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Best material for making templates for routing?

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Forum topic by Choupinette posted 381 days ago 1153 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Choupinette

22 posts in 394 days


381 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question router template

Hi, I’m a newbie and I want to use a router to shape small pieces of wood / plywood with templates. What is the best material for this? I suppose it has to be hard enough so that the ball bearings don’t end up digging in it and damaging it.

Would a “hard board” do it? Plywood OK? Hardwood necessary?

The kind of shape I’m after looks like this:

Thank you!

-- Christine G., Northern California


11 replies so far

View Howie's profile

Howie

2656 posts in 1548 days


#1 posted 381 days ago

I usually use 1/4” hardboard. That way the bearing can ride on it.

-- Life is good.

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1253 posts in 573 days


#2 posted 381 days ago

I use a lot of 1/4” underlayment. I pick it up free on site after the flooring guys get done.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

2478 posts in 976 days


#3 posted 381 days ago

I use 1/4” MDF.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

4821 posts in 1202 days


#4 posted 381 days ago

MDF is good as is Baltic Birch 1/2 inch plywood.

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3302 posts in 1279 days


#5 posted 381 days ago

I remember hearing about one guy using cheap plastic cutting boards. But that was to hold up to the abuse of making hundreds of a particular pattern.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View rickf16's profile

rickf16

376 posts in 2206 days


#6 posted 381 days ago

1/4 or even 1/2 MDF. Cheap and pretty durable. I still have the templates for the craft center I made for my wife.
Keep us posted.

-- Rick

View newwoodbutcher's profile

newwoodbutcher

346 posts in 1475 days


#7 posted 381 days ago

I use 1/2” MDF

-- Ken

View Choupinette's profile

Choupinette

22 posts in 394 days


#8 posted 381 days ago

Wonderful, thank you. I think I’ll try a few, like MDF and plywood. I’m intrigued by the plastic cutting board idea. As for the underlayment, I’ll see if they have some avail. at the Habitat Restore.
Lots of experimenting ahead, I like it!

-- Christine G., Northern California

View Loren's profile

Loren

7389 posts in 2273 days


#9 posted 381 days ago

I use 1/4” hardboard usually for a throw-away type template.
The 1/4” thickness is easy to fair curves on with files. Go
to wider templates and fairing the curves is more work.

If you need durability for a production template, a good
quality veneer-core ply holds up well.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2709 posts in 1202 days


#10 posted 381 days ago

MDF for throw away templates, baltic birch plywood for my permanents.
Never an issue.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1346 posts in 808 days


#11 posted 381 days ago

Yeah, use hardboard or quality plywood for the master, then make an MDF working template. Use the master once to make a working template, then use the working template to create any additional ones.

I’ve had master templates laser cut from melamine, too, and they’re great.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

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