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I want to have letters from 2" to 5" high and will pay for good quality template. Everything I see online looks cheap and doesn't get great reviews. Want to make a let of signs so I need one which will hold up to heavy use. Have you used or do you know of one?

Thanks,
 

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Rockler and other places have template sets, and they are all pretty much the same or very similar. Unfortunately, you are limited to available sizes and fonts. If you are going to be making a lot of signs, it might be more worthwhile to make your own templates out of hardboard, ply, plexi or other suitable material for durability. It will also allow you to choose what fonts and sizes you need without limiting you to the stock ones sold in the stores.

Cheers,
Brad
 

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I use my word processor and printer to make patterns that I glue to tempered hardboard or baltic birch plywood. I then cut them out wth my scrollsaw.

This way I can get any size or font I desire. I've never had any of them wear out. I don't use them often either
 

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If you're going to do a lot of wood signs and not proficient at free hand carving wood signs with a router and sign face layout then you may want to invest in a Marlin Carving Machine.

http://www.terrco.com/woodcarvers/marlin.php

Do a Google search on Marlin Carving Machine and then look at the images.

I do all of my sign face layouts in Autocad, add the letters to the layouts in CorelDraw and then freehand route or hand carve the signs but I don't do a lot of them anymore. If I did then I wouldn't hesitate to find a Marlin machine. It's been around for a long time.

Tenfinger58 also has a good suggestion as to your sign layout.
 

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Do a Google search on Marlin Carving Machine and then look at the images.

Those are cool machines… and along the same lines, if you like making your own stuff, Matthias has plans available to build a 3-D router pantograph on his web site (can also be adapted to use a dremel instead of a router). Of course, you will still need to make the initial templates, so it may be easier to just use them directly instead of with the above setups. I guess it depends on how detailed and how many you plan on making as to if it's worth the effort or not. He also has a link to an online stencil maker if needed, but like Bruce and TenFingers point out… those can be made in a lot of different ways with software you probably already have.

Cheers,
Brad
 

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You can get CorelDraw off Ebay for cheap and youtube is your instructor. CorelDaw is powerful design software and I go back almost to the beginning with it.

You can also use Photoshop and let youtube be your instructor.

Photoshop CS2 is now free from Adobe and still works. I use it on all three of my machines I use to design on. It also comes with ImageReady and I love ImageReady. Acrobat 8.0 Professional is free also. I use that often on my plans site.

Free download for Photoshop CS2 and be sure to write down the Serial Number below the download button.

http://www.techspot.com/downloads/3689-adobe-photoshop-cs2.html

http://www.techspot.com/downloads/4683-adobe-acrobat-8.html

Photoshop CS2 will run on Windows 7 but Acrobat Pro won't.

They're both expensive and they're free from Adobe! Get them before Adobe changes their mind!
 
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