Cricut lettering: time to admit defeat

I think I’ve taken Cricut masks beyond the tool’s limit. I can likely use the technique to make the large numbers, but the small (1.5mm/.06″) letters, “CANADA ATLANTIC” on the tank collar are simply too small for the knife-cut masks.

The best I could achieve was with two masks – one for the largely vertical parts, and another for the horizontals. I sprayed the verticals first, and after they dried, applied the second mask and sprayed the horizontals. The two masks enabled the middles of the A’s and D to remain attached, and also assisted with the N’s, which never cut very cleanly in one pass.

I used Tamiya masking tape, which is slightly diaphanous, making the registration of the second mask almost of possible. However, even with see-through tape, it was very difficult to line up the second mask. Despite overlapping the masks by about 0.12mm (.005″), I still have gaps between verticals and horizontals in places.

So, while it may still be the case that Cricut masks are a good way forward for railway insignia, the minimum achievable size is not sufficiently small for my use on #622. Decals or dry transfers, here I come!

2 thoughts on “Cricut lettering: time to admit defeat

  1. Well, at least you already have the artwork for the decals. My understanding is that the film historically used for dry transfers has all but dried up and so that is a much harder route to go these days. Personally I liked dry transfers, but times change. A brief comment from Archer on the topic is here:

    1. My go-to guy for dry transfers is All Out Graphics in West Van. He is still producing. However, I’m working with Allen Ferguson at Black Cat for this, which may enable us to offer it to more people than just me.

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