Font2DXF will let you create single-line font artwork, and it has a number of appropriate fonts included. It will even automatically make a conventional font into a stencil, which is cool. Unfortunately, registering the software is $100. If it was $50 I might have jumped on it.
Output is DXF, and while my test showed Illustrator did NOT like these DXF files, it was possible to open them in LibreOffice Draw, export as SVG, and then get them into Illustrator.
A sort of, kind of similar FREE tool called Stickfont is available here:
It includes the ability to convert TTFs into the weird CHM format that it prefers, but I have not tried it.
As I was playing with this I realized there was another option for generating this kind of artwork, one that I already owned and overlooked. The $60 app that I use to drive my vinyl cutter is called Sure Cuts A Lot (SCAL). It is an Illustrator-lite, and unlike Illustrator, it includes the ability to correctly render single-line/open path fonts.
Try that in Illustrator and it mangles the glyphs when you convert to outlines.
I can confirm that after loading the SCAL-created SVG into Illustrator, it looks correct in outline mode–no doubled lines! However, only the CamBam fonts work. The Orach and MecSoft fonts don’t come out right.
I hope this helps someone!