Placing lasered acrylic inserts onto medals so they are straight can be tricky, especially in a production environment. It is one of those things that looks pretty easy, but in reality, round pieces of acrylic seem to move the slightest bit when pressing them on the medal.
To help with this issue, I use 1/32-inch-thick acrylic instead of the thinner 1/64-inch material. They are easier to handle and hide the rough spots under the inserts on the medals. This thickness also fits within the ridges of the circle holding the insert, so it does not protrude from the medal.
After removing the acrylic insert from the sheet, stick the insert to your index finger of your dominate hand (just a little bit), then place the insert over the medal until the last line is straight and push down with your other index finger so a small amount of adhesive is sticking to the medal. If you are satisfied with the fit and straightness, pull the index finger stuck to the top of the insert up and away from the medal, releasing the insert, while pushing down on the insert from the bottom and then towards the top.
It’s important to find techniques that work well in a production environment, especially today when there are so many interruptions to your work schedule. After a few times, this process will be quick, and you should not have to remove the acrylic inserts to straighten them very often.
-Bob Hagel, Eagle’s Mark