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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-29-2015, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Question Best Template Material

I'm having trouble with my templates developing "soft spots" which cause snipes along the borders of the wood. I've used 1/4" hardboard and various types of plywood, each with the same results. The only thing that seems to work is plexiglass but it's too expensive.
Any suggestions ?
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-29-2015, 06:26 PM
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I've always used mdf ,usually 3/4" thick. I could see 1/2" working but not big on 1/4" thick templates
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-29-2015, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammer5573 View Post
I'm having trouble with my templates developing "soft spots" which cause snipes along the borders of the wood. I've used 1/4" hardboard and various types of plywood, each with the same results. The only thing that seems to work is plexiglass but it's too expensive.
Any suggestions ?
What do you mean by "soft spots"? If it's moisture just seal it with a clear coat.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-29-2015, 07:53 PM
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What do you mean by "soft spots"? If it's moisture just seal it with a clear coat.
Yep, I was thinking polyurethane, for both moisture and durability. I sealed hardboard glued to 1/2" plywood with a couple coats of oil based poly to make a kitchen work surface for a set of wire shelves (water based probably works as well and dries faster), taking care that the edges were saturated with the first coat. After a few days to let it dry the surface was extremely hard, and 1.5 years of abuse later it has superficial scratches from sharp knives and dragging heavy pots around, but nothing that compromises the coating.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-29-2015, 08:35 PM
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I use HPDE or chopping board material....

Can be purchased in flat sheets. I use 10mm or 13mm.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-29-2015, 08:37 PM
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I am also not sure what you mean by "soft spots". Hardboard should be good. I generally use 1/4" MDF but if moisture is the problem MDF would be no better. Sealing may be your best option.
Good Luck

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-29-2015, 10:07 PM
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3/8" MDF is awesome. Plus it is easily repaired with Bondo if you accidentally damage it.

1/4" works, but some of the template collars are almost that size.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-29-2015, 10:10 PM
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I've had good luck using laminate flooring for templates. It can be a bit rough on tools, but once it's sanded to size it's pretty impervious to moisture.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-30-2015, 05:45 AM
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I use tempered MDF, also called Masonite) and 1/4" thick most of the time. For templates that I will want to keep in good condition for a long time I prefer HDPE plastic (cutting board material). I usually buy 1/2 sheet (4 X 4') at a time from a local plastics supplier when they have it in stock, but I have also used about any other plastic sheet that they will sell me if the HDPE isn't available. I don't like to use clear plastic though. I prefer colors, any color over clear, because the clear ones seem to get lost in my shop too easily. Black isn't a very good choice for the same reason.

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-30-2015, 07:34 AM
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HDPE or MDF.
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