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Letter templates

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  • Letter templates

    I want to route some large 8" letters of my daughter's name to hang on the wall.

    Does anyone know how I would go about routing each letter individually? Is someone selling templates of the alphabet?
    - J

  • #2

    Well, actually any word processor or graphics program should be able to do this for you. Lets talk about this as if you are using MS Word:

    1. open a new doc and go to page setup and set your margins to 0.5" all around. This is to ensure room for the text.

    2. Set your font to whatever style you want, then set the font size to a something like 96 or 144 point.

    3. Type the first letter, it should almost fill the page. If not go back and adjust the font size until you get it right. You can roughly scale the screen display to real life by holding up a piece of 8.5 x 11 paper to the screen. When the width of the paper on the screen and the real piece of paper are the same size (width) your printout should be very close. You can adjust the display size (Zoom factor) in MS Word to get them both the same size.

    4. Once you get it sized correctly print the first letter, then go remove that first letter and type the second one, and print that too. Hopefully you don't have too many letters in the name to print.

    Back in olden days, we used to have fanfold paper for use with dot matrix printers. These printers used a pin feed mechanism and you sat a big box of continuous paper under the printer. This was great for making banners and signs and large templates as your design could span multiple sheets of paper. If you had a wide carriage printer, you could use 132 column paper which was about 14 wide if I remember correctly. That could give you a sign 14 high by however long you wanted. I guess you can probably still buy that paper at Staples or somewhere like that (maybe Radio Shack if nowhere else).

    Once you have all your letters use some spray adhesive to fix your letter templates to the wood, then rout or cut them out.
    "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006


    • #3

      Bob D's idea is great, by cutting out the letters printed on your PC, you can slightly overlap them, then use your scroll saw to cut, you end up with a one piece sign. see image link.
      Attached Files


      • #4
        Well, it wasn't my idea. I stole it from Norm who used it on a show last year about sign making. But before that show had aired I had used the same technique to make a new house number for our place. I cut it out of cedar and it turned out pretty nice. I sprayed the BACK of the wood with Scotch 77 spray adhesive and had printed my number out in reverse, that way I didn't have to sand the face side, left it cleaner looking. I don't have a jig saw so did what I could on the band saw and the rest by hand with a coping saw, and actually it would have been very easy to do it all with a coping saw, just takes longer of course. Since my wife is a big NASCAR and Rusty Wallace fan, I used the same font as the number 2 on his car, which she liked. The cedar contrasts well with the siding so its easy to see from the curb.
        "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006


        • #5
          Another idea

          Here's another possible source for letter templates, though that is not its intended use, no matter, we are about bending the will of others to fit our needs right?

          Anyway, This web site is a free online web banner/logo creator. Basically you type in the text you want, choose the font and size, a background color/pattern (or none which would probably be best for this application), and click on generate. Then you wait a few seconds and your image will be displayed and available for downloading.

          Once you've downloaded the image to your computer, you can scale it up or down and print it out to use as a template for your woodworking project.

          How long/large can they be? I don't know...I tried entering the whole alphabet and numerals 0-9 and it worked, so that's 36 characters. All the text appears on a single line, doesn't seem to be a way around that. Some of the designs don't lend themselves too well to woodworking, but what do ya want for free??

          To see an example, look at my avatar which I have changed to use one of the logos I just created in a minute or less, then downloaded to my computer.

          Have fun, but I should warn you that the sight is kinda heavy on the banner ads. I didn't get any popup ads, but I have those blocked so can't tell for sure if they exist.

          If you try this and have problems, let me know and I'll help you figure it out.

          Last edited by Bob D.; 01-11-2006, 08:48 PM.
          "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006


          • #6
            That is a great idea. I always hated drawing the letters i needed for projects. This will save me time.