December '20

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A W A R D S & C U S T O M I Z AT I O N 3 6 G R A P H I C S P R O D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 0 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M Y O U R L A S E R A T W O R K A rotary tool set provides tools for just about every- thing you might want to do with working with small or thin parts made from a variety of materials. A dental-type tool set; I used some of these tools every day. If the screws require a physical holder, finding a small slot and Phillips screwdriv- ers with holders is also a challenge. I found a few brands that offer good-quality products that are useful. Greenlee, Klein, and Vaco offer workable solutions. Tools for inset coins. Many government organizations, including the military and some travel sports teams, treasure challenge coins designed specifically for their organi- zation. They range in size from 1 1/4" to 2 1/4" although they can be as small as 1" to as large as 3". Holders that hold one or even a large col- lection of coins upright are available and fairly easy for a woodworker to make. I had many orders from military, police, fire, and other government agencies to inlay coins in plaques and wood bases. Lasering out an area deep enough to flat mount the coin is not economical. A router or rotary engraver can do the job. However, the fastest tool to use is a drill bit called the Fortsner bit. They can be pur- chased in sets or individually for the larger ones. A set up to 2 1/4" or 2 1/2" will meet almost all needs. Bits larger than 2 1/2" get expensive. Forstner bits can be used on a hand drill; however, drilling just the right depth and getting it perfectly flat takes lots of skill. A drill press makes the job much easier. Either a floor-standing or tabletop drill press will do the job. Make sure the drill press can accommodate fitting the largest plaque you are likely to encounter. Floor-standing models are deeper than tabletop models. Drill presses are good for any job requiring precision drilling depth, especially for large- quantity projects. These two tools together assure precision and clean-cut edges. Rotary tool. A rotary tool such as a Dremel assists with working with a lot of smaller parts. The list of attachments is long. From small drills, screwdrivers, grind- ers, sharpeners, saws, and sanders, there are many projects and maintenance chores that this tool is perfect for. A rotary tool comes with many attach- ments, and there are a wide variety of at- tachment kits. I added several attachments for cutting wood and a few for cutting metal. I always kept my rotary tool next to one of my work benches for easy ac- cess. I found a good economical source for tools that I used occasionally was Harbor Freight. The quality is reasonable, and the price is right. Dental-type tools. Dental tools come in handy when working with many materials. They can help you remove carrier sheets or plastic covers from sheet acrylic and push small objects from cutouts of text or graph- ics in wood. You can purchase sets online or at some hardware retailers. Picks, scrapers, and tools with small blunt points are useful. I used them every day at my shop. SOFTWARE Besides vector art and bitmap editors such as CorelDRAW, Adobe Illustrator, Corel PHOTO-PAINT and PaintShop Pro, and Adobe Photoshop, other software can en- hance your quality and production speed. Individual version purchase versus sub- scription. Corel and Adobe, as well as other software providers, offer subscriptions and/ or individual purchases. An individual pur- chase allows you to license the software forever. The number of computer devices it can be installed on varies. Subscriptions provide a smaller, annual dollar commitment. It provides access to every version upgrade and perhaps ad- ditional products or enhancements. The downside is that if the subscription is not renewed, at the end of the subscription you will have limited functionality of the software that was licensed during the sub- scription period; plan accordingly. A flat mounted coin inlay on a plaque for an Alaskan OES agency. Forstner bits are great for inlays, flat mounting coins, and creating holes in the backside of plaques to hold a nut for a bolt to a resin plaque mount.

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