When a work is completed, clearing away is the distributing of headlines, chapters, lines of small capitals, and other useful sorts, taking the lines of quadrats away, and tying up the remainder of the matter in moderate sized pieces with old page cord, so as to be ready to be papered up; and tying the furniture, reglets, and leads up, and delivering them to the proper person, who takes charge of them.
The compositor, after laying up the form to be cleared away and washing it well — and matter ought never to be cleared away without undergoing this process — takes a page into a galley — an old one generally — and picks out the leads, if it be leaded matter; he will then push the matter up from the foot and put another page on his galley, and take the leads out of it also; he will then take the headlines away, and put them on another galley; then take the lines of quadrats and reglets out, and put them on a paper under his frame, then the chapters, contents of chapters, any lines with words of Greek, or other useful sorts, and, after pushing the matter close up together, he will tie it firmly up, in pieces rather longer than a full sized octavo page, and if a short line happens to fall at the bottom, put it in some other situation, so that the top and the bottom shall be full lines. He will thus proceed, till his sheet or other quantity be all tied up, taking care to make his pieces of equal lengths, for the convenience of piling them up in the letter closet.
If the work should be in very small pages, so that two in width would not be wider than a large octavo page, he will put two together, side by side, to prevent papering the matter up in long narrow slips.
Having tied all the matter up for papering, he will either place it on a board in a rack, or put it in some other place where cleared away matter is usually deposited till papered up; he will then distribute his headlines, chapters, contents, and other useful sorts into their proper places; and if there be not room in the cases for the quadrats, he will put them into the proper drawers in which the surplus quadrats are kept.
He will then tie up his leads; and if there be any of different thicknesses, he will, of course, assort them, and tie them up separately: he takes a moderate quantity, if they be octavo leads, rather more than the length of a page of matter, and places a piece of reglet at each end of it, to guard the outside leads from injury by the tightening of the cord, and making a slip knot at one end of a piece of old page cord, he places the leads in the noose, and draws it as tight as the cord will bear, then turns the leads over upon the spare cord and draws it tight; he thus proceeds turning the leads over upon the spare cord, and drawing it tight, till he has got turns sufficient round the leads to secure them, and tucks in the end of the cord under the turns two or three times, drawing it tight; he knocks up the ends of the leads upon the imposing stone, gently, not to injure them, and when he has thus tied them all up, he puts them along with his matter.
He ties his reglets up in the same manner, and puts them with the leads.
He puts the quoins into the quoin drawer.
He inquires of the proper person whether the furniture is to be tied up, or put into the drawers; if the latter, he assorts it — side and foot sticks, gutters, broads, narrows, reglets, and scaleboards, and puts each into its separate drawer; if it be to be tied up, he puts the scaleboard into its proper drawer, and arranges the others neatly and ties them firmly together with old page cord, and delivers them and the chases to the proper person, who may be either the overseer, or some person appointed to take care of the materials.