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I'm new to this forum so if I ask a question that's already been asked, I apologize. I've spent a couple hours searching and haven't found the answers I'm looking for.

I'm joining a gun club in the very near future and as part of my new member dues, I'm making several signs for the club. I purchased a Milescraft router pantograph and have been playing with it with quite a bit of success. It seems to be a pretty good tool considering how inexpensive it was.
My problem is that I can't do what I need to do with the templates supplied with the kit and need to accelerate the learning curve regarding using my own printed templates from MS Word.

I've pretty much figured out the horizontal letter spacing but would appreciate any hints or tips that may be offered here.
I've modified my fixture to the point that it's very vertically adjustable and can accomodate for board depths up to more than I can handle with the pantograph's travel.

My biggest problem is with line spacing horizontally. I need to do several signs with 2 inch letters and 2 lines of text center justified. Left justified would be easy but am having trouble with the center justified lines. I tried laying out the entire line with the templates, measuring length, reducing, dividing in half, and measuring from center and missed by quite a bit. I may just need more practice but would like to hear from others as to your methods or tips and tricks you might like to share.

Thanks in advance
Dennis
 

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Hi Dennis

The key for me is to use the big black dots that you setup in MS Word (macro dot file) ,to setup the spacing, see the dots in the link below..once you have the dots setup you can use them for the indexing for all the letters...

STENCILS
Router Forums - View Single Post - Pantograph

Troubleshooting Word With the Support.dot Template

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I'm new to this forum so if I ask a question that's already been asked, I apologize. I've spent a couple hours searching and haven't found the answers I'm looking for.

I'm joining a gun club in the very near future and as part of my new member dues, I'm making several signs for the club. I purchased a Milescraft router pantograph and have been playing with it with quite a bit of success. It seems to be a pretty good tool considering how inexpensive it was.
My problem is that I can't do what I need to do with the templates supplied with the kit and need to accelerate the learning curve regarding using my own printed templates from MS Word.

I've pretty much figured out the horizontal letter spacing but would appreciate any hints or tips that may be offered here.
I've modified my fixture to the point that it's very vertically adjustable and can accomodate for board depths up to more than I can handle with the pantograph's travel.

My biggest problem is with line spacing horizontally. I need to do several signs with 2 inch letters and 2 lines of text center justified. Left justified would be easy but am having trouble with the center justified lines. I tried laying out the entire line with the templates, measuring length, reducing, dividing in half, and measuring from center and missed by quite a bit. I may just need more practice but would like to hear from others as to your methods or tips and tricks you might like to share.

Thanks in advance
Dennis
 

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Bob,
The link you sent is to a trouble shooting macro. I'm not sure how you get to the spacing dots from there. Is there a MS Word utility that will add spacing dots to templates?
 

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Not using sign pro as font types and sizes too limited. Also may want to do other stuff besides lettering. I'm using a pantograph.
 

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Hi

Word has a great Help file in it but making macros can be tricky, that's why I posted the trouble shooting macro link..

I will say I stop using Word and now using Easy Office :)

You can find tons of info on macros on the net (google thing)

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Bob,
The link you sent is to a trouble shooting macro. I'm not sure how you get to the spacing dots from there. Is there a MS Word utility that will add spacing dots to templates?
 

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There's another approach, less "attractive" to some, but viable. Remember back to the days of the typewriters, where type was 10 or 12 characters per inch? In those days, only printers used "kerning" , which was the variable spaced fonts that with today's word processors are the norm. The alternative is to use a font where a capitalized "W" is the same width as an "i" or a " ". Examples of this in MS Word are "Letter Gothic" (serif type) and the ones whose font names start with "MONO", such as Monospac821, which is a san serif font.

To easily test a font for this, open up your WP and type a string of a "wide" letter, such as 40 "W"'s in a row. Beneath it type a string of 40 "i"'s and 40 " "'s. If they are all the same length it is a monospaced font and figuring the middle is easy. If there are an even number of letters, say 16, the middle is between the 8th and 9th letters. If an odd number, say 15, it the middle is in the center of the 8th letter.

Otherwise I recommend printing out all of the letters and making a template and then centering it, cutting a template for each letter and doing the math or creating a template on paper and free-handing it.

You can learn more by Googling "monospaced font" or "kerning".
 

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I'm new to this forum so if I ask a question that's already been asked, I apologize.
Never apologize for a question here. Even when asked once it never hurts to revisit it again.

My biggest problem is with line spacing horizontally. I need to do several signs with 2 inch letters and 2 lines of text center justified. Left justified would be easy but am having trouble with the center justified lines. I tried laying out the entire line with the templates, measuring length, reducing, dividing in half, and measuring from center and missed by quite a bit. I may just need more practice but would like to hear from others as to your methods or tips and tricks you might like to share.
Hi Dennis:

It sounds like you could be using a body font for display use. In that situation you have to increase the weight of the font i.e. bold or black, then kern your letters on the line, then center your line.

I hope this helps.
 

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Thanks for the info Jim. That helps quite a bit. I actually made a prototype of one of my signs yesterday and had a lot more success with the spacing. I actually ended up taping all of the letters together to make a banner out of the words and just slid the banner through the template one letter at a time. I was able to lay the banners for each line out on the bench centered over each other to find the starting point for the shortest line (routed the longest line first). This attempt came out close enough that the small error in the centering didn't really show in the sign.
I still need a lot of practice before I release a sign for sale and am generating quite a pile of sawdust in the shop with it but I'm getting there. A pantograph isn't a "magic" tool. It needs quite a bit of practice to master.
 

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Having the same problem and searching for hours, I finally came across this thread. Here is how I solved my problem. I finally realized that a locating point would be a cursor point. In Word I typed a letter R, inserted a horizontal line with dots on each end. Adjusted the right dot to the cursor behind the R, put the cursor to the start of the R and adjusted the left side dot to the cursor. Continued with letter a, then i and n. See the attached file. I saved that file and opened another new page to create a one letter template. I hope this helps with your project. I am about to start the name on a practice piece before I route it into aromatic cedar for a hope chest.

Michael
 

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Welcome to the forum Michael.
 

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Have you looked into Inkscape (free program) ?
 

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Make friends with somebody that has a CNC machine. You supply the materials, let them do the cutting, and you do the finishing.

I got a brand new pantograph I'll give away. To me, it's not worth the trouble.

HJ

Has used both
 

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Welcome Dennis.

I use Inkscape to draw most of my signs. It allows me to layout the sign as I want. It's a free program and fairly easy to learn.

But if you want to use Microsoft Word, then here's a little trick. I learned this a LONG, LONG time ago when I was an engraver of jewelry.

Determine which line has the most letters and spaces. Count all of the letters and spaces to find the center letter (or space). Next find the center line of the board and mark it. Then center up the line of letters and then check it again to make sure it's set up correctly. This will help you determine the correct size of each line.....you don't want the letters of the other lines to be larger than the letters of this longest line.....it will give your sign balance.

Find the center letter or space of the rest of the lines and lay then out the same way. Then all of your lines will be centered and balanced across your sign.

I would suggest you download Inkscape and give it a try. You can find all sorts of tutorials for Inksape on Youtube,

Good luck and post pics!!
 

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I thought i would update my post of 5/14. Attached are pics of my grand daughter's name on a set up piece using my modified letter templates. I also changed the location of the fixed post so the arms would stay on the work table when I moved the device away from the work piece.

I am satisfied with it, so I'll cut this in some aromatic cedar and get her hope chest started.

Michael
 

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