Date Strips

Date Strips

Our studio can work with your scanned rubbings (or you may mail them to us) or we can work with photos. Rubbings are more accurate than photos, since a photo is made by a round lens that tries to pack the image into a rectancular space. There are distortions, especially around the edges. And if you don't shoot the photo with a ruler included in the picture we can't know the actual size. That's because we don't know precisely how far your camera was from the surface of the stone.

Tips for submitting rubbings:

  • Use a tennis ball when rubbing. This gives us much more detail, and we need that detail - especially for details such as serifs. 
  • Hold your rubbing paper still. If we have overlapping or duplicate images it gets confusing, and it is difficult to be accurate.

Tips for submitting photos: 

  • Place your face and camera perpendicular to the surface of the stone. If you shoot the photo from an angle (like standing up and shooting down at the bottom of a die) all the vertical lines will move toward converging at the railroad tracks that seem to get closer together in the distance. 
  • Move in close. We can see more detail that way. 
  • Place a ruler in your photo. When we import your photo it will be HUGE. 1" letters may be several inches tall on our screen. Including a ruler will help us reduce the photo to actual size and ensure accuracy.

1. Rubber

Stencil cutters require some stencil before and after the cut area. This is for the rollers/grippers to hold on to the stencil. The minimum amount of rubber used for a date strip is 6". Rubber is $1.75 per inch. So the minimum rubber charge will be $10.50. If you need stencil larger than a strip (to cover a panel or entire monument) please let us know. Stencil is $1.75 per inch.

2. Photos

We can match photos. Photos must be shot from straight on, and not at an angle. You must also include a ruler in the photo so we'll know how much to enlarge or reduce the photo. Photo stretching and sizing is $5 per image.

3. Rubbings

If you scan a rubbing we can work directly from your file. Just email it to us as a JPG, and you're set. No extra charge. If you save it as a PDF be aware that PDFs sometimes place a small border around the edge of a scan, and the size we see here may be smaller than the rubbing you scanned. So please use JPG format. If you send a rubbing we can scan it for you. Scanning is $5.00 per scan, and we can assemble multiple scans if your rubbing is larger than 8 1/2" x 11".

4. Layout & Positioning

We will adjust kerning and leading to match dates shown in your rubbing or photo. This is a minimum of $10.00.

5. Font Identification

If we can quickly identify the font as a standard monument font, and if it's a match, there is no extra charge. There are many Modified Roman fonts made by many different companies including MonuCad, Gerber, and many more. All Modified Roman letters do not look alike. We may be required to search for a match. There is a minimum $10 charge. If we have to draw letters by hand this $10 charge will be deducted from the charge for hand drawing.

6. Modifying Characters or Hand Drawing

We can match characters in photos or rubbings. Duplicating characters costs $5.00 per character. Inventing characters where there are no characters shown in a rubbing or photo will cost between $5.00 and $10.00 depending upon the complexity of the character. Outlined letters cost $10.00. Foriegn language characters cost $10.00 and up. Be sure to send photos or rubbings of every character on the stone. We don't want to invent an R for a date of death when there is an R in the family name...and we weren't sent an image of the family name. You can end up with two different looking Rs, and no one wants that.

7. Revisions

Changes can be made, and the cost depends on what needs to be changed: spacing, redraw characters, add more characters or dates, etc. We will send a new proof when your revision is complete. Most revisions cost $5 - $15.

8. Cutting

Cutters and blades don't last indefinitely. Rather than hiding the cost of our cutter's time in your lettering, artwork, or rubber, we charge $.25 per character with a 12 character minimum. At a minimum this will cost $3.00.

9. Shipping & Handling

Depends on zone, weight and additional insurance if required. You may calculate an estimated shipping cost at . Stencil weight is approximately 1 pound per foot (30" wide). Insurance fees will add to the cost if applicable. Stencil is shipped via Priority Mail, which is usually a 2-3 day delivery. Most date strips can be sent in a small Priority Mail package for $10 - $12.

Given the information shown above the least a date strip can cost is:

  1. $10.50 - Rubber
  2. $ n/a - Photo Editing ($5.00 minimum if required)
  3. $ n/a - Scanning Rubbings ($5.00 minimum if required)
  4. $10.00 - Layout & Positioning ($10 minimum)
  5. $ n/a - Font Identification ($10.00 minimum if required)
  6. $ n/a - Modifying Characters or Hand Drawing ($5.00/character minimum if required)
  7. $ n/a - Revisions ($5.00 minimum if required)
  8. $3.00 - Cutting ($0.25/character or $3.00 minimum)
  9. $10.50 - Shipping


           $34.00 - Minumum Date Strip Stencil Cost

Multiple orders placed at one time can result in stencil and shipping savings.

Date strip proofs not resulting in a stencil order within 30 days will be billed all costs except rubber and shipping. Proof cost is determined by adding 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 above.

If you would like us to calculate a price please email us your image and date you need to Thank you!


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