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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 10:29 PM.

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    McKean, PA
    Look for 1/8" tempered hardboard. Both Home Depot and Lowes have it in 4 x 8 sheets, according to their websites.
    Lee Schierer
    Captain USNR(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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