You guys, I cut these Genaille-Lucas rulers four times – once deciding that Med Walnut ply was too thin and not high enough contrast, once on defective Thick Cherry Ply, once on defective Thick Walnut ply, then once more on Med Walnut ply because I had sacrificed the first set to paint testing but no other PG was going to arrive in time – but in the final hours I am victorious and my best nerd is getting a super nerdy, all-lasered valentine.
There are lots of beautiful examples of rulers and boxes in the original thread, but never let it be said that I passed up a chance to over-design something, so I grabbed some of the lines from the division side and turned them into a pattern to decorate the sliding box lid. Here is a tip: do not be so precious about knocking out a small offset around your label text that you change perfectly score-worthy lines into engraves and cause your 9"x2" lid to take 1.5 hours to engrave. You’re welcome.
I decided to print a set of instructions that fit inside the box, wrapped with a “letterpress” belly band. I used a version of the pattern from the lid, engraved a printing plate, and ran it through my manual die cutter using a printing platform (sort of like a proofing press). I’ve been working on refining my printing plate engraving for about a month now and think I’m finally zeroing in on the look that I want.
I edited down the Wikipedia instructions for the rulers and used the SVG ruler file to put the graphics together. I’ve seen people engrave a QR code for instructions on the side of the box, which is a great solution, but I liked the idea of keeping the entire math ruler experience offline . This set took approximately one million hours and all of my patience, but I am really happy with the way it turned out.
The card is also “letterpressed,” using three different plates.
I’ve been using Draftboard for my plates and as you can see, big blocks of solid color are a challenge. I’m getting there, though. I’ve been adding registration notches and cutting custom chipboard registration frames for each set of plates, which works pretty well, especially if you, like me, are a misregistration fan.
Very many thanks to @bdm1 for posting the super cool SVG that happened to go perfectly with my nerd joke valentine!