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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi guys, I'm turning the corner on my '65 XL convertible restoration and now have more things to put together than to take apart...Much more fun! Anyway, wanted to share a few items that I've had to make to get the concours details just right. I'm no graphic artist, but I've developed a workman's understanding of Adobe Illustrator enough to make myself some useful artwork for these odd jobs. Recently, I've been preparing my window-glass etching stencils, the paint inspection stamps, and a decal for the convertible-top frame. See what you think...
Hand Hood Automotive lighting Automotive tire Grille

Original decal still intact on my ‘65 Monterey. Good for reference.
Road surface Rectangle Asphalt Handwriting Font

Not difficult “art”, but getting the kerning and scale just right are the tricky parts. Anyway, this will do fine!

Hood Automotive lighting Automotive tire Automotive mirror Windscreen wiper

Hood Automotive lighting Bumper Automotive tire Vehicle door

a couple examples of my original Carlite etchings. These are interesting because of the Temp-R-Plate line. I’ve only seen that previously on rear window glass. Perhaps a plant-specific or date-specific type? My other ‘65s do not have that line, and I did have to modify my already-made files for this.
Rectangle Line Font Display device Screenshot

Sky Gesture Font Tints and shades Glass bottle

Font Wood Rectangle Flooring Hardwood

now to expose my screens for etching…stay tuned.

Finally, my paint-inspection stamps. Outside of a few poor examples, I was on my own on these. Anyway, the shape is fairly simple, but again, scale and font design are the keys. I’m happy with them.
Hood Automotive tire Grille Automotive lighting Motor vehicle

Hood Automotive design Vehicle Automotive lighting Font

Hood Motor vehicle Bumper Wood Automotive exterior
 

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This is amazing! You did such a great job on these. No way I could tell (though I'm not a concours judge).

Any chance you made an extra convertible frame top decal? 😉
 

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As a matter of fact, I do. My car has an aftermarket conv on it now, which I planned on replacing next Spring. And to top it all off...the instructions on that sticker are spot on because I neglected to follow them and broke the rear glass, so I need a new top anyway :(. This would make it much more legit and OBVIOUS to ME to not do that again.

I can throw you some $cratch for it!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Send me a PM. Also, on the subject...are you unzipping your window before putting it down? My PO told me he did the same with this car and the top shop told him he needs to always lower the window first...I'd never heard of that. My Monterey has a glass window, and it stacks just fine without ever unzipping. Seems very laborious...why bother with a power top if you need to do that?
 

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FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, if it's real glass always unzip it and stow it on the Galaxie!!! I was doing that every time I lowered the top and the one time I didn't it shattered like it was frozen with liquid nitrogen. Millions of tiny shard, thankfully all went into the well for the top. I wouldn't chance it at all with the Galaxie.

And I agree on the P.I.A factor, and the zipper is stitched to the actual fabric of the top, which eventually starts to pull away. Zipping it all the way closed was a curse-filled exercise every time, particularly in cooler weather when things got tighter. I don't drive mine in the rain or cold weather, so not having a window back there isn't a huge deal, but I hate that it's broken.
 

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Awesome work! (y) I'm sucking at how to do custom fonts, and any help would be appreciated.

I've been working towards the stencils I'll need to finish a military vehicle restoration. The stencils will be cut from stencil vinyl, but I need the correct fonts and graphics to "print" the cut stencils. A search of fonts for matching stencil lettering is not going well. The graphics part is no problem.

Do you have any suggestions for how to do limited font characters? How did you do it?
 

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Regarding the convertible top, I have a glass back window and I never unzip the glass before putting the top down and have never had an issue. I think if everything is adjusted properly the only thing the would cause glass breakage would be if there was something stored behind the seat. Also, when zipping in the back glass the trick is to not fully raise the top and latch it. Closing the top without latching leaves enough slack that you can easily zip in the rear window.

I think both issues are addressed in the owner's manual but I don't have it with me at the moment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Awesome work! (y) I'm sucking at how to do custom fonts, and any help would be appreciated.

I've been working towards the stencils I'll need to finish a military vehicle restoration. The stencils will be cut from stencil vinyl, but I need the correct fonts and graphics to "print" the cut stencils. A search of fonts for matching stencil lettering is not going well. The graphics part is no problem.

Do you have any suggestions for how to do limited font characters? How did you do it?
Thank you! Yes, font matching is a tiresome pursuit. I was fortunate to find a block stencil font to do the window etching "pips" that is a very, very close stand-in for the original. With super close inspection, you can see subtle differences, but a magnifying glass and protractor would need to be involved. I wanted an actual TT font so that I could make up batches of these for different cars and different date codes with a simple keystroke, so I was glad to find that. Actually, I believe it is a military-style stencil font. I'll see if I can get the exact name of it, it might be what you need.

For the Carlite graphic, of course there isn't a font out there that matches that, and it's kind of the central focal-point of the whole thing. That I had to do with vector art. Basically each segment is a shape created with the tools in Illustrator. I took high-res. images of the etchings, and used it as an overlay/underlay for matching the shapes, more-or-less tracing the lines. The cool part about vector art is that it is scalable without pixelation. You could do that for your "fonts" if you were just making one-off pieces. There is a learning curve, but lots of online help available. After I made the images, I scaled it to exact size and printed transparencies to lay over the originals to confirm everything is in the exact right spot. I have made up sets of '65/'66 variations from my last restoration to prepare myself for future projects, but the Temp-R-Plate curveball on this one made me have to backtrack a little. I'm making many more than I need with this batch too for future use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just to show you guys how I use these:

The finished silkscreen stencils look like this:

Sleeve Gesture Finger Material property T-shirt

Rectangle Textile Sleeve Grey Wall


Using original glass to find the right position (and whether on inside or outside), I place the stencil using an activator liquid that makes it cling on the smooth side, the etching process takes only about 30 seconds, then peel and rinse:
Rectangle Sleeve Flooring Floor Font
Gas Wood Metal Electronic component Nickel

Musical instrument accessory Gadget Font Metal Electronics accessory



Wood Road surface Bumper Automotive exterior Gas

Wood Gesture Finger Font Tool
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
This was another application for Illustrator. My hardtop data plate was worse for wear. I used the original plate from my '65 Mustang as a model, since it was already off the car. I had that one replaced by Marti, since I had changed the transmission, and wanted it to reflect that. On this one, it just needed the black field areas improved. I had considered screen printing it, but I wasn't sure I could get a good smooth transfer with the raised digits on the plate. I ended up using a waterslide decal, then clear lacquered over it for a nice look. I did the initial decal transfer with it still on the car. I ended up taking it off to lacquer and replaced the rivets during a repaint last year. I realized only after the fact that the full-size cars actually use a different Ford script for the main logo. Interesing minor difference, but I didn't think it was worth taking the extra time. Luckily, my current project's data plate looks great.


Font Gas Nameplate Fixture Metal

Rectangle Font Wood Material property Ruler
Fixture Dead bolt Door Gas Machine
Watercraft Automotive lighting Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle
 

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OMG, you're a maniac! Although, some level of obsession is required for concours I imagine. Thanks for all the great info, and yes, I'll try treating the stencil letters as graphics instead of fonts. Great idea! :sneaky:
 

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Regarding the convertible top, I have a glass back window and I never unzip the glass before putting the top down and have never had an issue. I think if everything is adjusted properly the only thing the would cause glass breakage would be if there was something stored behind the seat. Also, when zipping in the back glass the trick is to not fully raise the top and latch it. Closing the top without latching leaves enough slack that you can easily zip in the rear window.

I think both issues are addressed in the owner's manual but I don't have it with me at the moment.
The well was definitely empty and it broke less than halfway down. It is an aftermarket top (not sure the brand, the PO had it installed YEARS ago....and even gave me an extra one with the car). The top does not stretch well, so maybe the install was a bit wonky. But I'll redo it next Spring, hopefully with a better quality top.

That said, your suggestion on when to zip the rear window is excellent! I hadn't thought of that and it makes total sense. It was always the first step to unzip and the last step to re-zip when I took the car out. And I almost never drive it with the top up, so that was a lot of zipping being done, enough to start pulling the zipper stitching away from the fabric top.

Sorry to go OT, OP!!
 

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Using hydrofluoric paste for etching? A guy at state-level rod runs used to do parking-lot window etchings that way. Designs or anti-theft numbers, etc. Nice results. I heard he was trying to convert to micro-grit blasting (air-brush size grit blaster), but heard nothing later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Using hydrofluoric paste for etching? A guy at state-level rod runs used to do parking-lot window etchings that way. Designs or anti-theft numbers, etc. Nice results. I heard he was trying to convert to micro-grit blasting (air-brush size grit blaster), but heard nothing later.
Yes, acid paste etchant. Pretty reliable. Takes 30 sec. Just have to make sure stencil is well affixed to the glass. Fun, but a little nerve racking!
 

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Awesome job and that rear window decal is just the one I keep mentioning that by now is missing from most convertibles! I think mine the wording is a bit different but still basically says same on lowering window first. Looks like you got some practice in! They all look great!
 
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