Advice for smoothing up the edge of templates - Router Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-21-2012, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Default Advice for smoothing up the edge of templates

I'm just looking for some advice for this as I just finished my first one and tried routing it. I'm quite pleased with the result but in a few patches despite a lot of filing and sanding I still had some minor undulations, not really cut marks left over from the bandsaw but where theres more of a bump where the should be a consitent curve.

Can anyone suggest what I can do to get rid of this? I'm using plywood which I cut on a bandsaw, then gentle file, then sanded it with paper by hand or just wrapped round a cylinder (I dont own any power sander machines).

Maybe I should switch to MDF? Maybe a rougher grit of paper to start?

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-21-2012, 05:27 PM
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Hi Shesu

Just use a coarser grit. If needs be on a template for one time use you can repair with 2-pack car body filler and resand, or even use a gash template to make a new one in fresh material (with a template bit rather than a guide bush/bit), but reworking only the bad area(s)



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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-21-2012, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks I'll give that a go and see how it works =). Might try the car body filler thingy too.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-21-2012, 08:00 PM
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If you are having problems on a curve try to find a can the same size or smaller and wrap your sand paper around it.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-21-2012, 10:47 PM
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"I'm just looking for some advice for"
The thing here is to exploit the router itself. Given the right setup it and you, you can produce a templet that needs no hand work. Moreover, the cardinal rule of machining: whence produced, do not mess with a machined surface.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-22-2012, 09:14 AM
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MDF or Masonite work much better than plywood, they are a lot easier to sand smooth.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-22-2012, 10:10 AM
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I agree with all of the above.

I like to use 3/8 or 1/2 inch MDF for my templates, because it's tough, void free, and most importantly, cheap. I have long been a champion of using 'bondo' for repairing damaged patterns, but recommend copying a pattern after it is repaired.

A handy sander for gracefull curves is a piece of formica or flexible plastic with sandpaper glued to it. It is fairly flexible, and prevents you from taking too much off in any one spot.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-22-2012, 04:50 PM
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If it's for one-time use, wait, when does that ever happen?

All of my templates are two pieces of 1/2" plywood glued together. I cut the template in one piece, make it as perfect as I can, then glue that to another piece of 1/2" plywood, and when the glue sets then rout it out. I like to tack my templates down with 1 1/4" or so nails, so drill nail pilot holes. Then tack the 1" template to a piece to be routed. Rout. Look at the result. If it is not 'perfect' then I go over the template/master, and try again. At times I even remake my template, starting with the piece routed from the first. I have done this as often as three times, until I get it just as I want it. I do some figure banks that call for some quite precise pieces. I like the 1" thickness, because I find it a lot easier to handle and control when routing.

At times I have even been known to cut out a piece of a template, glue a new piece in, then shape that. But when I do that, usually I just rout out a piece for a new template, and go from there. Oh yes, I also write any need to know info on the template/master (I prefer to call them masters), and sometimes even the word MASTER; this prevents me from accidently using a master in a piece, then having to start all over again - been there, done that.

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Last edited by JOAT; 11-22-2012 at 04:54 PM.
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