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Thread: What is the correct description for these

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy Longone's Avatar
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    What is the correct description for these

    Can someone give me the proper term for these letters? Is it monotype?
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master OS OK's Avatar
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    They vary in BHN and % of Sn & Sb...

    ...type.......Sn.........Sb......As.....Cu....Ag.. ...Pb................BHN
    Electrotype 2.50% 2.50% 0% 0% 0% 95.0% Brinell 11
    Linotype 4.00% 12.00% 0% 0% 0% 84.0% Brinell 19
    Stereotype 6.00% 14.00% 0% 0% 0% 80.0% Brinell 23
    Monotype 9.00% 19.00% 0% 0% 0% 72.0% Brinell 26
    Foundrytype 15.00% 23.00% 0% 0% 0% 62.0% Brinell 30

    The way I divided my old type was to test them for BHN by size and found varying BHN's even compared to Bumpo's calculator above.

    Below is type I bought off RotoMetals on a clearance sale some time back.



    a m e r i c a n p r a v d a

    Be a Patriot . . . expose their lies!

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  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy Longone's Avatar
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    I guess considering the number of times these could have been melted and poured it’s a crap shoot as you point out. Thanks for your time.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master


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    Melt them all down in one batch and have them analyzed, no more guessing.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master

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    The notch on the back is usually associated with foundry type. Thats what most of it looks like to me. As old as it probably is it may have been melted and recast but probably not. That kind of type is usually used for headlines, paragraph titles and such and was reused as is. Linotype was usually remelted and recast. There was even an alloy used as a booster to bring it back up to spec.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy Longone's Avatar
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    I have been using this stuff since the early 90’s and can only say it came from a friend in the printing business. Before that I have no idea.

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Long one, your piles are a crap shoot. The only way to determine the alloy is do a harness test. I bought 50 lbs from a printer and it is Bhn 14. My pile of bar ingots is monotype
    Regards
    John

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy Longone's Avatar
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    Would a scrap yard with an analyzer be an adequate way to determine the make up? Reason I ask is I also have other pieces to find out the make up.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    That might be useful if all the individual pieces are from the same printing company and from the same production run. Otherwise the numbers on one piece may not reflect the composition of others.

    If you're not going to sell it (most casters want the type in identifiable form) and want to be sure of content, then the suggestion to melt it all into one uniform lot and getting one defining test is a good one. It's what I did for the loose type, Lino and Lino spacers I have.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    linotype , spelling may be off. makes good pistol bullets, very hard but casts well

  11. #11
    Boolit Master


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    Refer to OS OK’s pictures in post #2. The lines of print are Linotype. The large blocks with the “Y”, the flag and wreath are things generally seen in foundry type. Back when grocers had flyers delivered to your house they bought the flyer already printed with a big blank space for the headline area. A local printer would personalize the flyers for a specific store with foundry type. It was very durable and meant for long term use as described and for point of purchase displays when everything was printed on offset presses.

    Monotype was coded by the notch on its back so the machine could return it to its home storage space after use. Each letter was retrieved from the storage space and set as the typesetter typed on a keyboard, the print was made and the machine stored it when finished. Most monotype is small and very hard.
    Sometimes life taps you on the shoulder and reminds you it's a one way street. Jim Morris

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy Longone's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the very good information. Eventually it will get offered up here along with some other items as I scale back.

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longone View Post
    Thank you all for the very good information. Eventually it will get offered up here along with some other items as I scale back.
    If planning to offer for sale do not melt it down. In raw form it is like a silver dollar or gold krugerrand it's form proves it is a bona fide printing alloy.

    If it is mixed melt a sample like a ladle worth, take a reading or run a test from that. Will be close enough to what the whole batch is to use those figures for mixing into final alloy. It might be worth sorting out any strips that have printing on them as linotype is a different alloy than individual type letters. Linotype being run and then re-melted and re-cast only had to be hard enough for a single run. The individual letters were used over and over, had to be a much harder alloy. Flat thin strips with no letters are spacer, you might want to sort those out also since the spacer alloy was often different than the printing alloy. Spacers didn't strike the paper so they didn't wear, didn't have to be as hard but were sometimes. Lot of variation.

    I do the thin flat, no letters, spacers as a single batch, melt them, send a sample into member BNE for testing and figure the whole batch will be that alloy. Worked out pretty well so far. Casting alloys mixed based on those test readings have been pretty accurate when tested.

    Yeah linotype casts sweet but so does hardball alloy which is much less expensive. 50/50 plain lead and linotype.

    I find I use that individual letter alloy to make Lyman #2 by adding some pewter or solder to it until the tin and antimony are equal then cutting down to where they are 5% each using plain lead, or a little more solder/pewter and COWW's.

    You should get a good price for that stuff, it is great ingredient to have on the shelf, or under it since those buckets are heavy!
    Je suis Charlie
    Scrap.... because all the really pithy and emphatic four letter words were taken and we had to describe this way of getting casting material somehow.
    Feedback page http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...light=RogerDat I do trade a bit from time to time.

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OS OK View Post

    Below is type I bought off RotoMetals on a clearance sale some time back.



    I wondered if anyone snagged some of that when it was offered at Rotometals. I seem to recall the price wasn't too bad and it isn't like they are making more of it to find in the scrap yard.
    Je suis Charlie
    Scrap.... because all the really pithy and emphatic four letter words were taken and we had to describe this way of getting casting material somehow.
    Feedback page http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...light=RogerDat I do trade a bit from time to time.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Yeah, I snagged some, lol. It was a good deal.
    I firmly believe that you should only get treated by how you act, not by who or what you are!!

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Mono Type = individual letters
    Linotype means A group of letters spelling out something
    All Good! Get yourself some Pure lead and play with making alloys
    " Associate with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation: for it is better to be alone than in bad company. " George Washington

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    IIRC, Rotometals sold it as Lino but it was in individual letter form. I got a box also.

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    Monotype, Foundry Type are both individual letters, both are rich alloys but they are not the same alloy. To a large extent I stopped trying to sort the two. Not worth it. Now I just melt a sample handful and assume the bucket is the same.

    You can tell mono from foundry by the base notch but that is so tedious examining one letter at a time.... some are really small.... so testing a sample handful from the bucket works for me.
    Je suis Charlie
    Scrap.... because all the really pithy and emphatic four letter words were taken and we had to describe this way of getting casting material somehow.
    Feedback page http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...light=RogerDat I do trade a bit from time to time.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy Cheeto303's Avatar
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    I found this a few years back. Maybe it'll be useful to everybody.

    The following was lifted from booklet printed by Imperial Type Metal Company, Copyright 1918, Titled: "Type Metal Explained"
    Type Casting Machine Metal
    "The principal metals composing all alloys used in type casting machines today are lead, antimony and tin. Although other metals are occasionally present they rarely exceed one percent of the mixture, and are introduced only to slightly modify the main elements.
    Lead is the base metal to which the other elements are added, and when properly compounded form an alloy indispensable to one of the largest and most widely distributed industries in the world. Lead is produced in large quantities in the United States, particularly in the Middle West.
    Antimony is found only in very lean ore deposits in this country, and is, therefore, almost exclusively an imported metal. Antimony ores are found most plentiful in both China and Japan.
    Tin is one of the most valuable metals, both as to properties and cost. Its ores are not found in quantity in the United States, and therefore all tin is imported, either as ore or in pigs.

    Function of Elements in the Alloys
    Lead alone is too soft, and lacks many of the valuable properties needed for type purposes. Therefore, the metallurgist has devised an ally which is suitable, by adding antimony and tin in proper proportions, depending on the requirements of the service to be met.
    Antimony has the valuable property of giving both hardness and fluidity to lead. Hardness when cold, fluidity when molten. Not only this but also the property of filling out the mold and expanding just as solidification occurs. the alloy contracts after solidifying just as any other metal or alloy, but at the instant of passing from the liquid to the solid it fills all the detail of the mold, and after solidifying draws away, retaining a perfect reproduction. this is a most remarkable and valuable property, and very essential to the alloy. In comparison, let us consider a lead and tin alloy, as found in solder, and we find none of the valuable type properties. next to antimony, bismuth alone has this power, but is prohibitive in price, so there is no feasible substitute for antimony.
    Tin is the third and last principal element in type alloys, its functions being frequently much confused with those of antimony. Tin does not reduce the melting point of the alloy, as is usually believed, when considering stereotype, line-slug and unitype metals. The alloys freeze at approximately 475 F in all cases, whether tin is present or not. Tin does add very much to the fluidity of the alloy, however, and permits the work to be done at much lower temperatures and with much more perfect results. it is for this reason that it is often regarded as having reduced the melting point, whereas it has simply increased fluidity when molten, just as certain oils thin inks. Tin causes a much slower setting of the alloy, and an excess often becomes a detriment for this reason. This is occasionally noticed in line-slug machines where squirts and hollow slugs follow an excess.
    Tin gives body to the metal, adding considerably to its toughness.

    Explaining Alloy
    Lead, when pure, melts at 621 F.; antimony at 1166 F., and when 1 per cent of antimony is alloyed with 99 percent lead the melting point is reduced to below 621 F. Two percent of antimony causes a still further reduction, which continues until the alloy contains approximately from 12 to 13 percent antimony, balance lead, melting at 475 F. From this point on, by increasing antimony, the point of complete melting increasing with each percent instead of decreasing. thus, we see that there is a certain percentage having the lowest melting point, which is approximately 12 percent. this point is called the eutectic point, meaning point of lowest melting temperature."

    All of the above was of course written with letterpress printers in mind, however the same principles involved are key to casting quality bullets. Hope you find this information valuable.

    The information below was gathered from various sources which I also believe will be helpful to understanding the differences between the various alloy formulations available for casting both letterpress type and bullets. The other alloys shown are for comparison purposes.

    Linotype Metal:
    Tin 4%
    Antimony 12%
    Lead 84%
    Liquid at 473 F
    Casting temperature 518 F to 545 F
    Hardness /Brinell 21 - 22

    Monotype Metal:
    Tin 9%
    Antimony 19%
    Lead 72%
    Liquid at 509 F to 527 F
    Casting temperature 680 F to 720 F
    Hardness /Brinell 28.5


    Hard Foundry Type Metal:
    Tin 18%
    Antimony 28%
    Lead 54%
    Liquid at 680 F
    Casting temperature 788 F to 806 F
    Hardness /Brinell 29.5
    Last edited by Cheeto303; 02-17-2020 at 09:59 PM. Reason: Misspelling
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