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Reasons to use a template+router for a 1-off body shape?

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I have read a lot about creating an MDF template and using a router to shape the body. I've also read a lot about tear-out and unintended firewood creation.

I'm only making one body, so I have no need for reproducibility. I'm also very attached to this particular piece of wood. Are there still advantages to the template+router method that I should consider? It seems like getting close to the line with the bandsaw and then sanding the rest of the way with a drum sander & disc sander might be both faster overall and less fraught with peril. 

What say you? :)


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For a one-off I see no problem with your method for the body outline or a headstock shape. It may even be quicker.

You will find that some templates are still required for other operations though - neck pocket, pickup cavities, taper of neck, control cavities etc. A lot of these shapes are largely just straight lines which will simplify their construction.

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I would still go with making a template.

Making a mistake on a piece of MDF is easily rectified. Making a mistake on your precious piece of wood is another thing.

You don't have to use a router but can use the template with a sanding drum provided you have or can rig up a suitable follower. 

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