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How Do You Guys Make You Templates

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I use mdf, as well, for my templates. I refuse to use masonite for two reasons:

1) I prefer a 1/2" template, masonite is only available locally in 1/4".

2) I don't like the way masonite cuts, it seems to chip on the harder outer surface frequently and the inner core is so soft it is easily gouged.

As far as making the pattern goes, I cut with a bandsaw or jigsaw then rough in with a pattern makers rasp and finally smooth with a flexible sanding stick loaded with 80 grit sandpaper.

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to actually make templates i do:

body - i rough sketch it on my plywood, cut with a bandsaw then use a drum sander to make everything flush

neck pocket - a straight piece of pine and a router. Double stick tape the the straight piece of wood to the outline of the neck and then use a cutter bit

control cavity (long hotdog style one found on bronze BC riches) - I take one of those gigantic bits (forget the name) and drill two holes the right length. then i use a straight edges to connect the to holes and rout it out until where the part begins to curves. perfect round edges.

i do this two times, one big for the ledge, the other a bit smaller for the deep part

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I use 1/4"-3/8" MDF for the inital template; it's easy to work, consistent, etc. I then use that template to make a 'master' template in high quality birch ply, which is a good deal more sturdy. I don't trust acrylic because I've had a router bit bearing seize up and burn through it. Won't happen with 1/2" high quality ply.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We have used the 2x4 "handy panel" from the orange depot. They sand very well and do not dent like MDF or masonite. Make a master from 1/2 inch Acrylite.

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