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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, now I have searched & searched......read dozens of sites and looked at hundreds of pictures. I am currently working on my first tombstone and I am using the heating tool when I cut out my letters. The problem I am having is the "inside" of the letters looks like hard swirled cool whip. How do you carve the letters so they are "flat" down inside or does it not matter once it is painted?
 

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I have never tried this method, so I'm just guessing.....does your heat tool have a temperature adjustment? It sounds like you may be too hot and melting the foam too quickly.
(also, make sure you have PLENTY of ventilation when you do this!!!!!)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No temp adjustment. I did buy a light dimmer yesterday.....was hoping to find the directions to give to hubby. I believe somewhere I read that you can control the heat with a dimmer switch.
I tried to post pics of what it is looking like. I will go to photo bucket and set something up.
Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hello....anyone there anymore.......???????
 

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Thank you. I think I will go to my dungeon now and play around some more. I think my burner is too hot, I'll have to do some modifications to it.
Thanks and sorry for the big pics..........
 

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What about using teh wood tool with the xacto knife attachment on it.
 

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Ya know.....I kind of like the look you have with the large letters. It makes it looks like rough chisled stone. I'll bet that will look really cool when painted if you leave it just the way it is.
I was envisioning some sort of melted,garbled, freehand single-line mess from your first description... ha!.

really...I like it!
 

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If you want a smoother cut, try using a standard exacto knife blade rather than the heat, just make sure you switch to a new blade very often. otherwise, once you put some dark paint in there, it won't really matter.
 

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I'm with Richie and Dave on this one, I think it looks pretty groovy the way it is. But if you really want nice flat insides on your cutouts, you're best off with something with a cutting element at 90 degrees to the tool, not in-line. Do you have a dremel tool? You could use the little drum sander and sand the nubbly bits smooth.

But paint a couple of letters first, and then look at it from a few feet away. You just might prefer the look.
 

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Like others have said, I think it is looking great! Once it's painted it will look just like rough-hewn stone. I also use a wood burning tool to engrave my tombstones and find it looks fine. I even dry-brush and paint it to bring out the texture. Tombstone shouldn't look too perfect if we're trying to acheive the look of an old run-down and creepy cemetery. Here are some pics of the tombstones I've done showing the engraving and painting.





 

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I agree with liking the look however if smooth is what you want I would use sand paper to gently smooth it out something 150 -220 grit.
 

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By all means get the dimmer installed. That's how I rigged up the wood burning tool for Black Cat. She has the wood tool with interchangeable heads, and with the added capability of temp control, that should solve it.
 

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With the dimmer switch I'm able to control the amount of heat. I use the pencil tip attachment on my wood burning tool when etching the wording out. The etching doesn't always look great until you get the paint on it, especially if you are working with white beaded foam.
Here are some examples of my stones that I've done with the dimmer switch.
tombstones pictures by troop134 - Photobucket
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Some great ideas & thanks for the encouragement! I did go back in and sand out a little with the dremel, but the "rough" deep down is looking pretty good. I painted the letters and it does look pretty cool. I think I may have tried to melt out way too much of the foam since I went so deep. I will get some pics posted soon. I gonna give it a coat of dark grey and play around with the effects to "olden it up". A big hats off & thanks you guys..........:) :) :)
 
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