wyer, for durance sake: Its Board is commonly about nine Inches long, and four and an half Inches broad; and the length of the Bristles about three Inches.

To perform the Office of a Lye-Kettle (which commonly holds about three Gallons) the old-fashion’d Chafers are most commodious, as well because they are more handy and manageable than Kettles with Bails, as also because they keep Lye longer hot.

The Tray to Wet Paper in is only a common Butchers-Tray, large enough to Wet the largest Paper in.

The Weight to Press Paper with, is either Mettal, or Stone, flat on the Bottom, to ly steddy on the Paper-Board: It must be about 50 or 60 pound weight.

For Pelts or Leather, Ball-Nails or Pumping-Nails, Wool or Hair, Vellom or Parchment or Forrel, the Press-man generally eases the Master-Printer of the trouble of choosing, though not the charge of paying for them: And for Paste, Sallad Oyl, and such accidental Requisites as the Press-man in his work may want, the Devil commonly fetches for him.

¶. 22. Of Racks to Hang Paper on, and of the Peel.


Our Master-Printer must provide Racks to hang Paper on to Dry. They are made of Deal-board Battens, M2
square, an Inch thick, and an Inch and an half deep, and the length the whole length of the Deal, which is commonly about ten or eleven Foot long, or else so long as the convenience of the Room will allow: The two upper corners of these Rails are rounded off that they may not mark the Paper.

These Racks are Hung over Head, either in the Printing-House, or Ware-house, or both, or any other Room that is most convenient to Dry Paper in; they are hung a‑thwart two Rails an Inch thick, and about three or four Inches deep, which Rails are fastned to some Joysts or other Timber in the Ceiling by Stiles perpendicular to the Ceiling; These Rails stand so wide assunder, that each end of the Racks may hang beyond them about the distance of two Foot, and have on their upper edge at ten Inches distance from one another, so many square Notches cut into them as the whole length of the Rail will bear; Into these square notches the Racks are laid parallel to each other with the flat side downwards, and the Rounded off side upwards.

The Peel is described in Plate 9. at l, which Figure sufficiently shews what it is; And therefore I shall need say no more to it, only its Handle may be longer or shorter according as the height of the Room it is to be used in may require.

¶. 23. Of Inck.

The providing of good Inck, or rather good Varnish for Inck, is none of the least incumbent cares upon our Master-Printer, though Custom has almost made it so here in England; for the process of making Inck being as well laborious to the Body, as noysom 76 and ungrateful to the Sence, and by several odd accidents dangerous of Firing the Place it is made in, Our English Master Printers do discharge themselves of that trouble; and instead of having good Inck, content themselves that they pay an Inck-maker for good Inck, which may yet be better or worse according to the Conscience of the Inck-maker.

That our Neighbours the Hollanders who exhibit Patterns of good Printing to all the World, are careful and industrious in all the circumstances of good Printing, is very notorious to all Book-men; yet should they content themselves with such Inck as we do, their Work would appear notwithstanding the other circumstances they observe, far less graceful than it does, as well as ours would appear more beautiful if we used such Inck as they do: for there is many Reasons, considering how the Inck is made with us and with them, why their Inck must needs be better than ours. As First, They make theirs all of good old Linseed-Oyl alone, and perhaps a little Rosin in it sometimes, when as our Inck-makers to save charges mingle many times Trane-Oyl among theirs, and a great deal of Rosin; which Trane-Oyl by its grossness, Furs and Choaks up a Form, and by its fatness hinders the Inck from drying; so that when the Work comes to the Binders, it Sets off; and besides is dull, smeary and unpleasant to the Eye. And the Rosin if too great a quantity be put in, and the Form be not very Lean Beaten, makes the Inck turn yellow: And the same does New Linseed-Oyl.

Secondly, They seldom Boyl or Burn it to that consistence the Hollanders do, because they not only save labour and Fewel, but have a greater weight of Inck M3
out of the same quantity of Oyl when less Burnt away than when more Burnt away; which want of Burning makes the Inck also, though made of good old Linseed Oyl, Fat and Smeary, and hinders its Drying; so that when it comes to the Binders it also Sets off.

Thirdly, They do not use that way of clearing their Inck the Hollanders do, or indeed any other way than meer Burning it, whereby the Inck remains more Oyly and Greasie than if it were well clarified.

Fourthly, They to save the Press-man the labour of Rubbing the Blacking into Varnish on the Inck-Block, Boyl the Blacking in the Varnish, or at least put the Blacking in whilst the Varnish is yet Boyling-hot, which so Burns and Rubifies the Blacking, that it loses much of its brisk and vivid black complexion.

Fifthly, Because Blacking is dear, and adds little to the weight of Inck, they stint themselves to a quantity which they exceed not; so that sometimes the Inck proves so unsufferable Pale, that the Press-man is forc’d to Rub in more Blacking upon the Block; yet this he is often so loth to do, that he will rather hazard the content the Colour shall give, than take the pains to amend it: satisfying himself that he can lay the blame upon the Inck-maker.

Having thus hinted at the difference between the Dutch and English Inck, I shall now give you the Receipt and manner of making the Dutch-Varnish.

Plate 9m: Caldron for ink

They provide a Kettle or a Caldron, but a Caldron is more proper, such an one as is described in Plate 9. at m. This Vessel should hold twice so much Oyl as they intend to Boyl, that the Scum may be some considerable time a Rising from the top of the Oyl to the top of the Vessel to prevent danger. This Caldron 78 hath a Copper Cover to fit the Mouth of it, and this Cover hath an Handle at the top of it to take it off and put it on by. This Caldron is set upon a good strong Iron Trevet, and fill’d half full of old Linseed-Oyl, the older the better, and hath a good Fire made under it of solid matter, either Sea Coal, Charcoal or pretty big Chumps of Wood that will burn well without much Flame; for should the Flame rise too high, and the Oyl be very hot at the taking off the Cover of the Caldron, the fume of the Oyl might be apt to take Fire at the Flame, and endanger the loss of the Oyl and Firing the House: Thus they let Oyl heat in the Caldron till they think it is Boyling-hot; which to know, they peel the outer Films of an Oynion off it, and prick the Oynion fast upon the end of a small long Stick, and so put it into the heating Oyl: If it be Boyling-hot, or almost Boyling-hot, the Oynion will put the Oyl into a Fermentation, so that a Scum will gather on the top of the Oyl, and rise by degrees, and that more or less according as it is more or less Hot: But if it be so very Hot that the Scum rises apace, they quickly take the Oynion out, and by degrees the Scum will fall. But if the Oyl be Hot enough, and they intend to put any Rosin in, the quantity is to every Gallon of Oyl half a Pound, or rarely a whole Pound. The Rosin they beat small in a Mortar, and with an Iron Ladle, or else by an Handful at a time strew it in gently into the Oyl lest it make the Scum rise too fast; but every Ladle-full or Handful they put in so leasurely after one another, that the first must be wholly dissolv’d before they put any more in; for else the Scum will Rise too fast, as aforesaid: So that 79 you may perceive a great care is to keep the Scum down: For if it Boyl over into the Fire never so little, the whole Body of Oyl will take Fire immediately.

If the Oyl be Hot enough to Burn, they Burn it, and that so often till it be Hard enough, which sometimes is six, seven, eight times, or more.

To Burn it they take a long small Stick, or double up half a Sheet of Paper, and light one end to set Fire to the Oyl; It will presently Take if the Oyl be Hot enough, if not, they Boyl it longer, till it be.

To try if it be Hard enough, they put the end of a Stick into the Oyl, which will lick up about three or four drops, which they put upon an Oyster-shell, or some such thing, and set it by to cool, and when it is cold they touch it with their Fore or Middle-Finger and Thumb, and try its consistence by sticking together of their Finger and Thumb; for if it draw stiff like strong Turpentine it is Hard enough, if not, they Boyl it longer, or Burn it again till it be so consolidated.

When it is well Boyled they throw in an Ounce of Letharge of Silver to every four Gallons of Oyl to Clarifie it, and Boyl it gently once again, and then take it off the Fire to stand and cool, and when it is cool enough to put their Hand in, they Strain it through a linnen Cloath, and with their Hands wring all the Varnish out into a Leaded Stone Pot or Pan, and keeping it covered, set it by for their use; The longer it stands by the better, because it is less subject to turn Yellow on the Paper that is Printed with it.

This is the Dutch way of making Varnish, and the way the English Inck makers ought to use.

Note, First, That the Varnish may be made without Burning the Oyl, viz. only with well and long 80 Boyling it; for Burning is but a violent way of Boyling, to consolidate it the sooner.

Secondly, That an Apple or a Crust of Bread, &c. stuck upon the end of a Stick instead of an Oynion will also make the Scum of the Oyl rise: For it is only the Air contained in the Pores of the Apple, Crust or Oynion, &c. pressed or forced out by the violent heat of the Oyl, that raises the many Bubbles on the top of the Oyl: And the connection of those Bubbles are vulgarly called Scum.

Thirdly, The English Inck-makers that often make Inck, and that in great quantities, because one Man may serve all England, instead of setting a Caldron on a Trevet, build a Furnace under a great Caldron, and Trim it about so with Brick, that it Boyls far sooner and more securely than on a Trevet; because if the Oyl should chance to Boyl over, yet can it not run into the Fire, being Fenced round about with Brick as aforesaid, and the Stoking-hole lying far under the Caldron.

Fourthly, When for want of a Caldron the Master-Printer makes Varnish in a Kettle, He provides a great piece of thick Canvass, big enough when three or four double to cover the Kettle, and also to hang half round the sides of the Kettle: This Canvass (to make it more soluble) is wet in Water, and the Water well wrung out again, so that the Canvass remains only moist: Its use is to throw flat over the Mouth of the Kettle when the Oyl is Burning, to keep the smoak in, that it may stifle the Flame when they see cause to put it out. But the Water as was said before, must be very well wrung out of the Canvass, for should but a drop or two fall from the sides of it into the Oyl when it is Burning, it will so enrage the Oyl, and raise the Scum, that it might endanger the working over the top of the Kettle.

Having shewn you the Master-Printers Office, I account it suitable to proper Method, to let you know how the Letter-Founder Cuts the Punches, how the Molds are made, the Matrices Sunck, and the Letter Cast and Drest, for all these Operations precede the Compositers Trade, as the Compositers does the Press-mans; wherefore the next Exercises shall be (God willing) upon Cutting of the Steel-Punches.

Notes and Corrections: § 11. ¶ 23.

when the Work comes to the Binders, it Sets off
[The term “Sets off” is explained in the Dictionary, pages 389-390.]

that it loses much of its brisk and vivid black complexion
text has much / much at line break

Having thus hinted at the difference
[I admire the way a five-point, itemized account, spanning a good page and a half, can be dismissed as a “hint”.]

only with well and long Boyling it;
[In order to make the text fit, Moxon set all of page 80—the last page of this quire and hence of Number VI—in noticeably smaller type:

page images

A further piece of typographic trivia is that page 80 ends with a catchword ME (beginning of MECHANICK). This suggests that although we are winding up a Number, the next one is part of the same print run.]

the next Exercises shall be (God willing) upon Cutting of the Steel-Punches.
final . missing

The original of this text is in the public domain—at least in the U.S.
My notes are copyright, as are all under-the-hood elements.
If in doubt, ask.