Templates make construction projects more efficient and accurate. How to make a template for woodworking? Let’s click on the post to get the detailed guide.
Templates are extremely useful in woodworking, without a doubt. They are low-cost but effective and accurate in shifting any spatial measurements to a flat surface or sheet material.
How to make a template for woodworking? Basically, you can perform this task in eight steps, including:
- Step 1: Trace the lines
- Step 2: Cut the template
- Step 3: Sand the template
- Step 4: Trace the board
- Step 5: Cut the board
- Step 6: Attach the template with the board
- Step 7: Rout the board
Let’s take a closer look at the article below to learn more!
How To Make A Template For Woodworking?
It’s time to delve into the comprehensive guides to create an example wood pattern. Let’s scroll down!
Step 1: Choose The Material For The Template
The first important step in this DIY project is to choose a suitable material. The pattern can be made from various materials, while the three most popular ones in the woodworking world are plywood, hardboard, and MDF.
Among them, experts recommend investing in plywood. The reason is it is solid, flat, and smooth to shape with sandpaper and files. For repeated use, it’s better to choose a hardboard because it can keep a sharp edge better.
When selecting the material, you need to pay attention to its thickness. To know which thickness is suitable for your wor, turn two questions over your mind, including the number of times you use the pattern and how sharp you can keep the router bits.
For instance, if you use it with a dense frequency, it’s better to pick a thicker than a thinner one. That’s because, after several uses, the edge of this piece may start to show worn-out signs.
The material of your wood piece depends on your purpose, preference, and use frequency. In this post, we recommend using ¼” MDF or ½” hardboard.
Step 2: Trace The Lines.
Create and design desired shapes. While drawing, you can use any items with curves to pencil marks, such as the previous piece, a French curve, a compass, or freehand drawing.
Alternatively, you can design the shape of your wood piece on the computer using AutoCAD software, print the illustration, and use contact cement to adhere it to your pattern.
Trace the lines
Step 3: Cut The Template
You can use a bandsaw to cut along the previously drawn lines. The process is not complicated. The key here is when you make these cuts, you shouldn’t make the cuts directly. Instead, it’s better to cut on the outside of the lines.
While cutting, remember to obey safety rules. If you don’t have a bandsaw, it doesn’t matter. Let’s replace it with a jigsaw, instead.
Cutting wood pieces
Step 4: Sand The Template
You can apply a bandsaw or a jigsaw in this step, but you can’t get smooth curves. Hence, sandpapers, files, spindle sanders are better to soften the curves and give you more control.
This step is extremely fussy. Thus, you need to scrutinize your pattern thoroughly to ensure the curves and edges are even and fair. You can check by eye, feeling, or touching.
If you detect any flat spot or hump, you should take it back to the files or the spindle sander.
Pro Tips: When making it, you’d better extend its ends exceeding the length of your workpiece with a minimum of one or two inches.
In this way, the guide bearing can connect with the piece before the bit contacts the workpiece. It assures a smooth entrance and exit when cutting.
Sanding the wood piece
Step 5: Trace The Board
You need to place the pattern right on the board, and pencil marks the lines as techniques mentioned before.
Step 6: Cut The Board
Use a bandsaw (or jigsaw) to cut the board. Apply the same above method, make the cuts a little bit outside of the board.
Cutting the hardboard
Step 7: Attach The Template With The Board
You can use any tape like blue painter’s tape or a double-sided one to keep two things in one place. After that, take the piece to get it lined up with the already square edges.
Step 8: Rout The Board
There are many kinds of routers, but you should choose the one with a spiral bit. If you notice, there is a bearing on it at the top, which is designed to ride against your standard wood pattern. Set the router and start routing.
It’s all done!
Routing the wood patterns
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Safety Guidelines For Making Template
While making the wood pattern, you must always follow the safety guidelines below:
- Always apply the guard on the table saw.
- Always wear safety glasses.
- Avoid wearing long-sleeved shirts.
- The piece must be big enough to separate your hands from a bit.
- You need to fasten the pattern securely to the workpiece.
- You must position the steel screws, clamps, and nails out of the path of the bit.
- The wood piece must enlarge beyond both ends of the workpiece.
- Apply light cuts to create smoother surfaces.
- Install a guard when using router tables.
- Avoid climb cutting as the router bit can grasp the workpiece and pull your hands toward the bit.
The Bottom Line
The article has eventually got to the bottom of your question: How to make a template for woodworking? Creating a template is not as difficult as you think.
In this procedure, remember to choose the suitable material and follow safety guidelines to perform the job in absolute safety.
Hopefully, these all-inclusive instructions will be helpful for your DIY task. Thanks for reading, and see you in the next post!