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Composing Room

Essential items found in the Letterpress Composing Room.

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

We have relisted the availability of both 2 point leads and slugs from 6 pt to 36 pt, including 12 pt tie up slugs. This product is shipped in packages of 10 pounds each. These ship via Flat Rate US Mail priority boxes, so that the shipping cost can be reasonable especially on larger orders. Leads and slugs are listed at the bottom of this page.

"Hickory Mallet, 2 inch face, 11 1/4 inch length"
Dimensions may vary slightly on this mallet from the description.
"Rawhide Mallet, 1 1/2 inch face, 8 3/8" inches length"
MS334 Quantity
"Type Metal Leads, 2 point, .765" high, 23 inch strips, per units of 10 pounds only"
LS282 Quantity
string "Form String, 2 pound cone"
Extremely strong white cotton string used for tieing up forms. This is one of the few string products still made in the USA. And in case you are wondering, there is 5,670 feet of string on a 2# cone.
"Brush, Black Horsehair"

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

BrushZ "Brush, brass wire center with black horsehair surround"
Not recommended for cleaning metal type, use instead BR82, all-horsehair brush. This brush is useful for cleaning metal (magnesiunm, zinc, and copper) photoengravings but not photopolymer plates. Overall size 2 1/2" x 4 1/4".
"Line Gauge, 12" long, stainless steel"

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

products/galleymagnet.jpg "Galley Magnet, 1/2x3/4x1 3/4"
These are very strong magnets that use a magnetic center made by Bunting. Side plates of polished steel. Ideal for holding forms in place on proof press beds, or type in galleys.
"Line Gauge, 18" long, stainless steel"
"One side has inches, picas and half picas, other side has points and metric"
"Line Gauge, 24" long, stainless steel"
"One side has inches and picas and half picas, other side has points and metric"
"Line Gauge, 6" long pocket line gauge with clip"
LG304 Quantity
quoinhigh1.jpg "Quoin Key, T handle for HiSpeed Challenge or BarPlate quoins"
The BarPlate T handle quoin key has a plastic coating that serves to protect dies, type or plates if accidently dropped on a form. Picture shows the blue handled quoin key along with new 3", 6", 9", and 12" long high speed quoins that are sold separately. Inquire about prices for new quoins and we also have a supply of used quoins in stock. Bar-Plate continues to have periodic price increases on their quoin keys with the most current being in February 2012. Note: Picture is for illustration only--each item shown is sold and priced separately.
Buntingbase "Bunting Magnetic base, Cerface design, Aluminum construction, 2.00" x 4.00""
Bunting Magnetics, located in Kansas, makes an extensive line of magnetic products. Prices are subject to change and all Bunting products will be sold only when the selling price has been confirmed with the purchaser. Their line of cerface magnetic bases for letterpress printing have been made for about 35 years and has long been the standard for box making and fine printing using photopolymer plates. We list stock sizes, other sizes are custom and are considerably more expensive. Two or more bases can be locked together in a chase to make a larger base. One to two week factory delivery on standard bases, longer for custom. Bunting also makes the ceramic magnets that are used in our galley magnets. Two or more bases of the same size ordered at the same time offer some good discounted prices--call for a quote.
"Bunting Magnetic base, Cerface design, Aluminum construction, 6.38 x 6.75"
One to two week factory delivery.
"Bunting Magnetic base, Cerface design, Aluminum construction, 6.13 x 9.13"
One to two week factory delivery.
"Bunting Magnetic base, Cerface design, Aluminum construction, 8.50 x 11.25"
One to two week factory delivery.
"Honeycomb Base, Aluminum. 5x8 inches"
Take your presswork beyond the limitations of photopolymer and wood mounted cuts. Honeycomb base made of ground aluminum at .668" for mounting 1/4 inch, .250" copper or magnesium dies for cold embossing or letterpress printing. These are made by Sterling Toggle, Inc., a company with roots that date to the early 20th Century under the former name of PMC. These bases give a solid and accurate means for securing plates. Bases are locked in a chase like regular type or cuts. Photoengravings for use on honeycomb bases can be made by any photoengraver--just let them know you are using the Sterling base and they will cut the proper bevel on all 4 sides of the plate. Sizes other than those listed here are available, as well as honeycomb bases made to replace the chase for just about any press. Used with Sterling Toggle bits and bit key sold separately. Heights of the bases are determined on the thickness of plate being used, so we need to know that when an order is placed.
"Honeycomb Base, Aluminum. 6x10 inches"
The 6x10 size should not be used in a press smaller than an 8x12. Bases that fill, or come close to filling a chase on a hand fed press cause numerous problems--no room for gauge pins or grippers, and small items have to be fed to the bottom left of the platen which can cause inking and feeding problems. This applies to photopolymer bases as well, so think twice before buying large bases for small chases.


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


"Honeycomb Base, Aluminum. 9x12 inches"
HO300 Quantity
"Morrison 6" x7/8 x 30 teeth, carbide tip, saw blade"
For Morrison/C&G Printer's saws. Carbide blades can be repaired and resharpened if the blade is not warped.
"Hammond Glider saw blade, 7" x 6 pts x 48 teeth"
Blade has holes for trimmer blades. Carbide tipped teeth. These can be resharpened and broken carbide tips replaced, but damage to the steel part of the blade or a warped blade can not be repaired.
"Aluminum Base with magnetic surface for steel backed photopolymer plates, 3x4"
AM34 Quantity
"Aluminum Base with magnetic surface for steel backed photopolymer plates, 4x6"
AM46 Quantity
"Aluminum Base with magnetic surface for steel backed photopolymer plates, 5x7"
AM57 Quantity
"Aluminum Base with magnetic surface for steel backed photopolymer plates, 5x8"
AM58 Quantity
"Aluminum Base with magnetic surface for steel backed photopolymer plates, 6x8"
AM68 Quantity
"Aluminum Base with magnetic surface for steel backed photopolymer plates, 7x10"
AM710 Quantity
"Aluminum Base with magnetic surface for steel backed photopolymer plates, 10x12"
This is the world famous Patmag base, made by veteran printer and type caster Pat Reagh. The sizes that follow this one are all Patmag bases. Pat's experience goes back before most of us were born, and he continues to produce exquisite letterpress work and the Patmag base from his work shop tucked away in the country north of the Bay Area in Northern California. Our prices are Pat's list prices, and he drop ships for us direct from his shop. Pat won't take credit cards, but we do, so buy two or three and help the economy. Remember that one large base that fills up most of the chase can put a serious crimp in your ability to print, so give us a call if in doubt.

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

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

Toggle Hooks

Manufactured in the USA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Sterling No. 1 Toggle Hook"
NA Graphics stocks the Standard Height Sterling Toggle Hooks, designed for Honeycomb bases .668" to .759" in thickness. We can special order the Low Height Toggle Hook designed for bases .540" to .668" in thickness. Thickness of base is related to thickness of the plate being used, the standard 1/4" die will be at type high of .918" when using a base at .668". • Redesigned to insure longer life. • State of the art heat treat procedures to eliminate cracking in high stress areas. • Manufactured from bar stock eliminating porosity problems found in castings. • Made in USA. No. 0 Narrow Margin Hook-used when less than 1/8” (3mm) margin is required. No. 1 Standard Register Hook-can be used most of the time. No. 2 Register Hook-has a jaw width slightly larger than the No.1 hook, it's Sterling's second most popular hook. No. 3E Extended Jaw Register Hook-this hook has a jaw length that is in between the No. 2 and No. 4 hooks. No. 4 Extra Extended Hook-used for locking up dies on honeycomb bases that do not use Sterling's standard hole pattern, such as a heated honeycomb base.
"Sterling Toggle Hook No. 2"
ST100-102 Quantity
"Sterling Toggle Hook No. 3"
ST530-103 Quantity
"Sterling Toggle Hook No. 3E"
ST100-103E Quantity
"Sterling Toggle Hook No. 4"
ST100-104 Quantity
SterlingKey "Sterling Toggle Key"
Toggle key, needed to tighten the toggle hooks, and is shown in the middle of this illustration. Also shown is a replacement toggle key bit and at the top of the illustration, a toggle key driver.
BunterPost "Bunter Post, 200-245, standard height, complete with 1/4 inch flat head machine screw"
The Bunter Post is used to lock embossing or stamping dies when using a honey comb heated base. The bunter post is screwed into the base or removable front plate with the flat head screw. The adjusting screw securely locks the die into place. Standard height bunter posts can generally be used on all U.S. presses. Low height bunter posts are usually used on presses outside the U.S., such as Heidelberg. Before ordering bunter posts, please check the thread size of your heater. Standard height Bunter flat head screws are 1/4 x 28 thread. Made by Sterling Toggle.
"Brush, all Stainless Steel"
Fine stainless steel bristles set in a 2 1/2 x 4 1/4 hardwood block. Used as a plate or halftone brush, not for use on metal type or photopolymer. All of our printer's brushes are made in the USA.
"Printer's Apron"
Traditional printer's bib design design with 2 large pockets at bottom of apron, pocket for line gauge, and small pocket for pens on top of bib. Blue polyester (65%) and Cotton (35%) blend, Sanforized. Made in USA.
medlinenitrile "Disposable Nitrile Gloves"

Specify size in Special Instructions on order page-- Medium, Large, ExtraLarge. Don't delay your order by neglecting to tell us what size of glove you need! Glove sizes tend to be smaller than the size indicated--the small size was very small and not very useful.

The SensiCare® Nitrile Powder-Free Medical Gloves Offer Exceptional Protection Against Abrasions and Chemicals. The patented durable thin mil nitrile material provides maximum protection against chemicals, harmful abrasions, and Type I allergic reactions. Nitrile offers greater protection from various chemicals (except acetone) and is a more durable material than the latex gloves offering extended use especially for press wash ups. Box of 100. We have discontinued the Latex gloves as practice has shown them to be rather weak as a glove used in the printing plant. The nitrile glove will give more protection with multiple use.

Plungercan "Plunger can, Justrite brand, 1 pint"
Pushing down fills upper pan for moistening wipe up rag. Surplus liquid drains safely back into reservoir. The perforated pan screen serves as a flame arrester. These have been standard items in print shops for decades. Size of pint bottom can 4 7/8" OD x 6" high.
"Plunger can, Justrite brand, 2 quart"
Size of bottom can 7 1/4" OD x 11" high
Success.jpg "Success style dispenser can, 8oz"
Nonmetallic body with brass dispensing nozzle, this is the modern day equal (of sorts) of the traditional brass can body Success Benzine can. Can body size 3 1/8" OD x 5 1/2" high. The can labeled 14004 is the 8oz. and 14010 is the quart.
"Success style dispenser can, 2 pint"
Both the pint and 1 quart (2 pints) size cans are made from polyethlene, are easy to grip, OSHA approved, and are made by Justrite. The brass dispensing nozzle is the same as those made for the old round brass cans.
"Tweezers, used as an aid in handsetting type"
Nicely made tweezers used in hand setting type. We use these in our shop.
"HiSpeed Quoins, used, 6 inch"
HiSpeed quoins made by the Challenge Machinery Co. were first introduced in 1932. These quoins quickly became the standard of the printing industry and were used in almost every printing operation in the US. We offer used quoins in several lengths, as supplies are available. We test and clean each quoin before shipping and will replace any quoin found to be defective if returned within 30 days of shipping. Used quoin keys are not available but we sell new ones made by the Bar-Plate Co. who still manufacture the original Challenge line of quoins. Prices are higher for the smaller quoins because they are very scarce and difficult to locate. The 3" quoin in particular is fairly rare these days and we have difficulty locating used ones.

"HiSpeed Quoins, used, 7 1/2inch"
QU407 Quantity
"HiSpeed Quoins, used, 9 inch"
QU409 Quantity
"Linotype Metal"
Linotype metal in pig form, with feeder ears for metal feeders such as Margach, each pig weighs between 22 and 25 pounds, depending on mold used. This is remelt metal that has been fluxed and cleaned with added Plus Metal. This will work in any line casting machine including Ludlows. The metal has not been verified for content, but we use it with great success in our model 31 Linotype and Ludlow at NA Graphic's print shop. Priced by the pound and each pig is weighed separately. Up to 2 pigs can be shipped by UPS per package. There is a shipping charge of an extra $5.00 per package for fabrication of a wood box for shipping. Call for options on large quantities--we have several tons available. Current prices (2011) for "new" metal in quantity range from $3.95 to $4.95 per pound.
JustriteSafetyCan "Safety Can, Justrite brand, 5 Gallon"
Choose Type I Nonmetallic Safety Cans when dent and chemical resistance are most important. Five gallon capacity, UL rated for OSHA compliance, safety closure (but not child proof). Size 12.75" diameter, 16" tall, ideal for type wash and roller cleaner, or any other flamable liquid.
" Bed Plate for SP15"
Bed Plate used on Vandercook SP 15 Presses that have a bed ground to .968". Bed plate is used in place of a galley to bring metal type or bases up to type high of .918".
Screen Finder.jpg "Screen Finder, used to determine halftone screens"
HS719 Quantity
"HiSpeed Quoin, 3", new"
Made by Bar-Plate, former Challenge HiSpeed quoins. The 4 1/2" used quion is the shortest quoin we presently have in stock. We can not find any used used 3" quoins, but do have them available as new.
"HiSpeed quoin, 6", new"
Made by Bar-Plate, former Challenge HiSpeed quoin.
"HiSpeed Quoin, 9", new"
Made by Bar-Plate, former Challenge HiSpeed quoin.
"HiSpeed Quoin, 12", new"
Made by Bar-Plate, former Challenge HiSpeed quoin.
"Printers Apron, Larger Size"
This is a larger size of our regular apron. It features a wider bib top, wider girth on apron body, and is sligthly longer.
"HiSpeed Quoins, used, 10 1/2" "
QU410.5* Quantity
"Sterling Toggle bit replacement"
Replacement Bits for the toggle key. The damaged bit is easily removed and replaced.
"Bunter Post, 200-250, low height, complete with 1/4 inch flat head machine screw"
Made by Sterling Toggle
"Hi-Speed Quoin, used, 4 1/2 inch"
QU404 Quantity
"Type Metal Slugs, 6 point, .765" high, 23 inch strips, per units of 10 pounds only"
$77.50 Quantity
"Type Metal Slugs,12 point, .765" high, 23 inch strips, per units of 10 pounds only"
$77.50 Quantity
"Type Metal Tie-up Slugs,12 point, .765" high, 23 inch strips, per units of 10 pounds only"
"Type Metal Slugs, 18 point, .765" high, 23 inch strips, per units of 10 pounds only"
LS2818 Quantity
"Type Metal Slugs, 36 point, .765" high, 23 inch strips, per units of 10 pounds only"
LS2836 Quantity
"Galley, steel, 9" x 13", 2 used"
Price is for 2 galleys. The 9"x13" size is very useful for handling type forms, furniture, leads/slugs and other odds and ends in the shop/studio. Once used by the tens of thousands, galleys are still useful in the printing situation. Made from cold rolled steel, used galleys show use and may have some discolorization and surface rust. We are in a dry climate so rust is minor. We recommend the Dave Churchman method of rust removal and then a light coat of machine or motor oil if rust is a problem.
"Galleys, 9" x 13", steel, used, 4 galleys"
Galleys in larger quantities of the popular 9"x13" size. Used, will show use and may have minor rust.
P-22typegauge "P-22 Type Gauge Multi Tool"
This handy gauge is useful for sorting type. Each point size 6 to 72 has an accurate cut out corresponding to the point size including the uncommon sizes of 16 and 20 pint. It has one side measured in picas, has a hook end for measuring, is stainless steel, and is slightly over 9 inches long. Made by P-22 Type Foundry.
"Right Angle One Piece Hi-Speed Quoin Key"
One piece right angle hi-speed quion key is used primarily on flat bed cylinder presses like Heidelberg, Miller, and Miehle where quoins are located under the leading edge of the cylinder making the use of a traditional T handle quoin key impossible.