Awards & Engraving

December '17

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A&E DECEMBER 2017 • 19 Laser Engraving Data problems usually occur on the path from the computer via the software package used to design and process a graphic, through the connection to the laser, into a data storage area, then through a device that communicates to a reader that orders the laser to operate. Anywhere along this path there can be a data error that affects the final product. Keeping this pathway clean, both in the sense of contaminants and pathways, is important. "Clean your encoder strip," is often the first comment heard when a job doesn't engrave properly. TYPOGRAPHICAL ERROR I can speak from experience on the typo issue. These are just a few of the words that give me a hard time: 'member' misspelled as 'memeber'; 'Psalms' comes out as 'Pslams'; and '2011' was engraved several times as '2001' or even '20011'. Most of the times this happened, it was on my material and I just redid the work. There was no way to properly fix that knife; all I could do was apologize to the client. To avoid this in the future, I tried to figure out why these happened. I think I found the answer, at least for me. All were caused by what I call a 'typing rhythm' problem. To correctly type 'psalms', typing goes from hand to hand like this: right(p), left(s), left(a), right(l), right(m), left(s). It feels odd doing that. The typo is made by the tendency to go with alternate hands – right(p), left(s) right(l), left(a), right(m), left(s). It happens to me almost every time I type the word. Now, when that word comes along, I slow down, leave the spell checker on, and proofread before I do the job. The mistake with the year, which happened to my work at least four times in 2011, had to do with the way I thought out the numbers while typing. I would think, 'two-thousand eleven," and type with every syllable of 'two thousand', adding that second pesky zero. I had to force myself to think 'twenty eleven' instead. DOG GONE IT! Sometimes, the mistakes are the clients'. Terry and Steve Beau- champ, master woodworkers in Modesto, California, made a unique wedding gift for a client, only to find out that the client had given them the wrong date. Their fix was to inlay a scroll-shaped piece of thin plywood with the correct date where the wrong date was. It was a simple, elegant solution. One of the most common mistakes is a typo. Be sure to double check all spelling before proceeding with the job.

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