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Mat holders for the Super Caster

Started by Jason, May 17, 2022, 08:34:53 PM

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Hi everyone,

As my first official topic post to this new forum I thought I'd share some of the unique matrix holders I have for the Super Caster, most of them fabricated by the very talented Dan Jones in Toronto.

The first is a fairly simple but effective holder for foundry mats, which will accommodate pretty much any sized mat, as long as they're deep enough to seat firmly in the holder. I'm using wooden shims to raise the mat to the correct height, and to establish the fixed side-bearing. See the first three images below.

The second one is again made by Dan, this time for Giant mats.

The first related image here is of the original Monotype Giant mat holder assembly, but I don't have the various insets and shims that go with it, so what I have only allows me to cast the largest Giant mats.

So, Dan went to work. He took a standard British display mat holder, and a blank British display mat, and screwed the mat into a new fabricated holder, with sliding locators to position the matrix on an X/Y axis. The holder therefore uses the British matrix bridge. The added components require that the display matrix head be lifted, so Dan also fabricated an aluminum riser plate that fits between the matrix head base and the matrix head itself. I have an extra display matrix head (7SE) and a couple of spare matrix head bases (8SE), so I've fitted one set together (base, riser base, matrix head), so that I can easily swap the complete assembly on when I want to use this Giant holder. (The first image below shows the riser plate installed under the matrix head.)

Thanks to Dan, I can now cast all of the Giant mats that came with Jim Rimmer's equipment.

Dan has quite a few videos on his Flickr account of his efforts making these holders, which you can find here:

This last one (for now) is a holder that Jim Rimmer hacked together in order to cast large-comp mats using the display matrix head. Despite it's appearance, it actually works!

That's more than enough for one post, but I have others to share as well.
Does anyone else out there have any odd/unique mat holders for their Super?

Jason Dewinetz
Greenboathouse Press


Adding to the post above, I've just found that @John Cornelisse posted about a flat-mat holder for his Comp caster:,4314.0.html

I have a flat-mat holder for the Super Caster which no one else seems to have seen before, and it appears to be the exact same construction as the one that John showed in his post. I've posted a couple of images in reply to John's, but here are the images again.

This holder works great for flat-mats that are custom made and not quite to exact Monotype specs in terms of height/width of the mat, but the problem (on mine at least) is that the lock-screw has a tendency to work itself loose (as the holder is hammered down on the mould again and again) and the result is that I've had mats slip out of the holder, in one case badly damaging the mat.

I have one of the standard Super Caster flat-mat holders, but the release arm on mine broke (at some point before I got it) and it took a while to find a shop that could fabricate a new arm. It's now back together, so I tend to use that one, as the spring mechanism is more secure than the screw on this one.


Here's a rather poor photograph of almost all of the mat holders that I have (it's missing the Giant mat holder shown in my original post here, above).

The one holder I'm missing, which I'd very much like to find, is the 5SL (for .4" mats). I have the home-made Jim Rimmer holder, shown above, but I'd like to find an original for use with the Comp matrix head. If anyone has a spare, and needs one of the spare holders I have shown in this photo, let me know.


Dan Jones

Nice collection. For the record, here is the Super Caster holder and mould you got from South Africa, that being a holder for Ludlow mats in the Super Caster. Jason, thank you for trading it to me, much appreciated.

Dan Jones

Here is a picture of an English Monotype foundry matrix holder at the Type Archive, unused or "New Old Stock" as historic automotive restorers say. I believe the picture came from the web site, it is not my photo. Note the side clamping arrangement similar to the holders that I designed, the original was my inspiration.

Dan Jones

Here is a Super Caster holder for casting quotations. In this photo, it has the adaptor for wood inserts, meant for plate mounting.

Dan Jones

Jason, a close inspection of your Super Caster (SC) holder for American flat mats reveals something interesting. The number "7972" is the correct manufacturing number for the body of an SC holder made for an American flat matrix. However, there is a visible patent date of 1908 on the other half of the holder. The SC hit the market in 1929, so what you have appears to be an English Monotype part married to a Lanston (American) composition machine part. Why, who knows. Two thoughts, the original holder was damaged and parts were not available, so a fix was cobbled together. Alternatively, English Monotype kept an inventory of spares, so long after the actual machines were shipped, a customer could order spares. In this hypothetical case, they ordered the "7972" part however, other components were not available, so a fix was creatively made. Anyway, if it works, use it!

Dan Jones

A totally unique holder designed and made in India, it holds small foundry matrices in the Super Caster composition head. Very well designed and very useful. Since the comp head holds the matrix down against the mould with just a spring, it is not necessary to shim the head up to accomodate various thicknesses of foundry matrices, just 'plug and play'.

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