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Discussion Starter #1
I make a few stones each year,and would make more but what slows me down is writing/carving the words on the stones,seems to take longer to carve the words than to shape the stones.I have used a dremel,wood craving tools,etc. but they still take forever.
Anyone have a quick/faster way to do the words on stones?
 

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Buy a small CAM router. It would be very quick and easy. I didn't say it would be cheap.

What I do is print out the design on paper then use spray adhesive to attach it to the foam blank. Then I cut out the design, cutting just deep enough to cut the paper. Then I peel away the design and color it in with a black sharpie. Then I remove the rest of the paper and carve the design which is now on the foam with a Dremel. I tried carving straight through the paper but it kept clogging up the bit.

I guess you could skip the sharpie and Dremel steps and just spray the stencil with some spray paint which would eat into the foam then just peel the paper away leaving your design. I actually considered doing this but I like the clean edges you get with the Dremel. It might be tedious but I think it's worth it and you can do the most tedious part, cutting out the design, while watching a good horror movie.

Here's an example. The painting and aging isn't done yet and I may not be able to get it done this year. I'm making about 16 to 20 stones as well as everything else and there just aren't enough hours in the remaining days to get it all done as well as I'd like.

chewbacca-albums-tombstones-picture174260-victor-frankenstein.jpg
 

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Buy a small CAM router. It would be very quick and easy. I didn't say it would be cheap.

What I do is print out the design on paper then use spray adhesive to attach it to the foam blank. Then I cut out the design, cutting just deep enough to cut the paper. Then I peel away the design and color it in with a black sharpie. Then I remove the rest of the paper and carve the design which is now on the foam with a Dremel. I tried carving straight through the paper but it kept clogging up the bit.

I guess you could skip the sharpie and Dremel steps and just spray the stencil with some spray paint which would eat into the foam then just peel the paper away leaving your design. I actually considered doing this but I like the clean edges you get with the Dremel. It might be tedious but I think it's worth it and you can do the most tedious part, cutting out the design, while watching a good horror movie.

Here's an example. The painting and aging isn't done yet and I may not be able to get it done this year. I'm making about 16 to 20 stones as well as everything else and there just aren't enough hours in the remaining days to get it all done as well as I'd like.

View attachment 174261
May I ask what font you are using?
 

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The font is "French Script MT". I think its a standard windows font, but I've installed so many fonts and programs that install fonts over the years that I can't be sure.

The font isn't any more difficult to carve than any other the way I do it. It's just a little more curvy than most.
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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I have a quick-ish way of carving tombstones - a wood burner, spray mount glue and the printouts.
I use spray mount like this.
Available at most arty stores (I think even Michaels carries a version of this now).

I print out the text, spray the backside of the page (no cutting out), then let the spray glue dry. It will "burn" the foam if you apply while wet. Once dry it has a tacky glue surface that is repositionable. Position the paper and smooth down, then burn THROUGH the paper, tracing over the letters. As long as I've got the burner on a low setting and have a steady hand, this is a pretty fast method. Once done, just peel off the leftover paper, and you're done.

Oh, and do this OUTSIDE and preferably on a day with a breeze - the fumes are probably toxic. :)
 

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I print the design on regular printer paper, use a 4 or 5 needles to secure it to the foam, then use a old-school Xacto Knife to carve the letters. The letter groove ends up in a V shape, since I just make two cuts (one from each side of the line) to make the letter. (Clear as mud?)

It's quiet, non-toxic, cheap and doesn't take too long, I think.

http://www.xacto.com/products/cutting-solutions/knives/knives/Precision-Knife-1.aspx
 

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Discussion Starter #10
spiral bit is what I use,works fine just if you want wider lettering takes a few passes,and fine detail like a loop may get torn out.looking for a different type of bit, thought maybe you were using something.
 

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Ah ok. No not yet. I've been reading so many techniques that I'm afraid to try it now. :(

The info here can be overwhelming at times. Also I haven't been able to stop long enough to give any techniques I've read about a try. I do have a set of router bits for my dremel though. I'm hoping to try something this weekend.
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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Ah ok. No not yet. I've been reading so many techniques that I'm afraid to try it now. :(

The info here can be overwhelming at times. Also I haven't been able to stop long enough to give any techniques I've read about a try. I do have a set of router bits for my dremel though. I'm hoping to try something this weekend.
It's just foam - it's more afraid of you than you are of it! :D
I used a piece of scrap foam and tried many different techniques before making a "for real" stone, and it's not too hard to get the hang of once you sit down and play with it.
 

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It's just foam - it's more afraid of you than you are of it! :D
I used a piece of scrap foam and tried many different techniques before making a "for real" stone, and it's not too hard to get the hang of once you sit down and play with it.
LOL yeah I just a min to sit down with it and play. I've been dying to use my router attachment anyway. :)

What are you using?
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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I've used all three methods so far (dremel, wood burner, exacto knife) and I generally use the wood burner for speed. I do the exacto knife for when I want really careful lines and a bevel effect that mimics a real stone carver, but it's definitely the most time consuming. With the dremel, I tend to take off too much. :eek:
 
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