Saturday, July 17, 2010


So my last post was all about a printer's type case I found on Gumtree. I thought it was something maybe someone young and hip had imported, then no longer wanted. But then when I e-mailed asking if it was still available, the reply was a bit odd.
"Oh yes, it's available. And I have over a hundred of these anyway."

What? Someone imported all these type cases?

No. It turned out, when we went to buy one, that they are owned by an old compositor. He used to set type for posters and newspapers and whatnot back in the UK. And when the process started to be computerised, and typesetting businesses were burning their tools, or sending them to the tip, he started buying this stuff up. For the love of it. When he moved to Australia he brought it with him. I have no idea how much there was, but at one point he sold 10 tonnes (yes) of type to someone in the USA, and he still has two garages full of Stuff. It's the biggest collection of type in Australia, and possibly in the Southern hemisphere. Right here in Perth. It's amazing. He occasionally sells off entire fonts (he is careful not to break up entire fonts by selling single letters or characters) to letterpress owners all over the world.

But really, the quantity of stuff he has belongs in a TAFE or university.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

DIY out of one's depth

So, I've recently become completely addicted to Gumtree. It's like Craigslist for Australians. BCB gets, like, three e-mails a day from me that go something like this "Look! Used shipping pallets to trade for a carton of beer! We could totally do something with shipping pallets, right?" or maybe "A hot pink chaise lounge. Can I have it? Pleeeeease?"

Anyway, a little while back I saw an ad for a printer's type case. And I thought to myself "Damn, that would make a cool coffee table top." BCB agreed I could have this particular piece of ephemera. So off we went, picked up said type case.

I totally have plans about how it will work. Glass top (I've even sourced the glass), screwed into nice hefty wooden sides, so the type case can continue to function as a drawer, then some nice solid legs. I'm pondering some modifications to give Buddy, the dog that likes to nest, a little cave underneath.

Problem? I've got no woodworking skills. Zip. I don't even own a saw! I don't even really want to learn them... but I want my coffee table! What's a girl to do? (no, seriously, got ideas?)
Unexpected kindness.