"E-Gauge" - Instructions

There are four measurements necessary to use the Index to "The Plating Of The Penny". They are taken in pairs on each of the check letters and the gauge is positioned with the base line resting on the frame line of the letter square. The proper position for the base line is AT THE CORNER OF THE LETTER SQUARE, not opposite the letter! To enable you to see the exact position, the base line is a series of hash marks rather than the solid line of the original physical gauge. The 'contact' point is illustrated below in an image. Please note that any 'effect of the serifs' are to be discounted.

The "E-Gauge" is also stepped on the contact line instead of being a solid line at an angle as with the physical gauge. This was done to give a definite breakover of the 30ths of a millimeter, to be read as the datum point evenly or with a plus (+) or minus (-) factor added.

You DO use these ± factors as part of the entry of the datum in the Index.

Other Terms used in the FB Notations

I'd suggest having a notepad (physical or electronic) open and record your measuring as a list in the following manner:

Check Letters ... Left Side ... Left Bottom ... Right Bottom ... Right Side

With Allan's idea of layering of the sections of the "E-Gauge", the Left Side, both Bottom measurements and finally the Right Side data were soon obtained on one page. As it took another step to shift off one 'gauge' to use another, the "E-Gauge" is now one piece. Movement of the "E-Gauge" is accomplished by dragging with the mouse and finally nudging into position by ONE pixel shifts through the four on screen arrows.

Your stamp is to be scanned in at 800 ppi.

Crop closely and in a 6x7 ratio for best use in these pages.
{666 pixels wide x 777 pixels high is ideal and has some margin}

As scanners vary in producing true 800 ppi scans and as the stamps themselves, due to the wetting process have varying sizes, a Size adjustment is provided to check your scan against an idealized Penny width of 18.8 mm. The accuracy with which you make this adjustment will also affect how well the "E-Gauge" overlays your scan.

The grid on the Size overlay was drawn on the millimetre scale of the actual physical gauge. Placement is to be with the dotted vertical lines overlaying the framelines of the stamp with the most reliable position being where its base line is just under the top of "One Penny".

You must have the bottom frame line as level as possible. Some scanners offer an automatic 'straighten', This may or may not work, perhaps picking up on the cut edge rather than the frameline. Your graphics program should have a measuring tool that you can place a guide line along the base and then rotate the stamp to be level. PhotoShop automatically enters the angle from its 'measurer' into the 'Arbitrary Rotation' dialogue box.

On both the Measure and Comparator pages, many elements may be dragged and the stamp being plated may be sized. Sizing is accomplished by holding the SHIFT key while dragging with the mouse.

NOTE: Because we are now working at a much higher enlargement and as the "E-Gauge" has 'hard' edges, your measurements may be a factor too high. The 'feathered' edge of the physical gauge made the contact point seem to happen earlier, thus a slightly lower measurement value. The Index allows selectable ranges, set at loading for ±3 'points', so your stamp should still fall within the search. The books and other comparisons are still the final determination of Plate.

Good Hunting!

John A. McCulloch
with some minor updates by Maurice Buxton