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  #1  
Old 11-18-2007, 10:17 AM
Gulf Coast Handyman's Avatar
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Default Template For Letters

Does anyone know where I can get letter templates, I cut 2x2 bass into blocks and I want to carve letters into each block.

Dave
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Old 11-18-2007, 10:54 AM
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Default Re: Template For Letters

Dave,

If you're doing incised letters--letters cut into the wood, then you can print out a pattern using a word processor or even Wordpad--try using times new roman, and type and print out the letters you want. Use a copy machine to make them bigger--usually the biggest you'll get from a word processor is 3/4" or 72 pt. So if you want 1 1/2" letters, print out 72 pt. and then enlarge 200% on a copy machine. You can also print at 72 pt., scan into computer as an image, then enlarge with a photo editing program. There's a lot of different ways to do create the patterns depending on the software you have, the computer hardware, and then your expertise to use them. Worse comes to worse, check out the calligraphy books at the library, find a letter style that you like and that'll be easy to carve, and copy and enlarge to the size you want. Make a couple of copies, and keep one as the master. I usually write the word "original" or "master" in red ink on the keeper. Then if I see it, I know it's the original, and not to use it as a pattern that's going to get cut up.

Using a thinned out glue or rubber cement, past the letter on the block. Then cut right the letters. I prefer to use a good bench knife--actually an old putty knife that I mitered and sharpen. I cut a relief v-cut down the center, and then workwork my way out to the perimeter of the letter. Then when done, I just peel away the pattern. Some people use the v-tool--starting shallow and going deeper until the "vee" reaches the width of the letter.

I prefer to blacken the back of the paper with a soft leaded pencil and trace the letters onto the wood. Then cut to the pattern. This would be the way to go for raised letters, too.

If you want to make templates to trace the letter pattern onto the wood, you can do like above, only transfer the pattern to thin thickness metal like brass stock, or even aluminum from a soda can. Just cut with a utility knife, and there's your template. Keep in mind to use a sharp pointed pencil, or a thin mechanical pencil--or, cut the pattern into the template a little larger to account for the pencil thickness.

Sometimes you can get lettering templates from a office supply, or, an art or drafting supply store. But they'e usually no bigger than 1/2"-3/4" high.

Have fun!

Bob L

Last edited by Just Carving; 11-18-2007 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 11-18-2007, 12:51 PM
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Default Re: Template For Letters

Thank you very much Bob, I will give it a shot. One other quick question, is it best to arrange the letters so you cut with the grain or across ?

Dave
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Old 11-18-2007, 05:08 PM
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Default Re: Template For Letters

You will have better control cutting across the grain, but the tool will go through the wood easier with the grain. I think it's better to have as much of the letter cutting across the grain. But at some point, you will be doing both across and with the grain, e.g. the letter "O". So, I would concentrate on what will yield a better result i.e. the overall appearance of what you're carving. In your case, carving letters on blocks, appearance won't be too much of an issue. If you were carving a sign, then you'd want to take a good look at the grain of the wood, and imagine how it will look with the letters carved in the wood. In most cases, the wood grain would be side to side simply because you would need to glulam a lot of boards if you had the grain running top to bottom, and the sign would be weaker, and more prone to breakage.

BTW--here's a link to a post on the same subject you're asking about. It might be of some help:

carving chisels


Bob L
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Old 11-18-2007, 07:34 PM
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Default Re: Template For Letters

Bob, again thank you so much for all your help, I really appreciate it !!

Dave

PS - I have my first letter and block ready to go, will start on it this evening.
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