Here is a quick tip. When I make my templates with MDF, I harden the edge with CA glue. This make a big difference. The bearing runs much smoother on it.
I made a short 60 second video about this here.
“Which CA?” The thin, fast setting is probably the right choice, as it penetrates the fibers. As for cheaping out and using poly, remember that poly is a film finish, it is not a penetrating finish, so it will not strengthen the template, but rather leaves about 2mil thick surface film that is easily subject to damage by the bearing or anything else. I would stick with the CA if it was an important template.
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