Letterpress Composing Stick, Left Handed


A composing stick is a device used to hold metal type letters while composing lines of type ready for letterpress or hot-foil printing. It originates from the early days of letterpress printing and is still in use today. This one is specially made for left-handed compositors. Please note that a left-handed stick is held in the right hand and the type is selected using the left hand.


Letterpress Composing Stick, Left-Handed

In letterpress printing and typesetting, a composing stick is a tool used to assemble pieces of metal type into words and lines, which are then transferred to a galley before being locked into a forme and printed. Many composing sticks have one adjustable end, allowing the length of the lines and consequent width of the page or column to be set, with spaces and quadrats of different sizes being used to make up the exact width.


The compositor takes the pieces of type from the boxes (compartments) of the type case and places them in the composing stick, working from left to right and placing the letters upside-down with the nick to the top.


DD Metal Products Ltd are proud to announce that they are the only company making new composing sticks in the UK for many decades now, and in this case, a composing stick specially made for left-handed compositors. Letterpress print is experiencing a surge of interest now and we are happy to support and encourage this time-honoured method of printing.


Maximum line length that can be set is 6-1/8″ or 155mm or 38 Picas.

Composing stick pica scale

Here is a great link on how to use a composing stick…

Our quoins, keys and other letterpress accessories are here.


Overall composing stick dimensions –
230mm x 40mm x 19mm.


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