Frequently Asked Questions

  1. General Information:

  2. What products do you carry?

  3. Do you buy and/or trade?

  4. Can I put a link on your site?

  5. Can you suggest an ideal first press for a hobbyist?

1.1  What is 'Don Black Linecasting Service'?

We are a small, family owned and operated business which has been selling all kinds of graphic arts equipment for over 35 years. We specialize in letterpress, bindery and hot metal equipment.

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1.2 Who is Don Black?

Don is the owner and founder of the company. He has been in the printing business for many years, once working as a Linotype Mechanic. For a more complete story of who Don is, please check out an article published called Mr. B.

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1.3 Who else works there?

There are 3 people who you would normally talk to on the phone or see in person if you come for a visit. There is, of course Don, but also Don's wife Ruth who is the cheery voice you hear answering the phone, and looking after the office. Don and Ruth's son, Craig is often out in the warehouse keeping things organized, maintaining equipment, and is out of the shop arranging for new acquisitions. Often times when you come in, you will see at least one additional person helping out in the warehouse since there is always lots to do in our busy shop.

  Click here to see pictures of Don, Ruth and Craig.

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1.4 Where are you located?

We are in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. You may have noticed that our website used to say "Scarborough" - we didn't move, it is just that Scarborough is a suburb of Toronto, but has now been rolled into make Toronto the 7th largest city in North America.

Scarborough is on the east side of Toronto and is easily accessible from highway 401 - the major highway running across the bottom of Ontario.

We are approximately a 1 hour drive from Niagara Falls/Buffalo area. Also approximately 4 hour drive from Detroit. If you were flying into see us, we are about a 30 minute drive from the Toronto International Airport.

If you are driving along highway 401, exit at Kennedy Road and go south (towards Lake Ontario). The second major intersection is Ellsemere, turn left. Go up over the hill and turn right at Midland. Take the first right which is Midwest. We are located at 120 Midwest Road, Unit 5.

If you would like to see a map, click here.

We really look forward to having you come for a visit.

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1.5 Who should I contact with questions?

Any office related questions can be directed towards Ruth. If you have questions about equipment, type, selling your shop etc., you can talk to either Don or Craig.

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1.6 What are your hours?

We are open normal business hours - 8:00 to 5:00 Monday to Friday. We can be assured that we will be there those hours. We are often at the shop earlier and later, so if needed, try giving us a call before or after hours.

We can't guarantee that we will be around on the weekends, but if that is the only time you can come, let us know in advance and we can try to make suitable arrangements.

If you would like to see the equipment, it is NECESSARY to phone for an appointment.

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1.7 Am I welcome to come to your shop and wander around for a while?

Yes, yes, yes! We are a friendly place with a very organized shop. We have been in this business for over 30 years, we know how to find what we have. We have lists and catalogs of all of our type, mats and equipment. We would be happy to give you a tour, show you anything you want and then if you want to wander for a while, we will give you a coffee and set you loose! Take as long as you want and if you have questions, come and grab us - there is no rush, have fun looking at our huge selection of goodies, which are literally stacked to the rafters.

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How much does your stuff cost? I don't see many prices on the website.

As you can imagine, when dealing with a product which is no longer made, supply and demand come into play. Our inventory is large and it changes daily. If, on the day you call, we have lots of something - you get a good deal. If we are down to our last one and the item is hard to get, the price may be different. We often find that people don't want just one item, but rather they need lots of different items. In that case, we like to make up package deals for a better price. Let us know what you want and we can quickly give you a price over the phone, by fax or email.

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1.9 Do I have to pay in Canadian or US dollars?

We don't mind, whatever is easiest for you. We can quote you a price in either Canadian or US dollars and then you can send along a cheque or bring cash.

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1.10 Can I pay by credit card?

Not right now, although we are looking into offering credit card services. If this would be of major benefit to you, please email us and let us know.

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1.11 Can you ship me my order?

Yes. However, as you can imagine with the letterpress field, everything is typically heavy and/or bulky. Anything can be shipped anywhere in the world. If you need something shipped, we will give you a quote on the shipping charges. Obviously, if we have to crate up your purchase or make other arrangements, we will have to charge accordingly.

Be assured that if you want an item shipped, we will ship it ASAP. We are organized and operate quickly to serve you.

We are also thrilled if you come to our shop and pick up your order by yourself. We will be happy to assist you to loading up your vehicle. We have two loading docks which are easily accessible, with open aisles so we can use our forklift for loading and unloading.

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2.1 I've seen your ads for 'millions of mats', what are mats?

In case you were getting worried, we are not also in the carpet business. 'Mat' is short for 'Matrix' which is defined as 'something within which something else originates or develops', 'a mold from which a relief surface (as a piece of type) is made'. The plural of the term is 'matrices'.

In other words, these are the molds that are used for making pieces of type.

We carry the mats for Linotype/Intertype, Monotype and Ludlow.

If you want to see the lists of mats that we carry, simply select which type: Linotype/Intertype, Monotype, Ludlow.

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2.2 I'm a small hobbyist, what can you offer me?

Lots! We carry a large assortment of small presses such as Kelsey, C&P Pilot presses, proof presses and Vandercooks.  We also carry small paper cutters, hot foil stamping equipment and all of the letterpress supplies that you need to get going.

For example, if you didn't have anything when you walked in to our shop, you could leave with everything that you need to start printing.  That would include the press, quoins, quoin keys, a chase or two, type - new or used, spaces, leads, slugs, strip material, composing stick etc.

To see a more complete list of our equipment, see our equipment list.

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2.3 I do printing for a living, what can you offer me?

Again, lots!  We can service the small hobbyist and the larger commercial print shops.  Perhaps you need a large paper cutter - no problem, we usually have a good selection in stock.  Perhaps a multiple head paper drill - no problem there either.   We also carry joggers, staplers, corner rounders as well as large presses such as Heidelbergs.  If you need type, lead pigs, high speed quoins or are even wanting to sell off some of your used equipment, you have come to the right place!

To see a more complete list of our equipment, see our equipment list.

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2.4 Do you only carry letterpress?

We carry letterpress, hot metal, hot foil and bindery equipment.  From time to time you may find something that wouldn't fit into these categories, but we really don't deal with offset or other related equipment. 

To see a more complete list of our equipment, see our equipment list.

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2.6 I looked on your website but didn't find what I wanted, do you get new stuff?

Yes, we get new shipments all the time - it is hard to be definite as to when we might get certain items, however we are always quoting on buying more goods from other shops.

If you would like to place a request for something, we can keep our eyes open for it and inform you when we get a suitable product in stock. Simply use our 'Items You Want' Form.

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2.7 Do you sell ink, paper, foil and other supplies?

Not really. We sell equipment, type, mats etc. We also carry the smaller items like furniture, composing sticks, spaces, strip material etc. However, we really don't sell consumables, but we do often have some in stock and we might just have what you are looking to get. Feel free to ask, if we have it, we would be happy to provide it to you.

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3.1 Do you buy out old print shops?

Yes. Over the years, we have purchased hundreds of entire shops or just letterpress departments. We would be happy to hear about any shop which has goods for sale - whether large or small. We are an equipment dealer, but we also LOVE letterpress printing - we love to save what we can and pass it along to others who want these products.

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3.2 Would you be interested in quoting on buying my shop?

Yes. Simply let us know what you have and we'll let you know if we are interested.

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3.3 If I hear of a shop being sold, do you want to know about it?

Yes, we are always interested in finding out about various shops for sale. We often times hear about these shops, but certainly give us a call or send us an email.

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4 Can I put a link on your site?

Quite likely. We are happy to have links to sites that we like, and in particular sites that are run by our customers. If you have a private press or are somehow letterpress related, please email our webmaster with your website address (URL) and we'll see about getting you added to our links list.

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5 Can you suggest an ideal first press for a hobbyist?

Yes, we have an article written by John Horn - an experienced and enthusiastic supporter of letterpress.

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120 Midwest Rd, Unit 5, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M1P 3B2, Copyright © 2022 Don Black Linecasting Ltd.
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