Quantcast Spacing and centering

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The rules for freehand letter spacing and word spacing also apply to mechanical lettering. Guidelines are not necessary for mechanical lettering; however, when you are making more than one line of lettering, you may draw horizontal base lines at intervals to help you maintain the proper spacing between the lines. Spacing between lines of mechanical lettering is the same as for freehand lettering.

When lettering must be centered above a certain part of a drawing, or within a certain space, use the scales along the bottom edges of the templates. Each space on the scale represents the center-to-center distance of normal-width letters. For example, to center the words LETTERING follows:

1. Count the letters in each word and the spaces between words. Result: 15.

2. Considering the letter I and the space between the words as half value for each, reduce the total by one. Result: 14.

3. Divide the result of No. 2 above by two. Result: 7.

NOTE: If there had been an odd number of half values, you would use the next lower number and allow more space between words than normally required.

4. Set the zero of the scale at the vertical line about which the lettering is to be centered and mark off seven spaces to the left and right of zero.

5. Start the L of the word LEROY in the title at the left mark and continue to the end. The right edge of the G should fall on the mark to the right.


Pens should be cleaned thoroughly with water after use and stored properly in the lettering set case. Never wash them under running water in a sink. The pen and cleaning pin may accidentally be washed down the drain. If water does not clean a pen satisfactorily, a diluted solution of ammonia may be used. Commercial pen cleaning solutions and pen cleaning kits are available. Caked or dried ink can be removed by soaking the pens overnight in a cleaning solution; however, the pens may corrode if soaked longer. Cleaning pins should be handled with care because they are fragile and easily bent, especially the smaller ones.

The screw that holds the pen in the scriber should never be screwed too tightly, as the fine threads tend to strip very easily.

Templates should be cleaned after every use. Dirt and dried-on ink are very easily transferred onto an otherwise clean drawing. You must ensure that the template grooves are kept free from all foreign matter and that the tracer pin does not cut into the sides of the grooves. In order to form perfect letters every time, you must make sure that the tracer pin slides along the grooves smoothly. When small templates are used, a small sharp tracing pin must be inserted in the scriber.

If a sharp tracing pin is used in the larger templates, the grooves of the templates will be damaged.


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