Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Buckeye

Here's a stick that people really like - the Buckeye. The Buckeye, so-named because it was first introduced by the Chandler and Price Company in Cleveland in the good old Buckeye state - Ohio - is a very simple but elegant stick. This particular stick is a fairly large one, being 11-3/4 inches long with a depth of 15 picas. Buckeyes were made in many sizes, including very small ones with a very shallow depth of as little as six picas. While a number of other companies made the Buckeye, this one is an "authentic" Buckeye from the Chandler and Price Company.
The mechanism of the Buckeye is very simple, but effective. The knee slides freely, and has a removable clamp that is tightened with a simple lever that turns a screw, the end of which presses against the knee and holds it tight against the U-shaped part of the clamp that extends across and around the top side of the rail.
The manufacturers were aware that there was one potential flaw in this design. What if, for reasons of wear or metal fatigue or even variation in manufacture, the screw did not fully tighten before the lever hit the bed of the stick and could not be turned further? To ameliorate this problem, a tapped hole was drilled in the knee where the screw would press, and a set-screw was inserted so that an adjustment could be made to assure that the clamp could be tightened.
According to Speckter, the Buckeye was developed to compete with the stick manufactured by the Hoe company that used a fluted rail so that the clamp on the knee did not have to extend around the rail and below the bottom of the stick (I will show one of these sticks in a future posting). This meant that the stick could lay flat on a galley or on the bank, or could even be put directly into a press and a proof pulled without dumping the type from the stick (although this is a practice rightly frowned upon). The Buckeye also could lay flat because the clamp did not extend below the bottom of the rail.

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