Newbie wants to know how to make a router template.

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Forum topic by HarveyDunn posted 130 days ago 312 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View HarveyDunn's profile


286 posts in 326 days

130 days ago

I’m interested in trying some router-based inlay. I understand how you use an “inlay kit” – including a bushing with a removable spacer – to allow you to make the positive and the negative using the same template.

But…how do you make the template? Do you transfer your pattern to your template board and then rout it out freehand?

I’d like to be able to make relative complex templates that are not just one solid shape but which have internal spaces as well.

2 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile


452 posts in 794 days

#1 posted 130 days ago

Transfer to template board and cut out free hand using bandsaw, jig saw, coping saw, router or whatever you have, then sand and finish the edges. Easiest way to transfer is to print out your design on a printer and glue on the board, or you an use carbon paper (yes, it still exists!) and trace the patern.

Google is your friend:


-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1467 posts in 2720 days

#2 posted 130 days ago

Three things:

  1. What Mr Unix said.
  1. After hearing a few local guitar makers say “oh, yeah, we just cut fretboard inlays freehand with the Dremel”, I got a 1/4” shank 1/8” bit for my router, and a 1/16” bit for my rotary tool with the router base, and indeed, it’s possible to get pretty close (and the router is pretty controllable free-hand with a bit that small or smaller). My blog entry from February last year has a brass inlay butterfly I got from a bead shop that works pretty well, if you’re working with wood or something you can fill with cyanoacrylate and sawdust you can probably get much better results.
  1. Think about doing your pieces in sections. The intarsia folks I’ve talked with will often combine detail pieces first, and then cut that larger combined piece for inlay into another section.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

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