Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Idea Factory

Well, the whole stencil idea is not going to work at all. I mean really, really not going to work. It is so far away from working that I am going to deny I ever had the idea in the first place.

“Stencil!?! Oh, God no, that would never work! You obviously have no idea what you’re talking about. What is this, amateur hour?”

The stencil idea, which I’m not saying I had, works like this. You first use your favorite word processor and print out the words in the font and point you want. The stencil paper, which is a translucent plastic paper with adhesive on one side, is applied over the print out. The adhesive is similar to the adhesive used on Post-It notepads in that you can easily peel it off and stick it again someplace else. You then take an Exacto Knife and cut out the letters while at the same time cutting through the stencil paper. You are left with a stencil of the words. You then peel off the stencil and apply it to what ever you want.

The problem I had, if I had had this idea in the first place, which I’m not say I did, was the letters were too small. The space I had to write was only 1.5X2.5-inches. Even at 40 point font, which is huge for normal every day printing, it too small. There are just too many places where the letters go down to razor thin lines. On top of that you have the letters “b”, “d”, and “o” that have the center hole. If I had the hands of a surgeon and a magnifying glass I might have been able to do it. But I don’t, so I couldn’t.

This was actually the third idea I had, or didn’t have, depending upon who you ask. The first idea was to have it engraved. No one engraves on wood. I found a place that would engrave on key chains they supplied for about $15 each, including the cost of the key chain, but they only had key chains in the shape of lightening bolts, dog tags, and broken hearts. Not exactly the look I’m going for. The other idea was stick on letters. They make zillions of these in all kinds of different fonts. Still, the stick-on letters just wasn’t it.

After the failure yesterday of the idea I never had I was really stumped about what to try next and then it hit me: A Rubber Stamp. There is a place in downtown I’ve driven by hundreds of times and it’s called, of all things, “The Rubber Stamp Company of Eureka”. They cater mostly to the business set, selling stock rubber stamps, and they make name tags, and all kinds of things like that, and they also make custom rubber stamps.

So for about $15 I’m getting a custom rubber stamp exactly the size I need and it will be ready on Friday. They had a whole slough of fonts to chose from. They pretty much had all the same fonts that come with MS Word so of course they had the exact same font that I was, or was not, trying to make the stencil out of. There was some concern that it might not stamp well on wood but I happened to have a few extra of the redwood key chains made and we were able to do a test stamp. It seemed to work fine. I was able to leave the key chain with them so they will make it fit in the largest font possible to take up as much room as possible. Pretty damn cool, if I do say so myself.

No comments: