Our Model N is an early (#3) car, and I'd like to have a brass script made like the one shown in the pic below. The first Ns seen at piquet show this same script message, "Ford Runabout".
I've inquired before, but the reply has been "sent us a template". I can send the radiator dimensions, however have no idea how to create a "fancy" script template.
Get a chunk of brass and a jeweler's saw along with some very fine saw blades, then go to the kitchen table or your work bench and whittle one out of that chunk of sheet brass. Here is a less involved one I made for our 1906 Moline in an evening.
Ron, Scan the first photo, blow in up to the full size of the radiator and trace it onto cardboard. With all the good photos you have and a little tweaking I think you could get a close to perfect template. I did that for my Buick and cut it out of sheet Brass and it worked out very well.
If yo have a steel supplier nearby take the picture and have them scan it and blow it up to your full size and have it water jet or Plasma cut. They usually only charge by the pound if you supply the Pgm. You obviously don't so they will charge for that. I can ask our local. Tacoma Steel.
Another way would be to contact Torchmate and ask them about doing it for you if you let them put pictures of your car on their website.
Here's the low tech method I used when I made the artwork for reproducing old signs.
Find a picture of your subject. In this case, probably that first one above because it's a straight-on front view.
Make an enlargement the size you want on a copier. If the enlarged image is too big to fit the paper, do it in sections and tape them together.
Tape your enlargement to the back of a sheet of white tag and put it on a light table so that the image shows through the tag.
Using rulers, protractors, and other (usually plastic) curved templates to produce even edges, trace the outline in black ballpoint (markers bleed).
When you have your image traced, it's ready to cut out and use as a stencil to mark where you're going to cut the brass.
Try these guys:
You could get a local nameplate outfit to make the artwork and the plate. Here is another approach using Microsoft Power Point:I used this technique to create a 18 inch high by 96 inch long banner for my mother's 95 birthday. Select a font most like your original and make your artwork. Don't worry about size, just font. Now save it as a jpeg. Paste it into Excel and adjust the size to what you like. You can print it out on multiple sheets of 8-1/2 x 11 to get your template. If this is more than you can handle, bribe a local high school student to do it for you.
To elaborate on Steve Jelf's post:
You don't have to enlarge the entire radiator. You already know what the dimensions of the radiator are because you have a car in the garage that you can measure. You just need to enlarge the script.
Using algebra and a copy machine, you can figure out how much to enlarge the script in the photo so it is the correct size.
1) print the photo
2) measure the radiator in the photo
3) measure the radiator on the car in your garage
4) using algebra, figure out how much you will need to enlarge the script in the photo so it is the correct size
5) copy and enlarge the photo on a copy machine - you may have to do this in sections
6) optional - print the full size copy on graph paper
My dad and I used this method to replicate some of the intricate striping on his Waverley Electric so we would have a full size template for the striper. We measured and took a photo of the original striping on the car and enlarged it on a copy machine using algebra to determine how much enlargement was required to obtain a full size copy for the striper.
make an outline dwg of any convenient size with the shape you want and to scale. most laser or water jet shops can do a digital scan of the artwork to produce a program and make it any size you want. check with your local metal fab shop.
Create the template as outlined in the posts above, or even just the enlarged photo and take it to MetalWorks, Inc. in Lincoln at 3rd and P Street. They can laser cut it from brass sheet stock. Don't know what the cost would be, but at least it is a local company to work with.
Laser will not cut brass. Water jet will but you need to be aware of the kerf width. If you can get a few guys to go along who also want one then the best way to do it is to create a .dxf file of the artwork as a line drawing. Brass is rather expensive so if you do it in CAD you get to make all your mistakes there and not on the brass. I did a radiator script for a 1908 Knox it was super sharp. I did the artwork and then had my waterjet guy cut it out. A little work with the buffing wheel and it was perfect. I don't like cleaning up pictures since the fuzzy edges don't come our very nice. I regenerate a new artwork and then it can be blown up the size of a football field and still be super sharp. How good of a picture do you have?
Thank you for all the great ideas. John, this is my best photo (first one) so not very good. Steve, I'll check with the Lincoln business. Thank you all for the PMs with helpful pointers. You all have very helpful and I really appreciate your suggestions,
You might try this place, they have thousands of patterns for radiator scripts, maybe the one you are looking for is there.
Spend all your time looking for the best photo or line drawing you can find of this item. Your final brass piece will only be as good as that picture or line drawing. You really cannot "clean up" details that are not there at all.
That's some kick tail striping.
Just playing with Powerpoint, I came up with this in 15 minutes, not exact, but in the ballpark.
I saw in your "Model K coming home" thread that you will be in Dearborn later this summer. You might check at the Benson library to see if you can find the original drawing of this script. Just a thought.
Nice job Ted, I am going to get a quote for this. Rob, if you like this or want something different put up a picture.
You can use Ted's image, blow it up, and add the missing little details by hand. Then, paste the whole page onto a sheet of brass and use a jigsaw to cut out the script. Then just soak off what's left of the paper and do some finish filing and sanding to the cut edges. Works great and takes less time then you might think.
For fragile areas, like the flourish on the "R", add a small "brace" to attach the outer end back to the "T". Later, you can paint that area flat black to hide it.
If you want to play with Powerpoint, you can tweak the image and make it more pristine. You may want to group the images in the file before you print it. Like I said before you can paste the image into Excel and print it on two sheets if the size you want won't fit on 8.5 x 11. Cutting and splicing the sheets is pretty simple.
If you want the Powerpoint file, send me a PM its too large to post. (372kb)
I think that the swept line from the r in Ford and the R in Runabout actually meet at the t in runabout.
Nice work on the style, l'm almost tempted to do one for my runabout.
Once you get the design worked out, we have a very capable water jet outfit here AND I have some nice brass ( have used it to made radiators with)
Thank you all. Les, I sent a PM. You've all been very helpful,