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Thread: How to do small font

  1. #1

    Default How to do small font

    What font and bit do you use for very small font?
    How small can CW make font?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Northern Colorado


    In the search box type in "small font" including the quote marks. Discussion clear back to 2008.
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  3. #3


    I use Centerline text with the 60 degree bit. But it is extremely important to pick a compatible font. You simply cannot carve very small text with just any font.

    Rather than a specific font, I will give guidelines.

    Avoid a font with thin strokes, like this one (Century Gothic). The reason is that Centerline plunges the bit to depth based on the width of the stroke. If you think about why this is, then you understand why a thin stroke is no good - the bit will barely scratch the surface.

    Choose a font with thick, consistent strokes, like this (Franklin Gothic Medium). This one is not bad because most all the strokes are thick, but notice that parts of the lowercase s are thinner (what I mean by consistent) and could be problematic. So,

    CONSIDER USING ALL CAPS. Notice that the thickness of the s strokes appear to be thicker now.

    Another consideration is the size of closed areas in the font, such as the inside of the lowercase e. If that area gets to be too small, it will likely chip out. Of course there is a trade-off between the thickness of the stroke and closed areas - the thicker the stroke, the smaller the closed area generally.

    Try using or not using Bold to see which is best to balance closed areas and stroke width. Also, space the letters farther apart from one another with the Text Spacing tool in the text tool window. In the Franklin Gothic Medium example, I would do that.

    Also important is wood choice. Woods like cedar and pine are more likely to chip and leave ragged edges. I suspect hard maple would be good.

    Because the 60 degree bit carves deeper than the 90 for any given font, it is better for small letters because neither bit is going carve very deep. If you're not careful, it's easy to sand into oblivion small text carved with the 90 degree bit.

    Experiment with all these parameters on scraps first - well, that should be obvious, no?

    (Not sure if the fonts that I used in this post are going to display properly on all computers, so actually use the fonts in Designer on your computer.)

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