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Thread: Template Material Suggestions

  1. #1

    Template Material Suggestions

    Im looking for some advice. I need to make three large templates. Each one is about 2 x 5. The template will be laid on thin steel and traced around. It might be used several times at first and then may hang on the wall for two+ years between uses. At first I was thinking 1/4 mdf but is there anything at the borg or that might be better or thinner and still stable?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    McKinney, TX
    You can get mdf 1/8” or how about using plastic laminate
    Steve Jenkins, McKinney, TX. 469 742-9694
    Always use the word "impossible" with extreme caution

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Tucson, Arizona
    Hi Dan,
    I would recommend Masonite (tempered hardboard) for templates. I have used this material with great success. Approximately 1/8" thick x 4 ft. x 8 ft. for $8.98 per sheet.
    I think this would be easier to deal with than mdf, and would probably hold up better with use.
    Masonite at Lowe's.jpg
    Last edited by David Buchhauser; 08-23-2019 at 11:29 PM.

  4. #4
    I use door skin.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  5. #5
    Look for 1/8" tempered hardboard. Both Home Depot and Lowes have it in 4 x 8 sheets, according to their websites.
    Lee Schierer
    USNA- '71
    Captain USN(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    You are tracing around it, not using it as a router template right?

    Make it from something you can fold or roll up for easy storage. I have a roll of brown paper that I might use depending on the precision needed. Or you could use mylar or some other plastic or vinyl. Maybe ask at a fabric store, they use a lot of patterns. I trace with a felt tip pen, it makes a sharp line without pushing the pattern around. Blue tape is your friend.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    I regularly cut templates from both 1/4" MDF and 1/2" MDF, many for clients. I think that Steve is spot on that if you can get the thinner 1/8" MDF product, that will be great for tracing purposes, but 1/4" will certainly do a great job, too. I use 1/4" for templates myself for tracing, but 1/2" if it's something that has to be used as a guide for say, routing an edge.

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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