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Font Dimensions

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  • Font Dimensions

    I would like to scroll some lettering templates to be used in conjunction with a router fitted with a guide bush.

    Is it possible to work out the dimensions of a font on a computer so that I can set the letters to the precise width of my router guide bush? I've got MS Office and Open Office Writer as my word processing software, plus PSP 9 for artwork. It's occurred to me that if I could convert the pixels into millimetres (sorry to go European on you ) I could calculate the dimensions from the pixels. Does anyone know how to convert pixels into measurements?

    There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
    (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)

  • #2
    A few side notes
    There are 72 pts to an inch.
    Screen resolution is usually measured in DPI but it is irellevant for the printed output in this case.

    Here is a conversion for inches to mm
    Your software should be able to adjust the pixels to mm
    I know you use PSP so here is a link to maybe help you.
    OOPS the link is for photoshop but the concept is the same
    If you are using Corel or a vector based program, you could set your grid up to the width of the guide bushing.That way the lines would snap to the correct width.
    Last edited by CanadianScroller; 03-07-2006, 09:26 AM.
    "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
    Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


    • #3

      Someone will post a rebuttal to me, but this is what I know but that don't mean it is correct.

      a Pixel is a computer logical unit, and there ain't no direct translation to external standard measurements. Just ain't so. A lot depends on your video display driver, your screen resolution, and your printer driver and printer hardware when you print out your work. And a pixel horizonal don't make it the same as a vertical pixel.

      Google for 'Pixel measurement' or maybe 'size of a pixel'. Some heavy technology reading.

      However, with some costly software programs like vector graphic programs like Corel Draw, or Adobe Illustrator you get a horizontal and vertical ruler with the page layout. These rulers are independent of your screen resolution. With the use of specific grid lines, snap to grid, and layout lines, you gain the ability to create a shape of a specific size.

      But vector graphic programs are not usually geared to print with a high degree of accuracy.

      When you move up to CAD drawings, you gain even more precision with your placement of an object, and extreme accuracy is size of object horizontally and vertically. But most important is extreme accuracy of printing. Need I mention that a large engineering Plotter for CAD work can cost $5,000.00?

      On another forum / news feed about every 6 weeks someone starts a thread about woodworking and CAD programs. Generally about 50 to 100 replies to the thread as everyone jumps in with the same three points:
      1- CAD programs have a steep learning curve. All of them. Very steep.
      2- every thing you do in CAD programs takes time.
      3- The so called industrial standard CAD program cost a lot of money, but the less expensive CAD programs are not as portable to other users as the standard. (there are problems sharing files with other CAD programs.)

      So it comes down to how much money for what level of "That's good enough", how you plan on learning (evening classes vs on-the-job), and what / how / who you planning on sharing the files with.

      Long winded as usual.


      • #4
        I make a night-light quite often for a baby shower gift that has scrolled front panels. Over the years I've created some of my own panels to supplement the original ones, and to help with this process I created a template so I know how much space I have to work with. I did this with PSP and cropped the image tight to its outside dimension. Then I set the image size in the print set-up to match the dimension I want it to print to. It comes out very close to dead-on for me. You could use a text box to create the lettering (or parts of it if it is larger than the paper your printer will take) and crop it to just capture the letters. Determine the size you want it to be and set the print criteria to match. I'm not sure if this would work for your application or not but the technique might be worth a try.

        . . . because each piece will be someone's heirloom someday.
        visit sometime
        Hawk 220VS, Delta 40-570


        • #5
          Thanks guys... that's all good advice .

          I had hoped there would be a straight forward 'click-this-button-here' type of solution but it looks as if it isn't quite so simple.

          Perhaps I'd be better off adopting a low tech strategy. I'm thinking about cutting each letter a little oversize, then smearing putty over one edge. If I was to run my router guide bush along the other edge (the one with no putty), it would trim the putty to the exact dimension of the bush. Once the putty had dried, I could then use a template following router bit to transfer the design to a master template. I think I'd need the second template because the putty might fall out if I was to use the orignal template more than a few times.

          Do you think this might work?

          There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
          (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)


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