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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I am new to the forum and would like some advice please, I work in a guitar shop and we want to start to make our own Guitar Pickguards.
What is the best material for templates ? I know MDF is very popular for one - off items, but the templates will be used multiple times.
Is Acrylic or Polycarbonate good for a template ? and have them CNC cut so 100% accurate.
Appreciate any advice.
Many thanks, Mark.
 

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Welcome N/A to Router Forums..
acrylic is nick sensitive and will crack/break...
polycarbonate is good...
Baltic Birch is another good one and it is repairable...
 

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I usually use 9mm MDF and cover with Laminex as shown. The second template was made from a Laminex covered kitchen door recovered from a roadside skip together with many more. Off-cuts of Laminex can usually be obtained FREE from the skips behind Kitchen/bathroom workshops, with permission of course!
Even with my much used templates the inside edge of the templates has never given me any problems, but iron on edging strip can be used.
 

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David
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Welcome to the forum, Mark! When you get a minute go ahead and complete your profile with first name and location - this helps us to help you and will virtually eliminate being called N/a...

While I'm not in a guitar shop, I do work on guitars and have started building acoustic guitars, and I use MDF for most of mine. But I'm sure your volume of work far exceeds mine. Like Stick said, Baltic Birch is repairable and makes good templates. That will probably hold up longer than MDF. You can take it a step further and do what Harry said about covering them. I do seal my MDF templates with a couple of coats of Nitrocellulose sanding sealer and this seems to help them over time.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi everyone ! Thanks so much for the advice, I think Polycarbonate is the way to go and get the templates CNC cut from my PDF files..
I am totally new to routing, never done any woodwork but looking forward to starting.
 

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What everyone else is calling templates, I call masters. I make a perfect one out of 1/2" plywood, glue that to another piece of plywood, rout that, and end up with a perfect 1" thick master. I happen to like plywood, and hate MDF.
 
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For maximum durability use cloth-reinforced phenolic plastic (e.g Tufnol Whale), Outlasts other plastics by a long way
 

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Some of these products aren't economical for hobbyists, with limited runs expected.
If for instance one expected a maximum of 20 items (all identical) over a period of up to a couple of years total.
What would be the most practical and cost effective?
Again, perhaps the size and complexity of the components would be a major factor?
If you were making ribs for a canoe, would an expensive 'plastic' be economical?
 

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Some of these products aren't economical for hobbyists, with limited runs expected.
If for instance one expected a maximum of 20 items (all identical) over a period of up to a couple of years total.
What would be the most practical and cost effective?
Again, perhaps the size and complexity of the components would be a major factor?
If you were making ribs for a canoe, would an expensive 'plastic' be economical?
I tried several material for my masters, when I first started making them. MDF, and so on mostly. Didn't like any of them, for various reasons. But then when I hit on the two layers of 1/2" plywood, I was content. I work mostly with 1/2" plywood anyway, so no extra $ laid out. I have made masters to use for just two or three items, then tossed the masters - beats the heck out of trying to make identical copies otherwise. So far I have not worn a master out. Partly this is because most of them are upgraded/changed, as I go along, and the old ones tossed, so in effect I am normally working with relatively new masters. Plywood is not the first choice of everyone, I know. But I have been very happy with my choice, partly because that 1" thickness gives me a much better grip on the masters, especially with a smaller one - but if I'm routing something way smallish, I make a master with handles or something on it, so I can still get a good grip.
 
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Some of these products aren't economical for hobbyists, with limited runs expected.
For very short runs I've generally used 12mm MR-MDF which is denser than ordinary MDF and resists damp better. Cheap, too, and NO voids.

Another cheap material is acrylic scavenged from the local sign shop. Often they'll give you scrap, offcuts or even complete sign boards which have been ripped out and replaced.

Tufnol for templates I get from an industrial supplier, but I go in and rummage through their offcuts shelves for what I want - generally very cheap in comparison to virgin sheets and at least two suppliers I know sell the offcuts by the kilogram at about 1/3 to 1/4 of the square foot price of full sheets

So despite using "exotic" materials I'm actually paying buttons for the stuff
 

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Eric there are some of us who don't live where it's easy to find those items. I usually use mdf or particle board. A light sanding makes both smooth and a coat of slightly diluted glue will toughen them up. But I generally don't plan to make lot of anything. That would seem more like work than fun. If i wee to do that I think i would use a plastic as you suggest or aluminum.
 
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Welcome to the forum ! As far as template material, I know of some people that use corian that they get from the sink cutout from counter top makers.



Gary
 

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I usually use 9mm MDF and cover with Laminex as shown. The second template was made from a Laminex covered kitchen door recovered from a roadside skip together with many more. Off-cuts of Laminex can usually be obtained FREE from the skips behind Kitchen/bathroom workshops, with permission of course!
Even with my much used templates the inside edge of the templates has never given me any problems, but iron on edging strip can be used.
The US, UK and Australia are all countries separated by a common language. What are laminex and a skip in American, please?

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
 
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