I like an 18-inch overall height. Here’s why: It’s not just about overspray protection, it’s also about strength.
- If you’re not too confident about spraying the stencil a 2-inch edge distance is scary. A 3-inch edge distance isn’t as scary. On a 12-inch NO PARKING stencil the overall height would be 18 inches, not 16 inches. There would be 3 inch of edge distance above the 12-inch lettering and 3 inches of edge distance below the 12-inch lettering (3 inches + 12 inches + 3 inches = 18 inches).
- If you want these stencils to last any amount of time a 3 inch edge distance offers much more strength than only having a 2 inch edge distance.
Once you’ve decided on material, thickness and edge distance take a look at the lettering. Make sure the lettering is as wide as you want it to be and also make sure the “brush stroke” is as wide as you expect.
If you’re about to choose a 24-inch STOP stencil, how wide are the letters? I’ve seen some listed as 9 inches wide but I prefer a 12-inch width for a 24 inch height. And how wide is the brush stroke? I’ve seen a 2-inch brush stroke on stencils of this size but I prefer a 4-inch brush stroke on a 24-inch STOP. I like the balanced look of it. It does a great job.
Once you’ve examined these four aspects of stencils then and only then compare pricing. It’s important but selecting the wrong stencil for the work you do can cost you on every job you do.
Dan Zurcher, owner/operator of American Striping Company, Columbus, OH, is author of “How I Stripe a Parking Lot…16 Years…By Myself.” He will make his first National Pavement Expo presentation, “Improving Efficiency on Your Striping Jobs,” on Thursday, Feb. 16 in Memphis. Dan has produced numerous “how-to” striping videos, offers his “Mr. Box” Kit for stripers, and distributes stencils and other striping-related products through http://www.americanstriping.com. For information on NPE including a description of Dan’s seminar visit www.nationalpavementexpo.com.