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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all.
I am continuing work on my tombstones and have a few in the works but was just wondering. I have been free handing so far and they are rather plain. I have seen alot of great tombstones on the web but wonder what is the best way to create these more intracate pieces? I just found a site that has more what I want but could use ideas getting these pictures on the foam in scale. http://www.hedstorm.net/HAUNT/instructions/tombstone_templates/ If anyone else has more templates i would be greatful.

Thanks
Sgt
 

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I clicked on the link you provided and am impressed with the outline shapes..
I also saw a link (Monster page of halloween links?) I can't remember,...

any ways, I saw that they used stensiles to create INTRICATE designes using ordinary (or plastic furniature) spray paint..you see, it DISOLVES styrofoam, all BUT the stensil you apply OVER the foam stone...VERY COOL!!! You can get what appears to be etched designes, chisled letters, and any engrzving you can think of..I did this last halloween and I had just rudimentary shapes...they STILL looked great... I hope you will explore this option, or am I just repeating common knowledge?
 

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ScareFx. That was a great link, that led me to try making a pattern of my own. I just drew one up, and I can get up to ten! I'm cutting them out today, and I'll post pics later this evening. Here's the drawing. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
http://photobucket.com/albums/v194/TerrorOnBeechwood1/Linked/?action=view&current=f5c0e40e.jpg

Dr. M, Having used spray paint on foam, I can say that the problem is that you can never tell just how far the foam will melt away. It's unpredictable.
 

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Vlad said:
ScareFx. That was a great link, that led me to try making a pattern of my own. I just drew one up, and I can get up to ten! I'm cutting them out today, and I'll post pics later this evening. Here's the drawing. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
http://photobucket.com/albums/v194/TerrorOnBeechwood1/Linked/?action=view&current=f5c0e40e.jpg

Dr. M, Having used spray paint on foam, I can say that the problem is that you can never tell just how far the foam will melt away. It's unpredictable.
Yea. I have used spray paint on foam too. It does melt unpredictably.
It melts everything EXCEPT the stencil you apply on the foam. Thats what gives it the "Chisled" look. The teqnique is valid. It works. Try it. Trust me.
 

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Hi Doc. I will try it after the season. Right now I can't risk messing up the stones we're working on. I just made a soldering iron with dimmer switch for Black Cat this weekend, so she can melt them more efficiently.
 

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Well, here's some of what I'm working on with the new set up. (Wood burning tool with attachments and a dimmer switch). I only have two tombstones etched so far but I'm getting the hang of it rather quickly. Since it's white foam we are making these tombstones from, I found it easy to print out the wording, tape it on the tombstone and then use the wood burning tool to create the letters. I haven't caught the paper on fire yet and it keeps the tip of the wood burning tool away from the melting styro.

Some Pics>>>>>>>>
http://photobucket.com/albums/v193/troop134/tombstones/
 

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sgtdrpepper, I went with either 100 or 125 size font and used a couple different styles of font. Mostly Unicorn, Caslon Anitique in bold, Calligrapher in bold, and Baskerville Old Face.

I put all my wording in Microsoft Works Word and then adjusted the font size to fit my tomstones. I then cut each word out and taped them to the tombstone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks, I may also try the burning method. I have been transfering all the letters and then dremeling it out. It just seems to take a lot of work and the results are to perfect. I have to go back and ruff up the letters so that takes even more time which I am running out of. Thanks again.

Sgt
 

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Here is my very limited experience... I am working on my first ever right now.

I took some layouts from another forum and free handed it onto a piece of 2' high x 1' 4" wide foam. Once I had a shap I liked:

I drew a line down the center of the tombstone
Tape 3 pieces of cardboard tablet backing together (only tape one side so you can fold the template back down to tablet size)
Tape them along the center line of the tombstone
Flip the board over
Trace shape onto the cardboard
Remove cardboard from the tombstone
Cut out the cardboard
Flip template over and draw second half of tombstone
Cut second half of tombstone
Fold up template for future use

Once I decided on wording, I used Word to print them out. I used Franklin Gothic in bold and played with the font size until I was happy (used 55 on wording and 50 on date). Then I taped the pages onto the tombstone and using a fairly worn down yellow number two pencil, I traced the outlines of the words twice to get a light outline. Next, I went over the light markings on the actual tombstone with a black thin tip marker so I could see the outlines. Now all I have to do is use the soldering iron to burn the letters in. Should be interesting... never tried it before, but am pretty good with the soldering iron thanks to a previous job.

Will take a while to finish all steps... will post pics when done.

Sorry so long winded.
 

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Nice ideas everyone, I'm fairly new to this site, but here is what I have done in the past for my lettering.

Typical print and various size font. I tape the lettering to the tombstone and use an exacto knife to trace out the letters. When done I use a dremel to router out the letters. Now here is the key, keep track of the spin in the bit. On the letter "I" for example on right side I will pull the dremel towards me as the bit spins clockwise. The bit will actually pull the foam away from the knife cut creating a smooth side to the letter. On the other side of the "I", left side I will push the dremel away from me so again the bit will pull the foam away from the cut line.

However seeing some of the results with a wood burner and the speed you get a tombstone done, I may have to rethink this and give the wood burner a try.

I always like an excuse to go to Michael's. Hey I even have a 40% off coupon!
 
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