Making your own pantograph templates by monk

monk

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easy, just a few simple steps and a few guidelines.
1. don't make temps too large for your copy table. very large temps can be made in parts if needed.
2. most of you wll be hand engraving over your traced designs. you only need the primary details, not the
finer stuff such as scroll interiors, shading, and such. this can be eyeballed later.
3. my copy table is 6 x 16". i make most of my temps 6 x 12". this allows for lateral shifting if desired.
4. most good pantos allow a number of different traced sizes from the template. if possible, size the temp to
allow the trace to go a bit smaller or larger than you first calculated for your final trace size. keeping the
designs on the smaller rather than larger size can allow more than 1 design to be put on the blank.
5. mark top/bot , edges, and center of the temp. this can aid in aligning the temp to your object.
6. centering a diamond drag point on a newborn signet ring can be nearly impossible to do as you look down
on the diamond, you all but cant see the tiny ring surface. i'll give an easy solution for this later on as i
have created a special alignment tool to do work like this.
7. label and number all your templates and store them in a rack. you'll end up with a truck load when you see
how easily you can create these. i record all mine in a relational database called card file. it tracks all
you need to know such as customers, designs, jobs-etc. this is critical for me as i have hundreds of
designs on both sides of perhaps 90 or so plates.
8. accuracy is called for, but tiny little lumps or bumps here and there usually vanish when downtraced.
this is # 1 in a short tutorial. more to be added
 

monk

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making your own panto templates Part 2

three basic template types temporary, permanent, & small insert type.
first-- the temporary paper type template :
these can be done on ordinary computer paper. i prefer using heavier manilla type paper stock. these can
be direct printed from your software program or drawn by hand. i generally do one-of-a-kind monograms or
anything not likely to ever be called for again.
if you have a favorite font, you might try to standardize the sizes and build an entire set. this type is very
quick to create, but must be very slowly traced as there is no restraint on the tracing stylus. the result will
usually appear as though done during a # 6 on the richter, but your cut lines will surely cover the wigglies.
don't use a lot of pressure on the diamond point. you don't want to engrave the design here, you just
want to lightly mark it for later hand engraving. always make sure you have horizontal and vertical alignment
marks on the paper. this allows proper orientation on the copy table.
if needed, scissor trim the sheet and tape to the copy table and you're ready to go.
i'll answer all questions via e-mail or to 724-3284951, no pm's please.
 

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monk

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making your own panto templates Part 3

the permanent template
a greater choice of materials for this type. this type should be used for any design you know there will be
frequent calls for- logos, fire, police, fraternal, religious, etc. be ever mindful, just copying a logo doesn't
mean you may have the legal right to use it. i also save scroll spines and such. they're handy to refer to
and study at times.
i prefer to use common engravers plastic (styrene), it's more pricey but it is overall the easiest material
to work with. to cut to size, to layout, and to engrave on. it can also be used on both sides of the blank.
you can sometimes get this at discount when you buy colors that are being discontinued.
years ago i made many of aluminum simply because i was given a sizeable quantity of the plates in 1/16"
x6x12". these were lousy to cut, but to this day i still use them. i've also used hd closed cell foam and
plastic window glasing sheet. the foam cuts fairly well but is .125" thick as is the clear plastic. i never use
the clear plastic; it's tough to score and break to size and it's brittle. i also do not like cutting grooves in
the stuff. questions answered at jayismonk450@gmail.com or 724-328-4951 no pm's please
 

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monk

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making your own panto templates Part 4

the third type small, bevelled insert kind.
this type must be made of .062" thick stock. both edges should be bevelled to allow insertion into the copy
carrier of your machine.although i have made these by hand, it is a pita. too time consuming. a good source
is ability plastics. they will cut and bevel the strips to fit your copy carrier. these are suitable for smaller
designs only.
these strips are ideal for the creation of font sets. with computer technology and transfer techniques, a
truckload of fonts can be made rather cheaply. cut a few letters as needed and add more later. or just do the entire set at 1 time. your computer font library is just sitting there waiting. the foto shows just 2 of dozens of commonly used generic designs i've done.
questions to jayismonk450@gmail.com or 724-328-4951-- no pm's please.
 

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monk

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making your own panto templates Part 5

cutting grooves in the template blank.
if your design is properly sized and oriented on your blank, it is time to start engraving the grooves.
i prefer using a # 53 or 54 round graver simply because that curve fits my tracing stylus better. you nearly have to do this with power. i've done a few prior to getting my first gravermeister, and i'll guarantee it's a time consuming proposition. but possible, nonethe less.
the harder plastics might require rotary cutting, not sure.
when done cutting the design, you may see chatter marks. these usually pose no problem. if they do,
hold the graver you used in your fingers at a steep angle and drag it backwards over the chatter area a few times. this usually shaves the chatter down smooth.
cutting lines that intersect at a sharp corner must be done with care. at the corner slow down. the corners must be the same depth/width. if not, the stylus will tend to hang up there. correct this condition by carefully backcutting till the corners are smooth and equally deep.
it's best to go over all the cut grooves with a very soft pencil. the graphite deposits in the groove and acts as a lube, making the trace a bit smoother.
never do an actual job with your template without first doing a test trace to check for spots where the stylus may hang up. if your cuts become too shallow, your stylus may jump out of the groove altogether.
careful tracing is always called for.
any questions jayismonk450@gmail.com or724-328-4951. if you want instruction on doing the templates without power, i will advise you on this only over the phone. no pm's please
 

monk

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Making your own pantograph templates Part 6

last one aligning very small or difficult items
for this purpose i have created a special alignment tool. when trying to do a trace on say an infants' signet
ring or very tiny object. this can be quite frustrating. the standard diamond drag point is so "fat", it gets in your line of sight and you cant see properly.
first off, i always leave the rotary spindle in my new hermes panto. not for power, but for using the much longer rotary cutter shaft to carry a special alignment tool. when using the rotary spindle to do regular, non powered, diamond drag tracing, there's no problem. it traces very well that way.
if you can sacrifice a spare rotary cutter, that's the best way to go. if not, a good one can simply be turned upside down and the backend can get the following:
either cut the cutter point off and face on a lathe or face off the back end of the cutter shaft. drill in maybe .250" and superglue a long tapered dental drill point into the hole. the point is nearly sharp as a needle. the hole should be drilled dead center, or the alignment will be off a hair. mount this tool in your spindle and properly align your template on the table.
now as you bring the spindle out over the object for alignment with the temp, the very narrow drill point will enable you to see the small part. once everything is aligned and locked, remove the alignment tool and put the diamond engraving shaft back in the spindle housing. trace very lightly.double check with a loupe before removing to assure a complete trace has been made.
the foto shows my tool on the left. the diamond graver on the right. for what it's worth, the diamond was much wider than you see here. i ground a good bit of it away and it's still fairly fat
hope this helped some of you. questions to jayismonk450@gmail.com or better 724-328-4951
please, no pm's
 

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