Virgin Wood Type Manufacturing Company is dedicated to making wood type using traditional techniques and a few updated/improvised methods.
In October 2010 we drove to Cincinnati and returned with some of the important parts of the old American Wood Type Manufacturing Company which went out of business in 2001. The bulk of the purchase was 100 crates containing the original patterns for around 100 typefaces and a large (and unusual) pantograph for cutting wood type.
I have set up shop in my garage which now has a new, insulated floor, a ceiling, a bunch of windows and as much wall and ceiling insulation as practical. As of this writing, winter is coming on and I may have to add another heat source to get through the coldest days.
In addition to the pantograph the main tool is a good table saw with an accurate fence and various aids for pushing wood through the blade. I use a thickness plainer to surface roughcut maple. I also have a band saw that I will use occasionally to resaw wood to different thicknesses. Beyond that I use sand paper and shellac.
I am in the process of sorting through the pattern collection and putting names to the typefaces. I am about to start putting the information into a database so that I can present the information on this web site. I have scanned the 1961 American Wood Type catalog and will put that online as a resource.
I have a method now for making type that works pretty well, at least for end grain type up to 18 lines. I use furniture grade hard maple, crosscut to type high. I then finish the blanks using shellac and 1200 grit sand paper.
I can produce entire fonts, alphabets for collectors, sorts and fill-in characters that complete your font, and ornaments. I will need to work through my pattern collection one at a time and hope to do 1 or 2 fonts each month.
I am also intending to produce one or more original fonts each year and I am open to working with someone on these projects.