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Thread: Reading hidden labels

  1. #1
    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    Reading hidden labels

    Got a label plate on the back of a machine that, because of its location, is impossible to read? Set your point and shoot camera to macro mode, autofocus and snap a photo. Flash may create too many hot spots in the resulting image. Usually, you'll have better results turning the flash off and illuminating the label with a shop light.

    Pop the resulting photo into any image manipulating software (there are some good free ones) and you can magnify and diddle the brightness and contrast until you can read what you need to.

    BONUS HINT:

    Many folks remove these label plates when repainting a machine and destroy the fasteners in the process of removal. Then they don't know what the name of those fasteners are when they go to order more. They're called "drive screws" and look something like a rivet with woodscrew threads on the shaft.
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    Frank S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mklotz View Post
    Got a label plate on the back of a machine that, because of its location, is impossible to read? Set your point and shoot camera to macro mode, autofocus and snap a photo. Flash may create too many hot spots in the resulting image. Usually, you'll have better results turning the flash off and illuminating the label with a shop light.

    Pop the resulting photo into any image manipulating software (there are some good free ones) and you can magnify and diddle the brightness and contrast until you can read what you need to.

    BONUS HINT:

    Many folks remove these label plates when repainting a machine and destroy the fasteners in the process of removal. Then they don't know what the name of those fasteners are when they go to order more. They're called "drive screws" and look something like a rivet with woodscrew threads on the shaft.
    If they even bother to replace the plate or almost as bad, if they don't remove it they don't bother to protect it from a repaint.
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

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    Toolmaker51's Avatar
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    grandviewdoug (02-08-2017)

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    Great tip... I took the picture but couldn't get a good one; wish I'd thought of the editing software. In many cases you can also use an old CD as a mirror to hold in a good spot (or attach to those extension "grabbers" from the drugstore if it's a difficult reach). Again, it may require the area to be lighted....


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