TYPOGRAPHIC TECHNICAL SERIES FOR APPRENTICES—PART 1, NO. 10
A PRIMER OF INFORMATION ABOUT PAPER
AND CARD TRIMMERS, HAND-LEVER
CUTTERS, POWER CUTTERS AND
OTHER AUTOMATIC MACHINES
FOR CUTTING PAPER
PUBLISHED BY THE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
UNITED TYPOTHETAE OF AMERICA
United Typothetae of America
Composition and electrotypes contributed by
The Stone Printing and Manufacturing Company
The paper-cutting machine is a recent development in the industrial
world. Its importance in the graphic arts is only just being
recognized. That it has heretofore been considered an apparatus of
minor importance is proven by the lack of information on the subject,
either historical or technical. No mention is made of a paper-cutting
machine in the eleventh edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica, either
in the index or under the various trade headings. Mention is omitted
entirely from De Vinne's History of Printing. There are no references
to it in many other standard books, nor in the engineering libraries;
neither are there any comprehensive articles on the subject in any of
the trade journals, either American or foreign. A few scattered
references may be found in dictionaries and manuals having to do with
bookbinding and presswork.
This manual on the paper-cutting machine has the distinction of
being, as far as the author knows, the first book ever written on the
subject. It will endeavor to help toward a better understanding of this
important mechanism, its use and care, and it may also serve as a
starting point from which subsequent treatises may be written.
The difficulty of making a successful machine of this kind to meet
the new demands for accuracy, speed, convenience, and safety, has been
overcome gradually in recent years and there are now several machines
quite efficient and adequate to meet these demands of the modern
manufacturer. To coördinate a number of inanimate pieces of steel and
iron, to operate at high speed with precision, requires fine skill. The
evolution from the first cutting machine—the old hand-operated wooden
plough and press—to the present power-driven steel mechanism is like
the advance from the old wooden sailing vessel to the modern steel
The objects of this manual are to acquaint the beginner with the
essential features of the machine itself and to provide clear,
comprehensive information which will enable him to become a competent
operator. It is not possible within so small a book to give complete
detailed instructions for all the different conditions which may arise
in the many kinds of work done in establishments where paper-cutting
machines are used. Each of these places has its own particular
requirements; and while the machine can do its part quickly and
efficiently it needs the intelligent and skillful operator to get good
results. The instructions given herein for a few cases, which have been
made as general as possible, indicate the complexity of this operation
as carried on in modern workshops. There is necessity for a careful
study of the subject in any important industry to insure this part of
the work being successful and profitable.
Not all the kinds of cutting machines in use in the printing and
bindery industries are considered in the following pages, but simply
the typical machines in common use for cutting and trimming printed
paper. There are many other styles, such as die-cutting presses,
automatic book-trimming machines, punching, stabbing, and eyeletting
machines, rotary cutters and revolving-blade cutters attached to
presses and other paper machines. These might properly be classed under
the title, but as they are chiefly specialized machines the limits of
space do not permit a consideration of them here.
Importance of the Paper Cutter7
Evolution of the Paper-Cutting Machine8
Description of Typical Machines11
Grinding Paper-Cutter Knives21
Honing Paper-Cutter Knives22
The Clamping Pressure23
The Back Gage25
Power Back Gage Movement28
Application of Power30
Care of the Machine32
Operating the Machine35
Safety of the Knife37
To Cut a Pile into Strips of Equal Width43
To Cut a Pile Rectangular44
To Square a Pile45
To Cut Unusual Shapes46
Paper Cuttings and Waste50
Depreciation of a Paper-Cutting Machine51
Glossary of Terms Used58
Importance of the Paper Cutter
A paper-cutting machine is used for dividing piles of large sized sheets into smaller sized sheets; also for squaring a pile;
i.e., making all four corners rectangular; and for trimming off irregular or incorrect edges.
It increases the possible printing output largely because presses of
large size can now print many duplicates of a single design on a single
sheet, and many of these sheets piled can be separated at a single cut,
whereas a fly or rotating cutter cuts but one sheet at a time.
The importance of the paper-cutting machine can hardly be
overestimated. The correct position of the printed matter, the widths
of head, tail, and fore edge may be destroyed by careless cutting.
Friendly coöperation with every department is necessary to produce good
work. No matter how fine the printing and color work is, if the margins
are uneven and the folds mismatched, then the resulting air of
slovenliness discredits the entire work. The final touch that gives the
character to a piece of printed matter is the way it is trimmed.
Modern power automatic-clamp cutting machines, in spite of the high
speed of their operation, are able to cut with absolute accuracy.
Perhaps on no other machine will a little careful study return so large
a profit in dollars and cents.
Evolution of the Paper-Cutting Machine
The practice of cutting paper began long before the making of the
book of bound leaves, and the necessity of making a number of sheets of
the same size called for some mechanical means of cutting and trimming.
The earliest cutting machine was no doubt a sharp stone or a stick;
then a piece of metal, dragged across the parchment, with a guide to
keep the cut in a straight line. The sheet was simply held by the hand,
and later the straight-edge formed a clamp also.
About the fifth century the important step of folding the vellum
into leaves became the practice. The instrument which we know to-day as
scissors or shears probably had a large part to do in these early
operations. With the invention of printing and the multiplication of
books larger and stronger means were necessary to cut the sheets.
Although the book with the untrimmed sheets was the rule of this
earlier time, and of a later time, for the smaller books and for
divisions of the sheet a cutter was necessary.
For a time the cutting of piles of paper was done by hand with a
knife, a small pile being put upon a table and a weight laid upon it.
The operator leaned his weight with one hand upon it, while he cut with
the other. The earliest attempt to improve this consisted of a table, a
framework of wood or metal above it, having a groove in which the knife
could be worked, and a screw clamp to hold the pile. The knife was
originally short; then longer, until it became long enough to cut
through the thickness of the book. The deckle-edge of the earlier and
untrimmed books was improved upon and made easier to turn over and
refer to rapidly by the improvement of trimming the leaves. The
hand-plough cutter was probably the first successful machine intended
to cut a number of sheets at a time.
In the Haupt Halle at the great Graphic Arts Exhibition, Leipzig,
1914, were some illustrations showing the earliest German cutting
machines and their evolution to date. The earliest among them is the
lightly constructed hand-driven vertical cutter of 1855. This consisted
of two side frames, the knife-bar guides in their slots and a large
hand wheel at the right. The next stage was a cutter of 1876, a
hand-driven wheel at the right turning gears above and outside the
table. A crank and a rod connected to the center top of the knife-bar
pulled the knife in the direction of the two slots in the knife-bar,
giving it a shearing motion. This model is the same as that used by
most German manufacturers for both hand and power-driven cutters until
within a few years, when the greatly improved, rapid, and more
convenient American examples became known.
From simply pressing with the hand to hold the sheets the hand clamp
was evolved; then the clamp was attached to a gear by which it could be
held down on the sheets with greater and steadier pressure. To quicken
this operation the spring clamp was devised, with automatic
pressure—fixed at first, then variable to suit varying requirements.
Perhaps the most signal advance in the art of paper-cutting
machinery that has been made is the invention of Samuel R. Brown, who
devised the fixed "throw" of the knife by means of two cranks at
opposite ends of a shaft parallel with the knife. This control of the
knife enables a hair to be cut through, or half through, or the knife
edge to just touch it, with remarkable precision. The various other
mechanical connections for power-cutting machines between the pulley
and the knife, consisting of rolls, slots, guides, cams, chains,
levers, etc., all require a great number of parts between the pulley
and the knife, with the consequent and necessary "looseness" of the
mechanism. This allows, after short wear, a play or "chug" of the knife
which quickly tends to destroy its best cutting abilities.
The evolution of the cutting machine has been rapid and distinctly
marked in all its essential features, from the oscillating plough to
the vertical stroke, to the shear stroke, to the double-shear stroke;
from a single-rod pull-down of the knife (by a chain, by a cam, or by a
crank) to the two-rod pull-down by cams, rolls, slots, slides, to the
cranks which give a fixed dependable stroke; to the cranks which give a
fixed dependable stroke, and at the same time pull the knife endwise;
from swinging-link shear to a straight-line shear; from man-drive to
power-drive; from driving by power fixtures in front and outside the
frame to fixtures located back and underneath; from low piles to high
piles; from hand clamp to power clamp, to self clamp, to automatic
clamp, finally to friction adjustable pressure clamp; from measuring by
rule to the use of rapid automatic measuring and spacing devices.
The best paper-cutting machine is designed with a knife motion
operated by cranks which give an endwise pull to the knife; with the
table of medium height; with quick and accurate adjustments for the
knife; with a foot treadle for bringing the clamp down to the pile when
desired to see exactly where the knife will strike; with an accurate
and dependable device for moving the back gage and the pile and
measuring quickly the widths to be cut; with starting handles easily
reachable without bending; with a powerful clamping pressure automatic
for all height piles and instantly adjustable for heavy or delicate
work; with universal fine adjustments for squaring the back gage with
the knife; with a simple change for the cutting stick; with the driving
shaft running at a low speed; and with a powerful main driving clutch
or friction material that will not cut or damage the parts under the
heavy, constant thrusts.
Description of Typical Machines
PLOUGH AND PRESS CUTTER
An early form of cutting machine, made almost entirely of wood. The
pile of paper or book was clamped to the table by the upper cross-bar
of the clamp, which was brought down by the geared vertical arm. As
shown by picture, these arms were raised and lowered by turning the
large toothed wheel. The steel chisel (A) operating in a holder running
in a groove, was moved to and fro across the paper, cutting deeper each
time as the chisel was gradually lowered by the handle.
Fig. 1. Plough and Press Cutter
CARD CUTTER OR TRIMMER
Card trimmers are knives hinged at one end to a base upon which the
work is laid and held, while the knife is pulled down by hand to shear
it off against a metal edge. Stock cut this way has a slight burr on
its lower edge, caused by the "drag" or downward pressure of the knife.
To cut cards free from burr a rotary card-cutting machine is used, with
a rotating shaft carrying a small wheel cutter. These cutters are used
on a workbench.
Fig. 2 Binder Shears or Table Cutter
Fig. 3 Card Cutter and Trimmer
Fig. 4. Hand-Lever Cutter
Fig. 5. Bench-Lever Cutter
Hand-lever cutters stand on the floor and have a convenient height
table to lay the work upon. The cut is made by pulling the knife down
through the pile. The knife is hung from two swinging links, and is
easily operated when it has double shear and a toggle crank connection
to the hand-lever shaft.
POWER CUTTING MACHINE (HAND-CLAMP)
Knife Pulled Down at One End
Power cutting machines substitute power fixtures for the hand
(sometimes in addition to the hand operating fixtures), and eliminate
labor and save time. A hand-clamp power cutter is operated first by
screwing the clamp by hand down firmly upon the line where the work is
to be cut; then pulling the starting lever, which causes the knife to
make the cut, return to the top, and stop.
POWER CUTTING MACHINE (HAND-CLAMP)
Knife Pulled at Both Ends
Semi-automatic means a cutting machine which has a treadle to bring
the clamp down quickly upon the work, and a regular hand-clamping wheel
instantly acting to produce the clamping pressure when it is turned a
part of a revolution. The clamp returns automatically to the top by
touching the treadle lightly with the foot and giving the clamping
wheel a slight backward turn. The advantages are the simplicity of
construction and operation of the regular hand-clamp machine, and a
gain of about one-third greater output with one-third less effort.
Automatic-clamp power cutting machines save labor by pressing the pile
by power, instead of requiring the operator to screw the clamp down and
back again by hand. In the larger sizes power attachments save the
labor of pulling the back gage and work forward by hand. Automatic
spacing (or measuring) devices for duplicating any desired width,
without the customary measuring for each cut, enable larger production.
AUTOMATIC-CLAMP POWER CUTTING MACHINE
With Instantly Variable Automatic Clamping Device
An automatic power cutter is operated first by determining the line
of the cut by the indicator or by pulling the clamp down upon the work;
then pulling the starting lever, which automatically forces the clamp
down first upon the stock, and then drives the knife through it, and
returns both knife and clamp to stop at the top.
Automatic-clamp power cutting machines are also furnished with hand-clamp attachment for special clamping pressures.
Continuous running is effected by devices which permit the quick
disengagement of the stop throw-out mechanism. This is desirable with
duplicate work in quantities carefully arranged for fast production.
Automatic cutting machines are also furnished with spacing devices for
the rapid duplication of exact widths of any size.
Vertical stroke (and vertical changeable to shear stroke) cutting
machines (see Fig. 9, page 17), both hand power and also power, are
used with special shaped knives for cutting fancy edges, and pinking
cloth samples, etc., some having back tables of great length, moved on
rollers or slides by spacing devices. Considerable ingenuity has been
shown in the variable method and mechanism used for moving the knife up
The knife is most important. It must be kept sharp. It must be of
the proper shape and thickness and bevel and temper and free from any
burrs or lumps on its back edge. A cutting-machine knife is like a
razor that, stropped correctly, does not pull the beard, but stropped
an infinitesimally different way—a difference impossible to see except
with a microscope—pulls hard. Study carefully the knife. No matter how
carefully the machine is built, an imperfect knife cannot cut right.
Most knives are imperfect in spite of the rigorous specifications given
them by makers. They vary in thickness, straightness, concave, bevel,
flatness, temper, and quality of steel; and also in the character of
their sharpening and honing, which varies with the fineness or
coarseness of the grinding wheel and stone. These variations need only
be a few thousandths of an inch to cause trouble.
VERTICAL-STROKE POWER MACHINE
Changeable to Double Shear
A blue wave mark indicates where the temper is drawn, and a file
which "drags" when pushed fairly hard across the flat of the bevel
indicates the soft spots, where the temper is imperfect.
DIAGRAM SHOWING DOUBLE SHEAR STROKE OF THE
KNIFE PASSING OBLIQUELY THROUGH THE PILE
At the beginning of the stroke the knife is higher at the right-hand
side; when finishing the cut the knife is parallel to the table
To ascertain if a knife has a correct face, hold it flat, face up,
with one end on a window ledge, and look along the face for variations.
This is a simple matter which any one can do. Use a perfectly straight
and clean-edged steel rule and pass it along from one end to the other
as shown in Figs. 11 and 12. A dark spot shows the point of contact of
the rule with the knife. These dark spots should show only exactly at
the cutting edge and at the back edge. If a dark spot shows away from
the cutting edge, it indicates that the knife is imperfect there and
will not make a true cut. Regrinding the face by the makers can correct
this fault, except where it is the fault of the one who hones the knife
after it is sharpened.
Hone the knife only on the bevel. To remove the wire edge burrs
along the edge lay the hone flat on the face and rub gently so as not
to round over the edge.
A knife will sometimes cut better after it has been ground the first
time. A polished knife will give a better surface to the cut. The
cutting of the same kind of stock will often vary with different makes
of knives. An oily rag tied to a stick kept handy and passed along the
bevel of the knife before cutting hard stock will improve the cut. A
blunt bevel is preferred for hard stock; a long, thin bevel for soft
A general rule for the length of bevel on knives is two and one-half
times the thickness of the knife. This may be varied to suit the
different materials to be cut, but must be held within reasonable
limits to preserve the strength of the cutting edge of the knife and
also to secure accurate, clean cutting.
The face of a knife should be as nearly flat as possible and must
not be convex. It is better to have it concave than convex, but not
over two or three thousandths of an inch concave. A knife that is too
concave or convex will tend to dig in or out of the work.
For safe clearance the knife should be a few thousandths of an inch
thinner at the top than the distance from its back to the line of its
The knife bolts should always be screwed up snug, so that the
cutting edge of the knife will have the correct pitch in relation to
the pile. The top or back edge of a knife should be held absolutely
straight to get a firm thrust—bearing all along the knife-bar. Knives
abutting against adjusting screws for this reason are not apt to give
so good results as knives that abut against a solid shoulder all across
Dirt, oil, grease, paper, chips, etc., in the knife-slot or bar, or
a bruise or nick on the back edge of the knife, or a defective knife
bolt, may prevent the knife seating firm and true in its proper place
and may cause poor cutting.
Knives bought from the maker of paper-cutting machines are apt to
give the best results because they receive two inspections: one by the
knife maker, and another by the machine maker, who is careful to see
that only perfect knives are supplied.
In order to understand how important it is to use a sharp knife on a
power cutter, throw off the belt and pull the machine around by hand
through a high cut with a dull knife. Then put in a sharp knife and
make the same cut. Where there is much cutting to be done and the
machine is in constant use, it is well to keep extra knives on hand to
allow one to be sharpened while the other is being used.
A specially tempered knife is best for boards or varnished paper.
Gummed and varnished stock are likely to break small pieces off the
knife edge. The double shear motion for the knife now furnished on the
new automatic rapid production cutting machines practically eliminates
The first place to look when work is not cut true, after making sure
there is correct clamping pressure, is the knife. See if it is sharp.
See if it has been honed properly. See if it has the proper length of
Grinding Paper-Cutter Knives
It is best to grind with a soft sandstone; but if an emery wheel is
used, it should be about 46-60 grain, 5½ grade, or soft enough so that
a light feed can be taken without burning or glazing the bevel of the
The operator of the grinding machine should be in constant
attendance while the knife is being ground, and should have a liberal
supply of water feeding on the wheel where it comes in contact with the
bevel of the knife, not at the top of the wheel. If this supply of
water is cut off and the wheel continues to grind without water, this
will create friction, heat up, and draw the temper in the knife or
Extra precaution should be taken to grind the cutting edge of the
knife parallel with the back of the knife, and not have one end of the
knife wider than the other. When this occurs the cutting edge of the
knife does not hit the cutting stick squarely, and not only has a
tendency to snip out at the wide end, but also to destroy the cutting
The bevel should be ground flat or a shade concave, and must not
exceed twice the thickness of the knife, plus one-quarter inch, or
twenty-four degrees. If this rule is not adhered to and a longer bevel
than this is ground on the knife, the flat side or face of the knife
will become rounded about one-half inch back from the cutting edge,
thereby taking the slight concave out of the knife and causing the
machine to cut tapering;
i.e., the top of the cut, say four or five inches high, will be narrower than the bottom of the cut.
If a knife is ground on the rim of an ordinary emery wheel worn to a
small diameter, the smallness of the emery wheel will tend to make the
bevel concave. This weakens the edge of the knife. A knife grinder with
a cup-shape emery wheel makes it easier to grind the bevel straight.
Honing Paper-Cutter Knives
Every knife, when coming direct from the grinding machine, has a
wire edge which should be honed off before the knife is adjusted to the
knife-bar. Excellent results in honing are obtained from No. 1 Washita
oilstone (Pike Mfg. Co., N.H., U.S.A.), or an india oilstone made by W.
H. Price, Hartford, Conn.
The knife should be laid on a bench or table, flat side down, with
the edge of the knife protruding about one-eighth of an inch beyond the
edge of the table. The hone should be held flat on the bevel, and the
motion should be a circular or rotary movement as well as up and down,
and the honing should be done from one end to the other without lifting
the hone from the knife.
When a fine wire edge appears on the flat side, lay the hone on
lightly with no pressure and absolutely flat, and draw from one end to
the other. After honing the knife for a short time (four or five
minutes) the wire edge will disappear or get so thin that a small piece
of white pine or other soft wood, if drawn along the cutting edge, will
eliminate this thin wire edge. Never hone the flat side of the knife.
Never hone a knife while in the machine.
A wooden holder for the oilstone will protect the fingers.
For smooth "glass edge" cutting, the bevel of the knife may be
ground slightly concave. Then hone thoroughly with an extra fine hone
slightly convex in shape.
No method of grinding has yet been devised which will leave a
perfectly smooth surface, because no matter how fine the stone or
material that is used for grinding it will leave marks on the edge of
the knife, and these marks cause roughness in the cut. The reason the
above method gives almost a perfectly smooth cut is because a thorough
honing removes most of the marks.
The Clamping Pressure
The clamping of the stock in the machine while the cut is being made
is an important feature of a modern paper cutter. This is done by means
of a horizontal bar placed behind the knife and parallel with it. This
clamping bar is moved up out of the way while the stock is being placed
in position and is then brought down with the desired pressure to hold
the pile of sheets firmly until the cut is made, and is again lifted up
out of the way.
In the simpler machines the clamping pressure is obtained by means
of a stout vertical threaded rod to which the clamp bar is attached at
the lower end. The rod is operated by a hand wheel at the top and turns
in a threaded opening in the cross-head of the frame.
Clamping pressures vary greatly under different conditions, from a
light pressure to several tons. The ratio of the power applied in hand
clamping to the pressure secured on the clamp is, in ordinary
commercial machines, about 1 to 150 for small machines up to 32 inches
wide, using a 2-foot-diameter clamp wheel and overhead screw. The ratio
of power in cutting machines 34 inches and wider, having a
1½-foot-diameter clamp wheel, and worm of ¾-inch pitch at the side
engaging a worm gear keyed to the clamp shaft, is about 1 to 180. That
is, a pull by the hand of 1 pound on the overhead clamp wheel will
produce about 150 pounds pressure of the clamp on the stock to be cut;
and a pull by the hand of 1 pound on the side clamping wheel will
produce about 180 pounds pressure of the clamp, less friction.
Operators will pull ordinarily from 10 to 100 pounds;
i.e., producing a pressure of from one to nine tons.
The first type of automatic-clamp cutting machines produced always
the same arbitrary pressure on the clamp, with consequent waste of
power, crushing and indenting the work, offsetting the ink unless it
was absolutely dry, and requiring adjusting with a wrench, which was
slow, dirty, and indefinite.
All modern automatic-clamp cutting machines have independent
automatic-clamp pressure, and these apply the pressure at both ends of
the clamp. The earliest power clamps were called "self-clamp." In these
the knife and clamp were connected together (i.e.,
dependent). The modern automatic-clamp mechanism is not only
independent of the knife, but in addition practically all the power of
the belt goes first to clamp the work and then afterwards to drive the
knife through the cut. This separation of the clamping effort from the
cutting effort increases efficiency and economy.
By a modern device on some machines this clamping pressure is
instantly variable to suit different kinds of stock and other
The cutting stick, into which the knife passes after cutting through
the bottom sheet, saves the edge from cutting on the iron table.
Correctly designed cutting machines have knife-bar motions that
permit no "chug" of the knife into the stick and thus conserve its
sharp edge. Many designs, however, are faulty in this respect and the
unrecorded expense of their operation is a serious leak.
The cutting stick is set in a slot in the table. The most common and
perhaps best form, everything considered, is a ¾-inch square hard maple
stick, set so that the knife strikes it ¼-inch from the edge. All four
faces of such a stick may be used.
A metal frame for holding a ¼-inch square hardwood stick, or a soft
metal (so-called) cutting stick, is made. A round wood cutting stick
connected to a timing mechanism which rotates it automatically for
every cut, or for a certain number of cuts, is valuable for hard stock
requiring microscopical perfection.
The Back Gage
The back gage is moved and controlled on the machine table in
several ways. In the simpler machines the gage is attached to a rod
under the table, a long slot in the center of the table allowing the
connection of the gage with the rod below. The rod is attached to the
gage with a worm gear and is operated by a small hand wheel at the
front of the table. In other machines the gage is attached to a steel
cable, or a metal tape, or a chain which passes over wheels at the back
and front below the table.
The one-piece back gage was improved by cutting it into two or three
sections so that the first and final cuts of two or three piles may be
made at every stroke of the knife. Adjusting screws are provided for
tilting the back gage forward or backward to compensate for the
variation in the width of the top and the bottom sheets which occurs in
the same machine and with the same knife when cutting hard or soft
papers. A swinging adjustment is also provided to "square" the back
gage parallel with the knife edge.
Various devices for taking up the slack caused by wear in the table
slot guiding the back gage are furnished, but probably the simplest and
best method is the replacement and refitting of the inexpensive sliding
INDICATOR ATTACHMENT FOR BACK GAGE
The distance the back gage is moved is read in different ways. The
movement of a gage operated by a screw and wheel is indicated by a
pointer on the front edge of the table overlapping the rim of the long
screw wheel. If the rim of the screw wheel is lined off in sixteenths
of its circumference, the pitch of the screw being one inch, each
complete turn of the screw wheel means that the back gage is advanced
one inch, and each one-sixteenth turn means that it is advanced
one-sixteenth of an inch. It is important always to keep turning the
screw and wheel the same way when so measuring, because otherwise the
"back lash" (looseness of the screw and its nut to permit easy working)
will cause variation.
For a back gage moved by a chain or a wire cable or a metal tape, a
graduated dial is attached to the top of the cable hand wheel which
reads from a pointer attached to the front edge of the table.
Both these ways of reading require the operator to look down.
For a back gage moved by power, a steel indicator ribbon passing
around a wheel overhead in the frame cap and attached to a standard on
top of the back gage (see Fig. 7) enables the operator to read the
position of the back gage without looking down, and a second wheel
indicator and pointer permits reading to less than one-thousandth of an
inch. Similar indicator ribbons are attachable to the back gage for
screw, cable, chain, and metal tape movements.
These indicator ribbons are usually graduated and marked for inches,
halves, quarters, eighths, and sixteenths. They are also furnished with
metric system measurements, graduated and marked for centimeters and
millimeters. They are also furnished extra wide so that both the
English inch measurements as well as the metric system measurements may
be put upon the same ribbon. When graduated to thirty-seconds of an
inch and millimeters a good magnifying glass of about three inches
diameter, adjusted in front of the pointer, enables easier and more
accurate reading. An easily operated lock for holding the back gage
fast to the table at any exact mark prevents variation in the width of
Fixed distance gage rods and suitable engagements with the back gage
are provided for cutting at any time duplicates of exactly the same
width, especially valuable for loose-leaf ledger work. Pins and holes
drilled in the back gage and table also secure uniform locations
impossible to get solely from reading the overhead ribbon or an
indicator dial, which latter may be read incorrectly because of poor
light or variation in the operator's position or eye.
Locking devices for the back gage ordinarily consist of (a) a
friction grip around the moving screw, or (b) about the cable hand
wheel, or (c) a clamping device which holds the back gage, or (d), best
of all, a fixed grip rod-holding device operated from the front of the
table, thus eliminating any possible lost motion through connecting
parts from the jogging or chucking of work.
A back gage is split so that different width piles may be cut at the
same time, such as trimming the heads, tails, and fronts of books. The
fingers at the splits are placed smooth, so that they may be used as
side gages to enable the wear of the knife to be taken its full width,
instead of just at the usual left-hand end.
Power Back Gage Movement
The larger sizes of cutting machines are equipped with a
labor-saving power connection to the main driving shaft which may be
thrown in by the operator at will to move the back gage forward or
backward by power, a micrometer reading the position to thousandths of
Special spacing devices for the back gage are revolutionizing many
branches of work. The usual screw or cable is relatively slow and
undependable and requires care and time to move the work the exact
The new way is to equip the cutting machine with a back gage
operating mechanism having stops which can be set for any width to be
cut. The operator simply pulls a lever between the stops, which
instantly moves the pile and measures it exactly. Production has been
increased six hundred per cent. with such spacing devices.
Gages for measuring the width of the cut may be simply a sample cut
the desired width laid upon the pile, or an exact size wood or metal
pattern, or the width may be determined by reading on a steel
indicator-ribbon attached to the back gage the distance its face is
back from the knife edge.
These methods are only approximately accurate, however; for exact
cutting, steel distance-pieces of correct lengths to give the different
widths of cut required are set against a fixed stop in the back table
and the back gage run back until it grips the steel distance-piece.
This brings the face of the back gage the desired distance from the
Modern patented spacing devices for the rapid duplication of exact
widths in succession, while the machine runs continuously without
stopping between cuts, have been perfected so as to enable, on some
classes of work, one cutting machine to do the work of six and still
obtain accuracy. These spacing devices operate the back gage through a
chain or a screw or a gear by means of a lever driven by hand or by
power between accurately set stops fixed for any desired width, and
thus eliminate the time ordinarily lost measuring the width for each
Among other conveniences on the large modern cutters two starting
levers, one at each side of the machine, or a starting bar extending
across the front, save several motions at each cut.
A flat piece of metal, called a clamp face, which may be quickly
attached to the under side of the fingered clamp, is used to prevent
these fingers marking soft or delicate finished stock.
A snake gage is a folding lattice used in front of the back gage of
a solid wide face clamp machine to enable the back gage to push the
pile up nearer the knife.
For large pamphlets or magazines an extra clamp attached behind the
regular clamp to hold the back of the pile down gently by spring
pressure will prevent the sheets springing up and away from the back
gage, caused by the folds and air between the sheets.
A plate attached to the machine with hooks upon which to hang the
wrenches is provided upon the most modern machines and this helps the
operator to keep them together and in order.
Guards covering the gearing, knife edge, pulleys, flywheel and other
moving parts are required by many state laws, and power cutting
machines are, therefore, so designed and furnished complete.
Application of Power
There are five methods of applying power necessary to operate paper
cutters: by hand lever, by belt, by direct gearing, by chain and
sprocket, and by direct connection of electric motor.
Figure 13 shows an electric motor on a bracket, adjustable
vertically, attached to the frame of the cutting machine, driving by a
belt from the motor pulley to the machine pulley. The belt cushions the
heavy repeated thrusts of the clamp and knife in cutting upon the
motor. The electric motor may be set on the floor or on a bracket on
Figure 14 shows a direct-geared connection of the electric motor
through its noiseless rawhide pinion engaging an iron gear on the
machine driving shaft. An adjustment is provided for taking up the wear
in the gears, in order to maintain the noiseless running of the
ELECTRIC MOTOR OVERHEAD, BELT DRIVE
The chain drive is like the direct-geared except that it substitutes a chain and two sprockets for two gears.
It is not generally understood what a large amount of power is
required to drive a paper-cutting machine, and how important it is that
the number of working parts connecting the belt pulley to the knife be
as simple and few as possible in order to eliminate friction and lost
motion, and to secure efficiency. Every cut costs money for the power
ELECTRIC MOTOR UNDERNEATH, GEARED DRIVE
An inch-high pile of writing paper with a sharp knife may take one
thousand pounds for each foot of length of the knife to drive it
through. A higher pile on a fifty-inch power cutter may take three tons
pressure, plus the automatic clamping effort and plus frictional
losses, and (more important) plus a tremendous increase in case the
knife is dull.
Care of the Machine
A man is known by the condition of the machine he keeps. Keep the
knife sharp. That is the first rule to repeat every day and every hour
of the day. The second rule is to oil every hole and place required on
the machine. The third rule is to keep the machine and its neighborhood
scrupulously clean. The fourth rule is to learn by heart and follow the
printed directions attached to the machine by the maker. If you do not
understand or if you cannot follow correctly every instruction on the
printed instructions attached to the machine by the maker, first ask
your foreman or superintendent. If the directions are not clear, write,
or ask the office to write, to the maker for a detailed explanation or
to have his traveling representative come and explain them. Any
operator who does not understand the adjustments of the machine he
operates has but partly learned his trade. Be particular to see that
the driving pulley on your machine runs at the speed given for it on
the manufacturer's directions.
Keep the machine always in adjustment. See that the brake band is
adjusted so that when the starting lever is thrown in to start, the
friction is entirely released and there is no drag on machine.
Do not allow the knife to sink any deeper into the cutting stick than to sever the last sheet of the pile.
Never use more pressure on the clamp than is necessary to hold the
pile without drawing or slipping; any additional pressure is only an
added strain on the machine.
Jog your stock before putting it in the machine and do not use the
back gage for that purpose. Continual hard jogging with heavy lifts of
stock against first one end of gage and then the other will quickly
knock it out of square or loosen it.
A little talcum powder, French chalk, or powdered boracic acid dusted on the table makes the stock handle easier.
A slip-sheet of paper or thin pulp board placed on top or on the
bottom of the pile, and cut up with it, protects delicate surfaces from
finger marks or soiling. Keep your hands and apron clean. Keep the
machine clean in every part.
Use only wrenches furnished with the machine, because they fit the
bolt heads properly and because they are the correct lengths to put on
the proper tension.
Do not use a monkey wrench, because, unless the jaws are carefully
adjusted, it will destroy the bolt heads and if used on small bolts, on
account of its length and power, is apt to strip the threads or break
the bolt or part.
Occasionally go over every part of machine and see that all taper pins, bolts, nuts, etc., are snug in place.
A locked cupboard or box at the cutting machine is useful to keep
the full set of wrenches provided, clean waste, colored crayons, a good
magnifying glass, powdered pumice stone, French chalk, talcum powder,
boracic acid, special cutting pads, and boards for making them, size
strips, dimension records, etc. The oil can should stand always filled
and ready on its bracket.
If a belt is put on too tight, it may pull so hard on the bearings
as to heat and cause them to cut. It is easier not to put the belt on
too tight at first and to relace it several times while it is
stretching, than it is to repair a rough bearing.
Keep clean waste in a box. Destroy dirty, oily waste instantly after
use, or place it carefully inside a fireproof oily waste can if
provided. Do not put dirty, oily waste away or leave it around. It is
most dangerous and many plants have been burned by its spontaneous
Have a definite fixed time to oil, and to clean the machine. Mark
the hours when to oil every day, and the day and hour when to clean and
polish the machine every week, on the maker's direction sheet attached
to the machine.
Oil with intelligence, not just with an oil can and oil. Oil freely,
but not sloppily. Oil should not drip upon the floor. Oil should not
flow over parts not requiring it. An excess of oil on a brake band will
prevent its acting and stopping the machine promptly. Wipe out the
excess oil in this case by passing a rag under and around the bands.
Oil that runs or drops or is wiped off is wasted.
Oil the parts above the table carefully and thoroughly. A few drops
of oil on the palm of the hand and applied to the four front and back
faces of the knife-bar prevents dripping on the table from the oil can.
Run the machine through a few strokes after oiling and then wipe off
clean with a cloth or piece of waste the surfaces against which the
stock to be cut is placed.
When oiling, remember it is only the oil that reaches the bearing
that does any good. Any surplus that runs over and defaces the machine
The best kind of oil to use is a free-running, light-colored petroleum machine oil. Cheap oils cost more in the end.
Operating the Machine
The character of the cutting depends upon, first, the machine, second, the knife, and third, the man.
Successful cutting is a fine manual art. The finest razor improperly
stropped and used in unskilled hands does poor work. The finest cutting
machine unintelligently operated will stultify the best efforts of the
The machine that has the simplest mechanism evolved by long
experience and study ensures the first safeguard of accuracy. The knife
that fulfils the specifications given elsewhere furnishes the second.
And third, the man whose standard of work is high, who is conscientious
in following his instructions, who is big enough and broad enough to
understand how important his position is, and how necessary, therefore,
it is for him to coöperate with every other department in a friendly
and intelligent manner, completes the tripod that can stand up
successfully under any job.
A cutting machine is a sharp-edged tool and, therefore, dangerous
when run by a careless or unskilled operator. "Look before you leap"
applies especially to the cutting machine. Its action is powerful and
quick. Accidents occur through failure of the operator to watch his own
motions and because of the improper operation of the machine through
failure of some of its parts. Sufficient safety devices to make all
accidents impossible would render the cutting machine as useless as an
axe in a velvet case. Accidents which occur from undue wear or neglect
to oil are apt to happen. Two preventives are available:
first, to train the operator to care;
second, to provide as many safeguards as can be utilized and still permit commercially successful operation.
With the modern high-speed machine operating at from twenty-five to
forty cuts a minute, the time consumed in the cutting room is not the
time taken by the knife to pass through the stock, but rather the time
getting the stock laid up and measured ready to cut. Consequently,
these latter operations are the ones to study for savings.
The time and labor required to cut a job depends upon the number and
kind of motions of the hands and body and feet that are made to get the
stock ready and to take it away. The fewer motions necessary to do this
and to operate the machine, the easier and pleasanter it is to work at
a cutting machine.
Powdered chalk and naphtha put on the bright parts and nickel and
allowed to stay over night will polish off in the morning and leave the
machine appearing clean and free from rust.
The clamp strap ways should be kept clean and free from the fuzz
from the cuttings and thick oil. This can be done by occasionally
cleaning them out with kerosene.
If the oil gets in the friction brake band the machine may not stop
promptly at the proper point. Throw off the driving belt, and throw on
the starting lever to loosen the brake band; then pass a rag around
under the band, between it and the clutch rings, so as to remove the
oil, then throw off the starting lever. If a piece of waste is laid on
the lower part of the friction brake band just next to the ring, it
will keep it free from oil for some time.
Rub the knife and other bright parts of the machine with an oily rag
every night. This will prevent the rust forming with the variation of
temperature between day and night.
When using the graduations on its rim to measure by, always keep
turning the gage screw wheel in one direction, without reversing it,
when pulling the back gage forward for successive cuts. This will keep
up all the slack and lost motion of the screw and its nut. If the screw
wheel is moved first one way and then another, little dependence can be
placed upon the graduated reading of the scale.
Safety of the Knife
The best automatic rapid-production cutting machines are provided
with four safety devices to prevent the knife making an unexpected
First—A solid knocker throws out the clutch positively.
Neither gravity nor a spring for a trip is depended upon to move an
intercepting part, but the certain fact that two solid bodies cannot
occupy the same space at the same time.
Second—An automatic friction brake grips firmly and stops all motion silently.
Third—An automatic counterbalance is used for both the knife-bar and the clamp, and retains them at the top position.
Fourth—An automatic steel safety bolt engages a solid lug on
the large gear, so that the gear cannot revolve further until the
operator deliberately pulls the starting lever for another cut.
These four safety devices are designed so as to act positively and
simultaneously on the completion of each cut. To start requires a
deliberate action of the starting lever by the operator.
Paper is made principally in long webs, or continuous strips, and is
rolled up as it comes from the paper-making machine. It is then cut
into sheets by a revolving fly cutter or a shear knife, cutting one
sheet at a time off the roll. These sheets are furnished by the mills
in bundles or cases, which are trimmed to certain sizes on a
The best method of handling and cutting stock, the proper quantity
to take on at each lift, the height of the pile to cut, and the routine
of passing each cut section along in orderly fashion, should be given
Convenient tables of the right height and of ample surface are
essential if the work is to be carried on satisfactorily, without
backtracking or unnecessary motions and lifting.
Large stock should be piled on movable wooden platforms which can be moved quickly from place to place.
A primary difficulty in cutting-machine work is due to the great
variety of papers and sizes required to be handled on the machine. This
varies from little narrow slips to piles the full width of the table,
from a few sheets to a pile the full height allowed by the clamp, and
from soft book paper to stock nearly as tough as tin. All these varying
conditions cannot be met with equal success in one automatic machine.
Therefore, superior intelligence rather than unusual muscle should be
required of the operator.
Good judgment is required to determine the proper height of a pile
to cut. This will often depend upon how much can be grasped each time
with the hands and put into place in good order. Time may be lost and
sheets wasted trying to fill up to the capacity of the machine; smaller
piles and more of them may sometimes be a more economical method. The
time taken for the knife stroke is only a second, while the time
necessary to jog up several lifts may be minutes more than to put one
lift into place. The convenient lift, as large as possible, and uniform
in size if there are several of them, is the advisable practise.
Inaccurate cutting may be the result of several causes: (a) Not
jogging the pile thoroughly against the back gage; this should be done
by pressing the ball of the thumbs against the front of the pile from
top to bottom. (b) By disturbing the pile when turning it for the next
cut. (c) By lifting out the pile and failing to jog it carefully when
flat against the back gage again. (d) Work that is fed to points on the
printing press may not be square and true and consequently cannot be
jogged against a straightedge gage and cut accurately. This condition
should be watched for in such cases. Find out, if possible, which is
the feed edge in the printing and jog up to that. Pressmen are often
careless about this necessary instruction in sending printed sheets to
Inaccurate cutting is also due to insufficient clamping pressure,
allowing the pile to slip out of place slightly; or to excessive
clamping pressure, compressing the pile more than necessary just at the
line behind the knife cut.
The above causes may result in imperfect cutting when the machine is
in good order. When the machine is not in the proper condition, and the
knife is dull, or of a shape not adapted to the work, accurate cutting
cannot be expected.
When piling up sheets see that each sheet is laid in exact register
with all the others, that is, that the printed pages, guide marks, and
edges are all in the same position throughout the pile. One sheet on
top laid the wrong way may be the cause of cutting every other sheet of
the pile wrong unless (and this is very important) the operator looks
at the under sheets to make sure that they are all laid alike.
When cutting or trimming printed sheets it is necessary that the
operator should jog the sheets to the pressman's feed edges. These
should be marked plainly, without chance of misunderstanding. If they
are not, he should ask for directions. One wrong cut will spoil the
When a sheet is taken off a pile for examination or for any other
purpose, care should be observed that it is laid back again uniform
with the other sheets. A pile is easily disturbed in this manner either
when swinging it over, turning it around, or rejogging, if the utmost
care and orderliness are not observed.
Papers received from the mills or from dealers are not always
trimmed squarely, but have what is called a mill edge. This edge is
only approximately straight and the corners only apparently square. For
accurate work, either in printing or in cutting, one or two edges may
need to be retrimmed on a paper cutter to get them straight and have a
true corner. The ultimate accuracy of the finished work will depend
upon this proper trimming before the sheets are printed.
Exact register and accurate trimming can be secured only by working
from the same edges of the paper at every operation and the edges must
be straight and squarely cut. When the edges are thus trimmed they
should be marked with a red crayon, or in some similar manner, in order
to be readily identified at each handling.
A pile may be tested for squareness by jogging it in the cutter
table against both the back gage and the side gage, if the machine
gages are themselves in perfect adjustment. If it is difficult to see
whether the sides of the pile are close against the gages at all
points, narrow strips of paper put between the pile and gages will show
whether the pile touches the gages uniformly.
When cutting lithographed work or similar close-register printing,
where large sheets are apt to come with an irregular edge, a small
wooden block against the back gage or the side gage at points on the
sheet where the original register guides of the press were placed, will
usually insure cutting on an accurate line with the printing. In this
manner the same points of contact as were used in the press feeding may
To cut a pile of paper in half, fold over the top sheet and fold at
the middle, carefully matching the edges. Crease this fold distinctly
and use the crease as a guide when the sheet is opened out and laid on
the pile. To cut into thirds or fifths it is better to measure the
sheet exactly with a rule and make clear pencil marks at the points of
Hand-made papers have rough, uneven edges which are thicker than the
rest of the sheet and, therefore, require particular care in jogging
and clamping. They should be handled in small piles.
Gummed and varnished papers require special care even when perfectly
dry, but more so in a moist atmosphere. Varnished stock if it is very
dry may nick the knife, and a clean oily (but not too oily) swab run
over the bevel of the knife before the cut will make a smoother, safer
cut. It is not well to use soap on the knife, especially on
Freshly printed work which tends to offset on the next sheet may be
cut where necessary by placing strips of reglet or thick card around
the margin close to the line of the proposed cut, so as to keep the
pressure of the clamp off the printed matter.
Tissue paper requires to be firmly clamped to cut accurately. A
clamping motion that will first exert a gentle pressure to squeeze the
air out between the sheets and pack the pile down evenly all over and
then apply a powerful pressure before the knife strikes the pile, gives
the best results.
Accuracy is required in manifold duplicate work, where absolute
register must be made, to secure the proper location of dollars in
dollars columns and cents in cents columns. The ruling and printing
both depend entirely on the square and accurate cutting of the stock to
secure proper register.
The cutting of waxed and oiled manifold stock, if carefully jogged
up, is not difficult with the newer types of clamping mechanism,
especially on that type of cutting machine where the pressure of the
automatic clamp is applied at first gently and then with maximum
pressure, similar to the hand-clamp.
To Cut a Pile into Strips of Equal Width
This is sometimes required to be done for a large quantity of stock
and it is desirable to do it with economy of time and labor. The
obvious method is to first trim one edge of the stock, then set the
back gage to the required width and jog the pile up to it for each cut.
This method is usually accurate but requires a great deal of handling
of the stock—almost three times as much as is necessary by some other
The following methods require the pile of paper to be first trimmed
with a true edge in order to jog it against the back gage, and also
with a true edge on the opposite or front side.
1. Make a mark or place a thin paper sticker on the top surface of
the front table the exact distance in front of the cutting edge of the
knife to correspond with the required width of the strip. Place the
pile of paper on the back table with a trimmed edge against the back
gage. Move the gage forward so that the front edge of the pile comes to
the mark on the front table. Make the cut. Repeat this until the pile
is cut up. This requires only one jogging of the pile into place.
2. Same as the method just described, except that a small hinged
metal gage is used instead of a mark on the table. This requires a
special device. The front flange of this device or gage may be slotted
and fastened to the table by a thumbscrew. The vertical angle part must
be hinged to the part fixed to the table so that it can be swung upward
and back far enough to leave the cut pile room to move forward on the
table when the knife passes down through the pile.
3. Use a hand automatic spacing device, gage screw movement.
4. Use a template placed on top of the pile. Run the clamp down to
the pile, place a card or fiber template on top of the pile in front of
the clamp. Draw the pile forward until this front edge coincides with
the front edge of the template. Make the cut and repeat the operation
until the pile is cut up.
5. Draw the front edge of the pile forward to dimension on the regular graduated rule set in the front table.
6. Draw the pile forward the distance desired by reading the steel
tape scale overhead, or the dial, or the graduation on the gage
7. Use a hand automatic spacing device, chain movement.
To Cut a Pile Rectangular
To trim a pile with perfectly true corners first jog its straightest
edge against the back gage, and make the first trim. Then jog this cut
edge against the back gage and make the second trim, keeping the pile
away from the side gage. This trimmed edge should be exactly parallel
with the edge trimmed first. Then jog either of these cut edges against
the side gage, and push gently (but do not jog) to the back gage, for
distance. This cut will be at exact right angles to the first and
second. Turn the pile and make the last cut with the trimmed edge
against the back gage keeping the pile away from the side gage.
Do not try to jog a pile against both side gage and back gage at the
same time, for, although these are at right angles, the attempt to
force a pile against both will slue the pile.
Turn the pile on the table with the greatest care; do not lift it
between cuts or jog it vertically. To test a pile for rectangularity,
turn part of it one-half way around and match the edges.
To Square a Pile
First—Set the back gage about one-eighth inch further from the
cutting edge of the knife than the desired dimension of the square. The
extra distance the back gage is set beyond the dimension of the square
will depend upon the amount necessary to trim it to a true, clean edge.
Second—Jog an uncut edge of the pile against the back gage and make a clean trim.
Third—Jog this clean trim against the side gage and just
"feel" the back gage for distance. This trim is at right angles to the
Fourth—Now draw the back gage up to the exact dimension of the square desired.
Fifth—Jog either of the clean trimmed edges
against the back gage (keep the pile away from the side gage). This
trims three sides.
Sixth—Jog the pile against the back gage and trim the
remaining uncut edge, keeping the pile away from the side gage. This
completes the square.
To test a pile for squareness, turn part of the pile one quarter way around and match the edges.
To Cut Unusual Shapes
Any odd shapes having straight lines may be cut by the following
method: Make a sample of the shape and size required; then take a piece
of No. 70 strawboard a little larger than the pattern. The board must
be squared up, and the odd-shaped card laid on it; then put the two
pieces under the clamp and adjust the strawboard against the back gage
and the sample card even with the clamp in front; then run the clamp
down and draw a pencil line around the sample card on the strawboard. A
piece of wood can then be glued on to the strawboard along the pencil
line at the back and another at the end. If a bunch of cards is laid
into this box gage and the board pushed up against the back gage of the
machine, a narrow strip of wood or board must be glued on the clamp
right over the card, so that a pressure may be secured on the stock.
This clamp-stick must, of course, fit into the box gage, so that it
will take up the difference in thickness between the pile of stock and
the height of the box gage. These gages may be made by means of a
square and a pair of dividers, as well as in the machine.
Celluloid may be cut into narrow strips by using the method
described above. A sharp knife and rubber bands are all that are
A common error made by printers is to make up forms nearly the full
measurement of the leaf, thereby leaving the binder very little trim
margin. A standing rule of every printing and binding establishment
should be to allow one-eighth of an inch trim margin for the fore-edge,
head, and tail of all stitched tablets and quarter-bound cut-flush
books. All sewed books should have three-sixteenths of an inch for the
fore-edge, and one-eighth of an inch for the head and tail trim
margins. The trimming of letter-press work should be standardized, so
that paper-covered books are trimmed a trifle larger to permit a retrim
when books are returned for a substantial cover. To illustrate this, a
sheet 24 × 38 inches made up into thirty-two-page signatures, when
folded, is 6 × 9½ inches. The paper-covered books should be trimmed
5-7/8 × 9-1/8 inches; one-eighth of an inch is trimmed off the head,
the balance off the tail, while the fore-edge has one-eighth of an inch
trim. These books, when returned for permanent covers, as they
frequently are, have one-sixteenth of an inch trimmed off the head and
tail; and one-eighth of an inch off the fore-edge. This gives the
standard book size, 5¾ × 9 inches for the bound volume.
When the entire edition is to be bound with a permanent cover,
provision is made for three-sixteenths of an inch trim at the head.
This enables the printer to standardize forms without varying the head
margins, and gives the binder sufficient margin to trim inaccurately
To trim books on a cutting machine, take as many as will make a pile
about three inches high, and jog at the head and back. Set the back
gage the exact size to which the book is to be trimmed; put the books
in the machine with the head against the side and the back against the
back gage. Run down the clamp, provided the machine has a hand clamp;
an automatic or self-clamp requires nothing more than to pull the
lever. When the cut has been made and the machine stops, remove the
books and put to one side. Repeat this operation until all books are
trimmed on the fore-edge and lay aside in piles with the backs out.
To trim the heads and tails, fillers must be made to take up the
thickness of the back. Cut strips of straw or binders' board about four
inches wide; glue them together; fan out and press. Put the books in
the machine with the heads against the back gage and the trimmed
fore-edges against the side; then lay the board filler on top in such a
way that the fanned-out ends are sufficiently away from the back to
permit an even pressure of the clamp on the books. Pull the lever, and
repeat the operation for subsequent books. The filler can be glued to
the clamp and the books put directly under it.
For the head, the gage is set forward and the trimmed tail is placed
against the back and side gage. The board filler is placed on top in
the same manner as above described and the operation continued. On thin
books the board filler may be dispensed with by reversing the backs of
the books alternately, so as to distribute the thickness of the back on
both sides of the pile.
If there are two splits in the back gage,
i.e., if it is a three-part back gage, set the center for
trimming the fore-edge, the left for trimming the tail, and the right
end for the head. This, however, should be done only when the quantity
to be trimmed justifies it. When the back gage is set, tighten the
thumbscrew with the hand. To guard against the marking of the book by
the pressure of the clamp, cut a piece of binders' board somewhat
larger than the width of the clamp face and glue it on the clamp.
Waste leaves should be placed on the top and bottom of enameled or glazed stock to keep it clean.
To trim quarter-bound cut-flush tablets or pads which are bound two
or more on a sheet, as in the case of receipts, trim the fore-edges,
cut all the tails alike, then the heads. The knife should cut against
the back. In making up books to be bound two or more on, one-fourth of
an inch trim must be provided for, to clear the bevel caused by the
knife. This is provided for if books are made up with one-eighth of an
inch trim for the head and tail. Thick books can be bound two or more
on until the stitching is completed. Then cut apart and proceed with
the rest of the binding in the regular way.
Blank books are trimmed so that the standard sizes are reduced
one-fourth of an inch for the length and three-sixteenths of an inch
for the width. The paper for a medium book is 18 × 23 inches; when
folded, 11½ × 18 inches. If such standard sizes are adopted the work of
forwarding is greatly facilitated, as cases and boards can be made in
advance without fear of the books being trimmed too large.
In trimming spring-back account-books, sewed straight or on guards,
the fore-ends are trimmed, then forwarded until the books are in
straps. Sharp knives are indispensable in trimming books which are
concave on the fore-edge. Deep rounds should be filled in with waste
paper to prevent the top sections and the back from breaking. Board
fillers are always laid on top and the book placed so that the knife
will cut against the back.
Brochures with extended cover should have the stock first cut to
size of cover before printing, and sufficient extra stock allowed for
an all-round trim of the inset after, especially at the fore-edge where
after folding in sections the inner sheets are apt to bulge forward.
The printer should know how much will be taken off in the after trim to
enable him to allow uniform widths of margin. After a job is bound, the
cutting machine cannot remedy any defect of edges.
Paper Cuttings and Waste
Cuttings and waste may be disposed of by throwing them into a large
bag attached to or placed near the machine. When filled, this can be
taken away and another substituted. Throwing waste on the floor should
not be tolerated. It is untidy, costs time and labor to gather up, and
A light box on wheels is also a good plan for caring for waste of
this kind. In some places where there is a great deal of trimming, a
chute in the floor next to the machine provides a convenient method of
disposing of waste from a number of machines. This chute leads into a
large bin or baling machine below, from which the material is carted
The worth of a paper-cutter operator can be measured by an
examination of the waste cuttings. A careless operator can waste a
large sum of money in a year. Many persons make a good living from the
waste paper of large printing and binding plants by buying it at a
nominal price and selling it again at a considerable advance.
There is unavoidable waste, of course, but there is often a great
deal of unnecessary trimming. When the necessary trimming runs up into
hundreds and thousands of pounds, as it does in all large plants, it is
worthy of notice, especially when it is realized that this waste has
been paid for at the same rate per pound as the stock that is actually
used. Some printers and binders sort and bale their waste and dispose
of it so as to make a considerable saving, but few understand how a
little care and system can be made to return a good profit.
There is another waste, sometimes far greater in amount, caused by
the careless cutting of stock. A thoughtless operator will often try to
save ten minutes by hasty calculation and then waste stock through
inaccurate cutting that costs several dollars.
In some binderies the operator is instructed to sort his trimmings
according to the kind of stock; that is, clean white edge trimmings
kept by themselves are worth more than when mixed with miscellaneous
colored trimmings. By having two or more bins at hand into which these
different kinds can be thrown as they come from the knife the sorting
can be done without extra handling.
An intelligent inspection, segregation and saving of the waste
cuttings will well repay the effort. The larger pieces of waste can be
kept for pads or other use. White stock should be kept separate from
colored and where the quantity will warrant the cost, all waste should
be baled in a baling press.
Depreciation of a Paper-Cutting Machine
Deterioration takes place in a paper-cutting machine chiefly in the
knife, friction clutch, driving-shaft bearings, knife-bar guide ways,
and knife pull-down connection. Depreciation in the entire machine
occurs rapidly when it is not kept oiled, adjusted, and clean.
Neglected bearings which run dry are ruined in a short time. The times
for the daily oilings and weekly cleaning and polishing should be fixed
and faithfully attended to.
On modern machines the worn knife and the friction-clutch bearings
may be easily replaced or repaired. Knife-bar guide ways and the guide
slot for the back gage are made with adjustments for taking up wear,
for which the maker will give correct instructions on request. The
knife-bar pull-down connections are not so easily corrected for wear,
and the simpler and more direct these connections are, and the fewer
slots and rolls, pins, etc., the better. The general design of the
machine also affects its value, especially if it is not adapted for the
addition of improvements or attachments for increasing its production.
The depreciation that comes from natural evolution due to the
constant effort by machine makers to render their product more
efficient, and the impossibility of attaching to the older machines new
and improved devices, is more serious for two reasons:
first, that it is apt to be overlooked by the owner;
second, because of the greater cost of operating the machine,
as compared to one of a later and improved design with attachments
especially adapted to the particular work in each case, which in some
cases permit three, four, five, and six times as much work being
produced as can be obtained on a machine not so equipped.
A well designed and built paper-cutting machine will last with care
nearly half a century. The prudent manager, however, will find he is
obliged to discard most of the machines of various kinds in his plant
in much less than twenty years in order to keep pace with the newer
shops starting with the advantage of later-designed machines.
SUGGESTIONS TO STUDENTS AND INSTRUCTORS
The following questions, based on the contents of this pamphlet, are
intended to serve (1) as a guide to the study of the text, (2) as an
aid to the student in putting the information contained into definite
statements without actually memorizing the text, (3) as a means of
securing from the student a reproduction of the information in his own
A careful following of the questions by the reader will insure full
acquaintance with every part of the text, avoiding the accidental
omission of what might be of value. These primers are so condensed that
nothing should be omitted.
In teaching from these books it is very important that these
questions and such others as may occur to the teacher should be made
the basis of frequent written work, and of final examinations.
The importance of written work cannot be overstated. It not only
assures knowledge of material but the power to express that knowledge
correctly and in good form.
If this written work can be submitted to the teacher in printed form it will be doubly useful.
1. For what is a paper cutting machine used?
2. How does it increase printing output?
3. What is its great importance?
4. What were the first methods of cutting paper, or its earlier substitutes?
5. How were piles of paper first cut?
6. How was the process improved?
7. Describe the development of cutting machines down to Samuel R. Brown's invention.
8. Describe that invention.
9. Give the lines of evolution of the cutting machine.
10. What are the characteristics of the best paper-cutting machines?
11. Describe a plough and press cutter.
12. Describe a card cutter.
13. Describe a hand lever cutter.
14. What are the differences between hand and power cutters, and what are the advantages of the latter?
15. Describe two forms of hand-clamp power cutters.
16. What do automatic clamp machines do?
17. How is an automatic power cutter operated?
18. How is continuous running effected?
19. For what are vertical stroke machines used?
20. What results from the great power needed to operate cutting machines?
21. Give some idea of the amount of power needed for these machines.
22. What is the most important part of the machine and why?
23. How do these parts vary?
24. How can you judge the temper of a knife?
25. How can you tell whether a knife has a correct face?
26. How should you hone a knife?
27. What is the rule for the length of the bevel on knives?
28. How is this rule modified by stock?
29. What can you say of the face of the knife?
30. What is desirable in the thickness of the knife?
31. What precaution should be taken as to the setting of the knife?
32. What should you look at if the work is not cut true?
33. Tell all you can about grinding knives.
34. Tell all you can about the use of the hone.
35. What causes are liable to prevent the proper seating of the knife, and what is the result of improper seating?
36. How can the best knives be obtained, and why?
37. How is the paper held in place?
38. Describe the mechanism used.
39. What is the relation of the power exerted by the operator to the power obtained at the clamp?
40. What was the characteristic of the first automatic clamp cutting machines, and how have they been improved?
41. Describe the cutting stick and its substitutes.
42. What is the back gage, and how does it work?
43. Mention some improvements which have been made on the back gage.
44. How is the distance of the back gage read in hand-operated gages?
45. Describe an appliance for reading the movement of a back gage operated by power.
46. What contrivances are in use for cutting at any time duplicates of a given job?
47. How is the back gage locked?
48. How may piles of different widths be cut at the same time?
49. What device is used on the larger sizes of cutting machines?
50. What special devices have been applied to the back gage to increase production?
51. How is the width of the cut measured?
52. Describe some modern patented spacing devices, and tell what they accomplish.
53. What is a clamp face?
54. What is a snake gage?
55. What special contrivance is used for large pamphlets, etc., and for what purpose?
56. What safety devices are required by some states?
57. What five methods of applying power are in use?
58. Give the four great rules for the care of the machines.
59. What advice is given about adjustment, stroke of the knife, pressure of the clamp, use of oil?
60. What is the right time to jog stock, and why?
61. How should you oil the parts above the table?
62. How can you make the stock handle easier?
63. How can you keep stock clean?
64. What wrenches should be used and why?
65. What things should be done periodically?
66. What does a cutter operator need to work with, and how should he care for them?
67. What can you say about belts?
68. How should you care for waste, especially when oily?
69. How should you use oil?
70. What is the best sort of oil?
71. Upon what three things does the character of the cutting depend, and why?
72. How may accidents be prevented?
73. How is time consumed in cutting stock?
74. How can labor saving be accomplished?
75. What safety rule applies to cutting?
76. Why is a sharp knife an economy?
77. How can you keep the machine clean and bright?
78. How should you care for the clamp strap ways?
79. What care should be taken of the friction brake band?
80. How can you prevent rust?
81. How can you keep the gage screw wheel graduation true?
82. Give the four devices which safeguard the knife.
83. What are the things to study in handling stock?
84. What can you say about each of these things?
85. What are the causes of inaccurate cutting when the machine is in good order?
86. What care should be taken in piling sheets?
87. What precaution is necessary in cutting printed sheets?
88. What is a mill edge and what does it require?
89. How can exact register and accurate trimming be secured?
90. How may a pile be tested for squareness?
91. What device is used in cutting lithographed work and the like?
92. How can you cut stock in certain fixed portions?
93. What peculiarity have hand-made papers?
94. What precautions are needed with gummed and varnished stock?
95. What precaution is desirable in the cutting of freshly printed stock?
96. Give several methods of cutting a pile into strips of equal width.
97. How can you cut a pile rectangular?
98. What are the processes for squaring a pile?
99. How can you test a pile for squareness?
100. What care has to be used in cutting tissue paper?
101. How can waxed and oiled manifold stock be managed?
102. What additional margins should be left on book pages for trimming after they are bound?
103. Describe the operation of trimming books on a cutting machine.
104. How are quarter bound cut-flush pads or tablets trimmed?
105. How are blank books trimmed?
106. How are spring-back account books trimmed?
107. How are brochures with extended covers trimmed?
108. What should be done with cuttings and waste?
109. By what can you measure the worth of a paper-cutter operator?
110. How would you apply the test?
111. How can waste be prevented, or waste paper utilized?
112. Where does a paper-cutting machine naturally show special wear?
113. What other consideration affects the value of a machine?
114. How does the invention of improved machines affect the value of old-style machines?
115. How long should a good paper cutter last?
GLOSSARY OF TERMS USED
Automatic Clamping—Means that the clamp
descends upon any height pile and produces approximately the same
clamping pressure for all heights and all kinds of material. Among the
methods for producing this pressure for automatic clamping are devices
which employ friction discs turned only one way by ratchets which
produce the maximum pressure with the least expenditure of power;
friction discs or friction plungers worked forward and reverse;
surfaces sometimes combined with wedge-shaped ways for producing a
resultant pressure from the knife; weights, oil and hydraulic and air
plungers; springs, climbing gears and weights, etc.
Back Gage—A movable device against which the paper is placed for measuring the size of the sheet to be cut.
Brake, Automatic Friction—Generally a band
with a lining which grips automatically the outside of a wheel fastened
to the driving gear and stops it promptly after every cut when the
knife rises to the top.
Chug—The action of the knife that results
from lost motion in the parts connecting the knife-bar to the parts
that operate it. "Chug" is caused, first, by the looseness of fitting
necessary to permit the parts to operate without heating, and second,
by wear of these parts. "Chug" dulls knives and spoils stock and makes
expense for grinding, sharpening, and knife replacement.
Clamp—The part that presses the work firmly on the table to hold it while being cut.
Clamp, One Piece—Means a single casting used
both for marking (or gaging) the stock where the knife is going to cut
and also for pressing the pile to hold it.
Clamp Dwell, Long—Means that the clamp is
held down a little longer upon the pile after the knife has cut, so as
to allow the knife to rise to a safe height before the clamp is
released. This prevents the knife rippling up the sheets on the return
motion and disturbing the pile.
Clamp Face—A removable flat steel plate fastened underneath across the clamp fingers to prevent the indenting of soft stock.
Clamping, Automatic Pressure Adjustment—A device for varying the holding pressure easily and instantly for different kinds of work.
Clutch, Friction Driving—An improvement over
the jaw clutch, because instead of starting the machine with a jar, it
permits gradual engagement of the power.
Counterbalance Weight for Knife-Bar—A safety device which, through constant and dependable action of gravity, always tends to keep the knife from dropping.
Cutting Sticks—A wood or soft metal piece
inserted in the table, on which the knife edge strikes; in shape
usually square, but sometimes round and rotatable by hand or power to
present fresh surfaces after a number of cuts.
Double-Shear Stroke—Means there are three
motions taking place at the same time; first, the downward motion
through the pile; second, the single "shear" motion across the face of
the pile; and third, the double-shear motion which means that the
cutting edge starts to cut higher at one side than the other and by
rocking approximates parallel when it reaches the bottom of the cut at
the table. The double-shear cuts more like a pair of scissors, the
knife edge entering each sheet at its side and gradually cutting across
it. Its advantages are less power required to cut, less strain on the
machine and the knife, a more perfectly cut edge and a smoother face to
the pile. See Fig. 10, Page 18.
Duplicating Devices, Automatic—See "Spacing Devices."
Gage Movement, Cable—A steel wire cable wound around a drum which when revolved pulls the back gage forward or backward.
Gage Movement, Chain—A connection for operating the back gage to and fro; principally used with automatic spacing devices.
Gage Movement, Power—A friction drive variable speed connection from the main driving shaft to move the back gage forward and backward.
Gage Movement, Screw and Hand Wheel—This
is used on the simpler, cheaper styles of cutting machine devices. It
is slower than the cable device, but more reliable.
Gage Movement, Automatic Spacing Device—This
quickly moves the back gage and the pile forward a given distance
without measuring for each cut, thus largely increasing production.
Grease Cups—Receptacles with a screw top
containing lubricating grease, which is forced a little at a time upon
the bearing when the screw top is turned, or which starts to melt and
flow if the bearing warms.
Grooved Table—Means slight rounded
depressions lengthwise in the back table in which the back gage fingers
travel, extending slightly below the table surface to catch the lowest
sheets and prevent them from wedging under the back gage.
Hand Clamping Wheel—Is generally connected to
the clamp by a worm and gears (or directly by a screw). A force of one
pound exerted on its rim holds the work with about one hundred and
fifty pounds pressure and correspondingly more for each additional
Indicator—Generally a steel ribbon ruled to
sixteenths of an inch, reading the distance from the front face of the
back gage to the cutting edge of the knife.
Interlocking Clamp and Back Gage
(also called fingered clamp and fingered back gage)—Recesses in
the clamp permit projections on the back gage to push the work farther
forward than if both clamp and back gage were solid and the clamp of
sufficient width to hold the stock firmly.
Jog—To jog a pile against the gage is to
strike it with a blow just sufficient to bring every sheet in the pile
so that it touches the gage and in the same relative location with each
other if all the margins are uniform.
Knife—A piece of tempered tool steel about
one-half the width and thickness of the whole blade, forged into a
piece of less expensive soft steel, in which holes can be drilled more
easily for the bolts that hold it to the knife bar.
Knife Adjustment—Devices for lowering the
knife-bar to compensate for the wear of the knife and for tilting it in
case the knife edge is ground out of level.
Knife-Bar—A rigid carrier for the knife. The
best style takes the down thrust and side thrust of the knife directly
upon a solid shoulder planed in it, instead of the knife back abutting
against the points of adjusting screws.
Knife-Bar Motion—A mechanical way of
imitating the action of a draw shave in pulling down the knife. The
nearer it is to the hand method, the more simple and successful it is.
Rods connected to each end of the knife-bar and pulled down by simple
cranks at each end approach nearest to the method of human hands.
Lift—The pile of paper or other stock cut and handled at one time.
Marker—A part of the clamp on some machines,
separate from the pressing part, that may be pulled down by a treadle
to show where the knife is going to cut.
Motor Bracket—A support attached to one side or top of the cutter to which the electric driving motor is firmly bolted.
Oil Boxes—Channels containing oily waste which allows the oil to seep slowly upon the bearing.
Oil Cups—An oil feeding device requiring careful attention.
Plain Clamp and Back Gage—The under face of
the clamp is a solid broad surface without any recesses; consequently
the back gage has no projections but is simply a solid smooth front.
Pilot Clamping Wheel—A wheel with handles projecting from the rim to give a firmer grasp.
Power Attachments—For hand-power cutters. These may be put only on machines designed and built originally for them.
Safety Bolt (Lock Stop)—A steel bar which must be unlocked each time before the machine can make a cut.
Side Gages—Flat guides bolted to each side of
the table, front and back, accurately set at right angles to the knife
and the table, against which the stock may be set to cut square.
Single-Shear Stroke—The stroke of a knife
which has a side-wise motion at the same time that it descends, with
its edge always parallel with the table top. The single-shear cuts the
entire width of each sheet at the same time all through the pile.
Solid Knocker for Throw-Out—This is a part
solidly fastened to the shaft (or gear) making one revolution for each
cut of the knife and that throws the clutch out positively and puts on
the brake throwing in the safety bolt after every stroke of the knife.
Spacing Devices, Automatic—See "Gage Movement, Automatic Spacing Device."
Starting Bar—A rod extending clear across the front of the larger size of the machines to start and stop the machines.
Starting Levers—Preferably two, one at each side, on medium size machines, to start and stop the machines.
Table—A slab of metal upon which the stock is laid and handled for cutting.
Table, Front Side Extensions—Wings bolted on the front table upon which work may be handled before and after cut without having to turn around.
Toggling Crank—A device on hand-lever cutters
that increases the power as knife goes down and eliminates jumping on
the lever to get the knife down through the lower part of the cut.
(for clamping)—A convenience which leaves the operator's two
hands free to handle the work while locating the line of the cut by
pulling down the clamp with foot treadle.
Vertical Stroke—An attachment for shear or
double-shear stroke cutting machines which brings the knife down
vertically, instead of side-ways. It is used with knives of a special
shape to cut irregular or fancy edges or to pink cloth samples. See
Fig. 9, page 17.
TYPOGRAPHIC TECHNICAL SERIES FOR APPRENTICES
The following list of publications, comprising the
Typographic Technical Series for Apprentices,
has been prepared under the supervision of the Committee on Education
of the United Typothetae of America for use in trade classes, in
courses of printing instruction, and by individuals.
Each publication has been compiled by a competent author or group of
authors, and carefully edited, the purpose being to provide the
printers of the United States—employers, journeymen, and
apprentices—with a comprehensive series of handy and inexpensive
compendiums of reliable, up-to-date information upon the various
branches and specialties of the printing craft, all arranged in orderly
fashion for progressive study.
The publications of the series are of uniform size, 5 × 8 inches.
Their general make-up, in typography, illustrations, etc., has been, as
far as practicable, kept in harmony throughout. A brief synopsis of the
particular contents and other chief features of each volume will be
found under each title in the following list.
Each topic is treated in a concise manner, the aim being to embody
in each publication as completely as possible all the rudimentary
information and essential facts necessary to an understanding of the
subject. Care has been taken to make all statements accurate and clear,
with the purpose of bringing essential information within the
understanding of beginners in the different fields of study. Wherever
practicable, simple and well-defined drawings and illustrations have
been used to assist in giving additional clearness to the text.
In order that the pamphlets may be of the greatest possible help for
use in trade-school classes and for self-instruction, each title is
accompanied by a list of Review Questions covering essential items of
the subject matter. A short Glossary of technical terms belonging to
the subject or department treated is also added to many of the books.
These are the Official Text-books of the United Typothetae of America.
Address all orders and inquiries to
Committee on Education, United Typothetae of America, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
TYPOGRAPHIC TECHNICAL SERIES
PART I—Types, Tools, Machines, and Materials
Type: a Primer of InformationBy A. A. Stewart
Relating to the mechanical features of printing types; their sizes,
font schemes, etc., with a brief description of their manufacture. 44
pp.; illustrated; 74 review questions; glossary.
Compositors' Tools and MaterialsBy A. A. Stewart
A primer of information about composing sticks, galleys, leads,
brass rules, cutting and mitering machines, etc. 47 pp.; illustrated;
50 review questions; glossary.
Type Cases, Composing Room FurnitureBy A. A. Stewart
A primer of information about type cases, work stands, cabinets,
case racks, galley racks, standing galleys, etc. 43 pp.; illustrated;
33 review questions; glossary.
Imposing Tables and Lock-up AppliancesBy A. A. Stewart
Describing the tools and materials used in locking up forms for the
press, including some modern utilities for special purposes. 59 pp.;
illustrated; 70 review questions; glossary.
Proof PressesBy A. A. Stewart
A primer of information about the customary methods and machines for
taking printers' proofs. 40 pp.; illustrated; 41 review questions;
Platen Printing PressesBy Daniel Baker
A primer of information regarding the history and mechanical
construction of platen printing presses, from the original hand press
to the modern job press, to which is added a chapter on automatic
presses of small size. 51 pp.; illustrated; 49 review questions;
Cylinder Printing PressesBy Herbert L. Baker
Being a study of the mechanism and operation of the principal types
of cylinder printing machines. 64 pp.; illustrated; 47 review
Mechanical Feeders and FoldersBy William E. Spurrier
The history and operation of modern feeding and folding machines;
with hints on their care and adjustments. Illustrated; review
Power for Machinery in Printing HousesBy Carl F. Scott
A treatise on the methods of applying power to printing presses and
allied machinery, with particular reference to electric drive. 53 pp.;
illustrated; 69 review questions; glossary.
Paper Cutting MachinesBy Niel Gray, Jr.
A primer of information about paper and card trimmers, hand-lever
cutters, power cutters, and other automatic machines for cutting paper.
70 pp.; illustrated; 115 review questions; glossary.
Printers' RollersBy A. A. Stewart
A primer of information about the composition, manufacture, and care
of inking rollers. 46 pp.; illustrated; 61 review questions; glossary.
Printing InksBy Philip Ruxton
Their composition, properties and manufacture (reprinted by
permission from Circular No. 53, United States Bureau of Standards);
together with some helpful suggestions about the everyday use of
printing inks by Philip Ruxton. 80 pp.; 100 review questions; glossary.
How Paper is MadeBy William Bond Wheelwright
A primer of information about the materials and processes of
manufacturing paper for printing and writing. 68 pp.; illustrated; 62
review questions; glossary.
Brief history and non-technical description of modern methods of
engraving: woodcut, zinc plate, halftone; kind of copy for
reproduction; things to remember when ordering engravings. Illustrated;
review questions; glossary.
Electrotyping and StereotypingBy Harris B. Hatch and A. A. Stewart
A primer of information about the processes of electrotyping and
stereotyping. 94 pp.; illustrated; 129 review questions; glossaries.
PART II—Hand and Machine Composition
TypesettingBy A. A. Stewart
A handbook for beginners, giving information about justifying,
spacing, correcting, and other matters relating to typesetting.
Illustrated; review questions; glossary.
Printers' ProofsBy A. A. Stewart
The methods by which they are made, marked, and corrected, with
observations on proofreading. Illustrated; review questions; glossary.
First Steps in Job CompositionBy Camille DeVèze
Suggestions for the apprentice compositor in setting his first jobs,
especially about the important little things which go to make good
display in typography. 63 pp.; examples; 55 review questions; glossary.
General Job Composition
How the job compositor handles business stationery, programs and miscellaneous work. Illustrated; review questions; glossary.
Book CompositionBy J. W. Bothwell
Chapters from De Vinne's "Modern Methods of Book Composition,"
revised and arranged for this series of text-books by J. W. Bothwell of
The De Vinne Press, New York. Part I: Composition of pages. Part II:
Imposition of pages. 229 pp.; illustrated; 525 review questions;
Tabular CompositionBy Robert Seaver
A study of the elementary forms of table composition, with examples
of more difficult composition. 86 pp.; examples; 45 review questions.
Applied ArithmeticBy E. E. Sheldon
Elementary arithmetic applied to problems of the printing trade,
calculation of materials, paper weights and sizes, with standard tables
and rules for computation, each subject amplified with examples and
exercises. 159 pp.
Typecasting and Composing MachinesA. W. Finlay, Editor
Section I—The LinotypeBy L. A. Hornstein
Section II—The MonotypeBy Joseph Hays
Section III—The IntertypeBy Henry W. Cozzens
Section IV—Other Typecasting and Typesetting MachinesBy Frank H. Smith
A brief history of typesetting machines, with descriptions of their
mechanical principles and operations. Illustrated; review questions;
PART III—Imposition and Stonework
Locking Forms for the Job PressBy Frank S. Henry
Things the apprentice should know about locking up small forms, and
about general work on the stone. Illustrated; review questions;
Preparing Forms for the Cylinder PressBy Frank S. Henry
Pamphlet and catalog imposition; margins; fold marks, etc. Methods
of handling type forms and electrotype forms. Illustrated; review
Making Ready on Platen PressesBy T. G. McGrew
The essential parts of a press and their functions; distinctive
features of commonly used machines. Preparing the tympan, regulating
the impression, underlaying and overlaying, setting gauges, and other
details explained. Illustrated; review questions; glossary.
Cylinder PressworkBy T. G. McGrew
Preparing the press; adjustment of bed and cylinder, form rollers,
ink fountain, grippers and delivery systems. Underlaying and
overlaying; modern overlay methods. Illustrated; review questions;
Pressroom Hints and HelpsBy Charles L. Dunton
Describing some practical methods of pressroom work, with directions
and useful information relating to a variety of printing-press
problems. 87 pp.; 176 review questions.
Reproductive Processes of the Graphic ArtsBy A. W. Elson
A primer of information about the distinctive features of the
relief, the intaglio, and the planographic processes of printing. 84
pp.; illustrated; 100 review questions; glossary.
PART V—Pamphlet and Book Binding
Pamphlet BindingBy Bancroft L. Goodwin
A primer of information about the various operations employed in
binding pamphlets and other work in the bindery. Illustrated; review
Book BindingBy John J. Pleger
Practical information about the usual operations in binding books:
folding, gathering, collating, sewing, forwarding, finishing. Case
making and cased-in books. Hand work and machine work. Job and
blank-book binding. Illustrated; review questions; glossary.
PART VI—Correct Literary Composition
Word Study and English GrammarBy F. W. Hamilton
A primer of information about words, their relations, and their uses. 68 pp.; 84 review questions; glossary.
PunctuationBy F. W. Hamilton
A primer of information about the marks of punctuation and their
use, both grammatically and typographically. 56 pp.; 59 review
CapitalsBy F. W. Hamilton
A primer of information about capitalization, with some practical
typographic hints as to the use of capitals. 48 pp.; 92 review
Division of WordsBy F. W. Hamilton
Rules for the division of words at the ends of lines, with remarks
on spelling, syllabication and pronunciation. 42 pp.; 70 review
Compound WordsBy F. W. Hamilton
A study of the principles of compounding, the components of compounds, and the use of the hyphen. 34 pp.; 62 review questions.
Abbreviations and SignsBy F. W. Hamilton
A primer of information about abbreviations and signs, with
classified lists of those in most common use. 58 pp.; 32 review
The Uses of ItalicBy F. W. Hamilton
A primer of information about the history and uses of italic letters. 31 pp.; 37 review questions.
ProofreadingBy Arnold Levitas
The technical phases of the proofreader's work; reading, marking,
revising, etc.; methods of handling proofs and copy. Illustrated by
examples. 59 pp.; 69 review questions; glossary.
Preparation of Printers' CopyBy F. W. Hamilton
Suggestions for authors, editors, and all who are engaged in preparing copy for the composing room. 36 pp.; 67 review questions.
Printers' Manual of Style
A reference compilation of approved rules, usages, and suggestions
relating to uniformity in punctuation, capitalization, abbreviations,
numerals, and kindred features of composition.
The Printer's DictionaryBy A. A. Stewart
A handbook of definitions and miscellaneous information about
various processes of printing, alphabetically arranged. Technical terms
PART VII—Design, Color, and Lettering
Applied Design for PrintersBy Harry L. Gage
A handbook of the principles of arrangement, with brief comment on
the periods of design which have most influenced printing. Treats of
harmony, balance, proportion, and rhythm; motion; symmetry and variety;
ornament, esthetic and symbolic. 37 illustrations; 46 review questions;
Elements of Typographic DesignBy Harry L. Gage
Applications of the principles of decorative design. Building
material of typography: paper, types, ink, decorations and
illustrations. Handling of shapes. Design of complete book, treating
each part. Design of commercial forms and single units. Illustrations;
review questions; glossary; bibliography.
Rudiments of Color in PrintingBy Harry L. Gage
Use of color: for decoration of black and white, for broad poster
effect, in combinations of two, three, or more printings with process
engravings. Scientific nature of color, physical and chemical. Terms in
which color may be discussed: hue, value, intensity. Diagrams in color,
scales and combinations. Color theory of process engraving. Experiments
with color. Illustrations in full color, and on various papers. Review
questions; glossary; bibliography.
Lettering in TypographyBy Harry L. Gage
Printer's use of lettering: adaptability and decorative effect.
Development of historic writing and lettering and its influence on type
design. Classification of general forms in lettering. Application of
design to lettering. Drawing for reproduction. Fully illustrated;
review questions; glossary; bibliography.
Typographic Design in AdvertisingBy Harry L. Gage
The printer's function in advertising. Precepts upon which
advertising is based. Printer's analysis of his copy. Emphasis,
legibility, attention, color. Method of studying advertising
typography. Illustrations; review questions; glossary; bibliography.
Making Dummies and LayoutsBy Harry L. Gage
A layout: the architectural plan. A dummy: the imitation of a
proposed final effect. Use of dummy in sales work. Use of layout.
Function of layout man. Binding schemes for dummies. Dummy envelopes.
Illustrations; review questions; glossary; bibliography.
PART VIII—History of Printing
Books Before TypographyBy F. W. Hamilton
A primer of information about the invention of the alphabet and the
history of book-making up to the invention of movable types. 62 pp.;
illustrated; 64 review questions.
The Invention of TypographyBy F. W. Hamilton
A brief sketch of the invention of printing and how it came about. 64 pp.; 62 review questions.
History of Printing—Part IBy F. W. Hamilton
A primer of information about the beginnings of printing, the
development of the book, the development of printers' materials, and
the work of the great pioneers. 63 pp.; 55 review questions.
History of Printing—Part IIBy F. W. Hamilton
A brief sketch of the economic conditions of the printing industry
from 1450 to 1789, including government regulations, censorship,
internal conditions and industrial relations. 94 pp.; 128 review
Printing in EnglandBy F. W. Hamilton
A short history of printing in England from Caxton to the present time. 89 pp.; 65 review questions.
Printing in AmericaBy F. W. Hamilton
A brief sketch of the development of the newspaper, and some notes
on publishers who have especially contributed to printing. 98 pp.; 84
Type and Presses in AmericaBy F. W. Hamilton
A brief historical sketch of the development of type casting and
press building in the United States. 52 pp.; 61 review questions.
PART IX—Cost Finding and Accounting
Elements of Cost in PrintingBy Henry P. Porter
A primer of information about all the elements that contribute to
the cost of printing and their relation to each other. Review
Use of a Cost SystemBy Henry P. Porter
The Standard Cost-Finding Forms and their uses. What they should
show. How to utilize the information they give. Review questions.
The Printer as a MerchantBy Henry P. Porter
The selection and purchase of materials and supplies for printing.
The relation of the cost of raw material and the selling price of the
finished product. Review questions. Glossary.
Fundamental Principles of EstimatingBy Henry P. Porter
The estimator and his work; forms to use; general rules for estimating. Review questions. Glossary.
Estimating and SellingBy Henry P. Porter
An insight into the methods used in making estimates, and their relation to selling. Review questions. Glossary.
Accounting for PrintersBy Henry P. Porter
A brief outline of an accounting system for printers; necessary books and accessory records. Review questions. Glossary.
Health, Sanitation, and SafetyBy Henry P. Porter
Hygiene in the printing trade; a study of conditions old and new;
practical suggestions for improvement; protective appliances and rules
Topical IndexBy F. W. Hamilton
A book of reference covering the topics treated in the Typographic Technical Series, alphabetically arranged.
Courses of StudyBy F. W. Hamilton
A guidebook for teachers, with outlines and suggestions for classroom and shop work.
This series of Typographic Text-books is the result of the splendid
co-operation of a large number of firms and individuals engaged in the
printing business and its allied industries in the United States of
The Committee on Education of the United Typothetae of America,
under whose auspices the books have been prepared and published,
acknowledges its indebtedness for the generous assistance rendered by
the many authors, printers, and others identified with this work.
While due acknowledgment is made on the title and copyright pages of
those contributing to each book, the Committee nevertheless felt that a
group list of co-operating firms would be of interest.
The following list is not complete, as it includes only those who
have co-operated in the production of a portion of the volumes,
constituting the first printing. As soon as the entire list of books
comprising the Typographic Technical Series has been completed (which
the Committee hopes will be at an early date), the full list will be
printed in each volume.
The Committee also desires to acknowledge its indebtedness to the
many subscribers to this Series who have patiently awaited its
Committee on Education,
United Typothetae of America.
Henry P. Porter,
E. Lawrence Fell,
A. M. Glossbrenner,
J. Clyde Oswald,
Frederick W. Hamilton,
For Composition and Electrotypes
Isaac H. Blanchard Company, New York, N.Y.
S. H. Burbank & Co., Philadelphia, Pa.
J. S. Cushing & Co., Norwood, Mass.
The De Vinne Press, New York, N.Y.
R. R. Donnelley & Sons Co., Chicago, Ill.
Geo. H. Ellis Co., Boston, Mass.
Evans-Winter-Hebb, Detroit, Mich.
Franklin Printing Company, Philadelphia, Pa.
F. H. Gilson Company, Boston, Mass.
Stephen Greene & Co., Philadelphia, Pa.
W. F. Hall Printing Co., Chicago, Ill.
J. B. Lippincott Co., Philadelphia, Pa.
McCalla & Co. Inc., Philadelphia, Pa.
The Patteson Press, New York.
The Plimpton Press, Norwood, Mass.
Poole Bros., Chicago, Ill.
Edward Stern & Co., Philadelphia, Pa.
The Stone Printing & Mfg. Co., Roanoke, Va.
C. D. Traphagen, Lincoln, Neb.
The University Press, Cambridge, Mass.
Boston Typothetae School of Printing, Boston, Mass.
William F. Fell Co., Philadelphia, Pa.
The Kalkhoff Company, New York, N.Y.
Oxford-Print, Boston, Mass.
Toby Rubovits, Chicago, Ill.
Blomgren Brothers Co., Chicago, Ill.
Flower Steel Electrotyping Co., New York, N.Y.
C. J. Peters & Son Co., Boston, Mass.
Royal Electrotype Co., Philadelphia, Pa.
H. C. Whitcomb & Co., Boston, Mass.
American Type Founders Co., Boston, Mass.
C. B. Cottrell & Sons Co., Westerly, R.I.
Golding Manufacturing Co., Franklin, Mass.
Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
Inland Printer Co., Chicago, Ill.
Lanston Monotype Machine Company, Philadelphia, Pa.
Mergenthaler Linotype Company, New York, N.Y.
Geo. H. Morrill Co., Norwood, Mass.
Oswald Publishing Co., New York, N.Y.
The Printing Art, Cambridge, Mass.
B. D. Rising Paper Company, Housatonic, Mass.
The Vandercook Press, Chicago, Ill.
For Book Paper
American Writing Paper Co., Holyoke, Mass.
West Virginia Pulp & Paper Co., Mechanicville, N.Y.