Every job is different.
There are out of the box tasks that need to be performed for any job, namely, machine setup (and maintanence). That means bringing the pot up to temperature (45 minutes), setting up a mold with liners for the specified point size and line length, loading the magazine for the chosen typeface on the machine (assuming the face has already been run in to a magazine), making sure the mat's drop when keyed, setting some trial lines to be certain the machine is operating smoothly, and producing solid slugs with clean faces. Quality Control happens up front as well as at the end when settings go to proof.
Yeah, it's a ball of wax. But you get a press-ready typographic printing surface for real letterpress from original letterforms. The original ones you know and love. Or should anyway...
For the amount of time and effort I'll put into it, it's less than you pay your mechanic to tune up your car. In short, you'd be looking at about $150 minimum order, plus shipping.
That would be for anything under 50 lines.
So, that means that I'm charging US$3 a slug. Quite reasonable for skilled composition in
. Right? Fewer lines cost more. Sorry.
If your manuscript is OVER 50 lines the price per slug may decrease depending on the complexity of the job.
If you're talkng about a larger amount of setting, there will be a metal deposit. Ship the slugs back, and you'll be credited. Or ship slugs back and leave the deposit on file for the next job...
Thanks for reading, and for your interest in having skilled hot metal comp done at Linotypesetting.com.