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Does any one know of a source for "Inlay Templets"? I am particularly interested in small (2") letters & numbers. I have looked at Tarter Woodworking but they seem a little expensive. Just wondering if there are other known sources.

Thanks!

Phil
 

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Does any one know of a source for "Inlay Templets"? I am particularly interested in small (2") letters & numbers. I have looked at Tarter Woodworking but they seem a little expensive. Just wondering if there are other known sources.



Thanks!



Phil


I have looked for these as well. No luck. Currently making my own stencil templates.


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If you're looking for templates that can be used to make both the recess and the piece to be inlaid, you may find that you'll need to make your own, Most of the available sets would give a letter/number that's kind of skinny given the offset between the template and the inlay guide bushing

inlay router guide bushing

If you find a letter/numeral style that you like, it should be pretty easy to make your own - use the template to draw the shape on a piece of paper and then draw a parallel line outside, distance would be the offset between the bushing and the bit. Glue the paper to a piece of hardboard and cutout using a coping saw or scroll saw. For characters with a lot of curves, it may be easier to cut out the inside shape on a piece of hardboard and then use your preferred method to draw the offset on another piece of hardboard and then cut out the internal shape.
 

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Re Tom's suggestion; any sign shop that does vinyl type lettering should be able to make you pretty much any font style you want. I didn't say it would be inexpensive...
 

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Re Tom's suggestion; any sign shop that does vinyl type lettering should be able to make you pretty much any font style you want. I didn't say it would be inexpensive...


I’m learning now that it will be either expensive, or time consuming. I just work a little at a time, and generally on whatever letters i need at the moment. Then when I’m bored i add more letters to the sets I’m making. Hopefully within a couple months I’ll have three or four letter sets of various fonts.

I’ve been printing the letters each on a single page regardless of its size. That way it’s always printed in the same spot relative to the corner of the page. This makes it easier to transfer the design to the same spot on the wood, especially when some letters require more than one stencil card due either to size, or forming sharp points.




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Quick way to make templates

If you make your own, there is a fast way to do it -- if you know Photoshop. You can make a set from any font / any size. Just type a letter at the right size, create a path outlining the letter, set the stroke of the path to the thickness that accounts for the offset needed, and print it. Transfer that printed letter to 1/4" ply template blank. For instructions on how to do it, go to
http://dmasterman.com/wood/
It might take 10 minutes or less to make the printout for a letter / digit, once you get the hang of it.
The site has examples of pretty complex inlays, as well. Here's one:
 

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For making a few signs using one of my routers, my research settled on the lettering guides from Rockler. They snap together and then you tape the assembly to your work, positioning it to your satisfaction. Then a plunge router with a guide bushing is used to follow the lettering of this assembled template. Other brands of lettering templates required the use of a frame into which you place the letter templates, and this frame just got in the way for me. Using the interlocking letters from Rockler and tape to hold them in place for routing was much easier. Rockler sells number templates too, and a version for routing numbers vertically.

Charley
 

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