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Direct lettering on panels with a K&E Leroy guide

Discussion in 'DIY' started by ConradH, May 15, 2018.

  1. ConradH

    ConradH Addicted Member

    Messages:
    7,855
    Location:
    Canandaigua, NY
    I did this years ago in a prototype shop. We used permanent waterproof black ink or (I think) sometimes enamel on light colored rack panels. I'm presently refurbishing a switch box and wanted to try it with white lettering on black. After testing a handful of inks and acrylics, the winner for being waterproof and having reasonable durability was Daler-Rowney FW white ink from Michaels crafts. The trick is holding the ruler and panel- I use some plastic woodworkers spring clamps. If the guide is off the panel I butt another panel up next to it to give an uninterrupted surface. When all the artwork is complete I'll give it a satin overcoat, though I don't know which one yet. It has to be something that doesn't bleed the ink and doesn't look like what it is- a plastic overcoat.

    leroy1.jpg

    leroy2.jpg

    eBay seems to have a large number of Leroy guides and tools these days as it's sort of a forgotten art.
     

     

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  2. elcoholic

    elcoholic AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Very nice. Just the other day I was looking at my Vemco machine and wondering if I might be the last draftsman. Apparently not, which is a good thing. I didn’t Leroy much. I did most of my ink on Mylar with the Rapidograph version a very long time ago.
     
  3. blhagstrom

    blhagstrom Mad Scientist, fixer. Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Duvall, Washington
    Way lost art.

    My bet? 99.9% of people wouldn’t know what it is when they saw it or what to do with it.

    I cleaned up at the end of a sign makers estate sale once. It was picked clean of ordinary stuff and when we got there, it was “make a pile” and then it was like $20 for a car load.

    I found the stash of gold leaf and the book on using gold leaf to make signs.

    Old, OLD school!
    Like handling the foil with your comb that had some hair oil on it and using lamb (skin?) glue!

    It was a nice large stash of gold leaf.
    There might have been some silver leaf also.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
  4. I LIKE MUSIC

    I LIKE MUSIC Super Member

    Great work Conrad, but you make me feel really old.
     
    mprince likes this.
  5. ConradH

    ConradH Addicted Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Canandaigua, NY
    Old, ha! I'm still looking for students for my upcoming class on doing circuit board layout using Bishop Graphics 2X and 4X IC stickers and black tape. Now where did I leave that process camera?

    The Leroy technique gives some hope for damaged lettering on clear anodized aluminum panels, but the trick is getting the tool in there. Flat panels are easy, but if the panel is a 3D thing, like many receivers were, it might or might not be possible. There are some quirks to the process. White ink requires a lot of pigment to be opaque. That means it's on the edge of not flowing well in the pens. I doubt it would work well in anything smaller than the #0 pen above. It's important not to introduce any bubbles when you fill the pen or you'll constantly be trying to get the flow going on a piece of paper you keep for the purpose. Black can work with far thinner lines and smaller letters. It seems logical to start a word in the middle and work out, to get it perfectly centered. Doesn't work because the height adjuster pin will then drag over the letters to the left, ruining them. You can only letter in the forward direction, left to right. Though most guides have a scale that shows the center of each letter, I haven't found it useful. Spacing is by eye and takes practice. I'm still a bit short in the practice thing. That pin can also leave a faint mark where it slides on the paint to the right of the lettering. You have to be gentle. The last remaining spray paint that's a true enamel seems to be Rustoleum. It takes many days to truly dry, maybe longer, but then it's pretty rugged and takes the lettering OK. I've had poor durability with "plastic coating" sprays, in fact anything labeled "fast drying", as they don't seem to adhere well and have a relatively soft surface.
     
  6. Binkman

    Binkman AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I can 'draft' sold my table about 15yrs ago. With onset of printing and computers, the age of labels isn't extinct but one time you could get stick on letters in more than just the few fonts offered now days.
     

     

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  7. No Money

    No Money AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    It's actually called rabbit skin glue. Used for wood work, very common in some musical instruments, gold/silver leaf, as noted, and for priming canvas prior to oil painting. I have used it for gilding on ceramic in the past.
     
  8. blhagstrom

    blhagstrom Mad Scientist, fixer. Subscriber

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    Thanks. It was 20 years ago so I am fuzzy on details. I thought at the time that it was an odd thing.
     
  9. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

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    Southern NJ
    I have one of these sets myself, found it for a buck at a flea market in it's box with the ink, both styluses and the pencil one. Mine is the basic version, it won't do italics. The fancier ones have a cam lever by the guide pin to select left tilt, right tilt or straight letters.
     
  10. absolon

    absolon Super Member

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    2,201
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    Lotusland
    Not quite the last one. My frequently used Vemco is a prized possession salvaged at the recycling depot.
     
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  11. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

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    I've got a silver Crown SL-1 faceplate, 3.5" x 19" x normal thickness that needs the lettering replaced if someone needs the practice. Since I use that unit as a power supply only at this time, I don't have to have the faceplate on it to use it.

    I was wondering if this is something that a trophy shop or engraving place would be able to etch the wording on the unit and have it turn out nicely. Without the need to have this done to use the unit, it is a back burner project.
     

     

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  12. soundmotor

    soundmotor super modified Subscriber

    I've got one of those letterers in a box somewhere. That's a really cool use for it.
     
  13. N8Nagel

    N8Nagel AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Not entirely related but sort of, I can't remember the last time I saw a set of dry transfer letters.
     
  14. elcoholic

    elcoholic AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Remember the Kroy machines? We used them for titles right up to switching to VersaCAD.

    E0134D80-1F8B-48CE-9AC4-23B326615108.jpeg
     
    TudorTurtle likes this.
  15. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8642 Subscriber

    Yup - used to get those at the local hobby shop ... Then again, when's the last time you saw a local hobby shop?
     
  16. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8642 Subscriber

    Another option ...

    [​IMG]
    Front Panel Express will engrave lettering in any size and a variety of fonts ...
     
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  17. N8Nagel

    N8Nagel AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Last time I went to the bank - it's in the same shopping center :)
     
  18. Livin4

    Livin4 Well-Known Member

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    Utah
    Used those quite a bit back when I worked at Sperry.
     
  19. Steven Tate

    Steven Tate AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    When I was in college (late 60's, early 70's), I got a job doing drafting for a contractor who did phone company drafting. The work was all ink on linen, and the lettering was all Leroy. They paid me for a couple of weeks to practice and get up to speed with the lettering. It was very hard to master, but after a couple of weeks I was allowed to start lettering the documents. Talk about a lost art! I spent two years doing that work and made pretty good money for the day. It would be interesting to get my hands on a set and see if my brain remembered the movements required to get sharp corners.
     
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  20. pdm4606

    pdm4606 Super Member

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    My old drafting teacher used one for doing various projects like name plates for the electronics class. That was in 1958. That's when electrons were really electrons.
     
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