Jump to content

Making Molded Router Templates


Recommended Posts

I was at a store looking for some India ink earlier today, when I came across some self-hardening modeling clay. That led me to think about using it (or something similar) to make a molded router template.

Has anyone tried?

Specifically, I was thinking if it worked, it could be a good method for making a perfect neck pocket template for an existing neck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you ever seen hardened modelling clay? It's quite brittle over long lengths, even the Fimo stuff which is oven dried. I've got a large tub of the air drying stuff for sculpting & I wouldn't dare use it for making jigs. I can't really imagine how it would be used for a jig either...sure you could get the profile of the neck or whatever but it would take a lot of effort to get a flat, even surface to route on.

I'd stick to pencil, card & plywood/MDF

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Thanks for the replies.

Maybe something similar to, but not, modeling clay. Something more liquid that would self-level for a reasonably smooth horizontal surface. Then a wooden template could be made from it.

I'll have to play around with this idea and see what I come up with. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are threads somewhere on here discussing the use of Bondo to create templates. I did this once myself with moderate success... I will take some practice with the stuff to make it work for you. Basically I cut an oversized neck pocket into my body template, filled the edges with bondo, and then positioned a neck template correctly in the slot. I used wax paper between the neck template and the bondo so that it could be removed easily after the bondo hardened. After it hardens you can sand the bondo to fix any imperfections.

It was a lot of work and I didn't think it came out any better than just cutting a regular template out of ply or mdf. ymmv

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only reason I thought of it really, is I find it very difficult to cut a perfect neck pocket template by roughing out and fine-tuning.

Maybe I just really need to get a good template guide kit for my router. :D

Template kits rely on perfectly centred spindles, which is never a given, certainly not on cheaper routers, and not even on good quality routers.

For neck pocket templates, well, you've got David Myka's Neck Jig, posted in the tutorials area I think (one of the pinned topics). Pretty idiot-proof, although it won't do Gibson-style tenon-narrower-than-the-end-of-the-neck type joints quite so elegantly or easily.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...