Making router templates, how to achieve near perfect accuracy - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

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post #1 of 24 Old 09-10-2012, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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Making router templates, how to achieve near perfect accuracy

Hi,

Does anyone have any tips for doing this. For example i'd like to make a chopping board with some curved pieces which will all join together.

My first though is to print out the design onto paper, attach to mdf or plywood then cut round on a bandsaw. I can tolerate a small divergance from the design appearance, but of course the pieces need to fit together perfectly, and a bandsaw will remove material as it cuts creating a gap in the template.

I've looked around at finding a bandsaw blade with a very narrow blade, the smallest i can find is .35mm. Perhaps using this with an mdf or ply sheet would mean losing just .35mm material which would be acceptable when it comes to gluing everything up?

I suppose the other option is to use a laser or cnc service but i'd rather avoid doing that if i can.
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post #2 of 24 Old 09-10-2012, 07:16 PM
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A scroll saw blade may be the thinnest you can find, but there will always be a gap, it is just a matter of how big.

In order to not have a gap, the pieces would need to be cut from separate boards with separate templates which would be designed to include 1/2 the blade thickness so the pieces would match with no gap, depending on how good the template are.

A lot of work.
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post #3 of 24 Old 09-10-2012, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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I just had an idea, im not sure how crazy it is.

Perhaps after cutting, before you join everything together you could place some kind of clay or cement glue material onto one side of each piece you are joining, and a plastic film over the opposite contacting surface. Wait for it to set then seperate, that way you would ensure a perfect fitting template, i would perhaps worry about that altering the template itself though and you might end up with sides which arnt 90 degrees.. and other misalignments
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post #4 of 24 Old 09-10-2012, 07:31 PM
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Why not make the board over sized and cut the curves after is is glued up.
Tom
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post #5 of 24 Old 09-10-2012, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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Hi. Sorry I don't quite understand what you mean.

The curved pieces to match would be internal, different colours to create a decorative design.
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post #6 of 24 Old 09-10-2012, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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I winder if you could find some material which is thin and soft enough to be cut with a knife but would hold an edge well enough to create another thicker template from.

Any ideas?
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post #7 of 24 Old 09-10-2012, 08:46 PM
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There is a technique in marquetry where veneers are stacked in a sandwich and cut. You end up with a positive and a negative image. For instance, if you had a stack of maple and walnut you would end up with one cutting board with the maple on the left and one with walnut on the left.

You didn't say anything about the shapes, sizes or thickness. Soft curves cut on a bandsaw will mate quite nicely if the operator is experienced. A scroll saw can cut very intricate shapes but is limited when it comes to very thick hardwoods. If not for the actual cutting board, these may be the best bet for cutting a router template.

There are several ways to use a router template. When we have to fit something like Formica with perfect matching, the sheets would be rough cut within about 1/16". Two pieces are brought together so the router bit cuts about 1/16" off both pieces at the same time. A simple straight bit and a template guide are used, not a pattern routing or flush trim bit. The work pieces are positioned and clamped to prevent movement, then the template is clamped to position the bit. If you were using a 1/2" straight bit, the two work pieces would be spaced about 3/8" apart. You only need a one sided template. Tight corners or joining points would not work with this method but it's great for curves.
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post #8 of 24 Old 09-10-2012, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you.

Does the last technique have a name? Or do you know where I could read up on it? The curves are quite soft. I guess the verneer technique sounds like it would work too, though I'm not sure how you'd form the template from the sesperate layers.

I think I might experiment on just the bandsaw trying to account for the sawing gap.
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post #9 of 24 Old 09-10-2012, 10:30 PM
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I made this about a month ago.
Making router templates, how to achieve near perfect accuracy-p8080237.jpg
If this is what you meant, I'll post a how-to.
--Matt
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post #10 of 24 Old 09-10-2012, 11:19 PM
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Even if its not what he was talking about....i'd like to see the technique you used.
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post #11 of 24 Old 09-11-2012, 01:54 AM
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So would I!!!
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post #12 of 24 Old 09-11-2012, 03:55 AM Thread Starter
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Hi that's pretty much what I'm looking for, just with fewer pieces which are larger. The curves look similar in angle though.

I'll see if I can get round to posting the design idea I've got.

Look forward to seeing how you do did it.
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post #13 of 24 Old 09-11-2012, 04:42 PM
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router templetes

If you look up "Drunken Cutting Boards" in the Lumberjocks forum there is an instructional posting on how to make these.

Bandman
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post #14 of 24 Old 09-11-2012, 05:53 PM
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Sorry to the folks who replied if this was already mentioned but:
If I understand the question(?), make a pattern and just use a pattern router bit to cut it out. Depending on the pattern, curves should fit together.
If I'm thinking what you're thinking it's an interesting idea.
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post #15 of 24 Old 09-11-2012, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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The drunken board looks interesting, however I want to create a predetermined pattern. Perhaps I could try using the small strip to fill the gap left by the bandsaw, but I'm not that confident I'd get absolutely spot on results, perhaps worth a try though.

I'll try and post my idea as I made a drawing for it.
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post #16 of 24 Old 09-11-2012, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shesho View Post
The drunken board looks interesting, however I want to create a predetermined pattern. Perhaps I could try using the small strip to fill the gap left by the bandsaw, but I'm not that confident I'd get absolutely spot on results, perhaps worth a try though.

I'll try and post my idea as I made a drawing for it.
If you take a look at the Lumberjocks post mentioned earlier, the person did use thin strips of wood to replace the gaps from his bandsaw blade. He did have to sand to smooth out the cuts from the bandsaw.

Someone else did careful sanding to be able to avoid the wood strips, but that is a lot of detailed work.
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post #17 of 24 Old 09-11-2012, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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Hm. I think i'll have to test it out tomorrow, if anythings off by even a mm it wont look good enough.
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post #18 of 24 Old 09-11-2012, 08:10 PM
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Shesho,

I ran across an article today in Woodsmith magazine Volume 32/
No. 191.

The article is titled Complementary Template Routing.

You may be able to get this back issue by contacting customer service at Woodsmith.com.

When I die, I want to go peacefully like my grandfather did in his
sleep. Not yelling and screaming like the passengers in his car.

Jack Handey
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post #19 of 24 Old 09-11-2012, 08:12 PM
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Thanks bandman. I knew I got the idea somewhere, but I couldn't remember what it was called. Here's the link for those of you who are interested.
http://lumberjocks.com/poroskywood/blog/10833
Shesho, I don't see why you couldn't just use the technique above except cut out your own pattern. Just draw it on the boards and cut it. But maybe I'm just not understanding what you want to do. The tricky part is you can't over sand the cut edges. If you do the pattern won't fit together. Mine probably would have come out nicer if I hadn't used a crappy bandsaw blade. But happily a little saw dust and wood glue mixture filled in the gaps so nicely that they're barely noticeable even from close up.
--Matt
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post #20 of 24 Old 09-11-2012, 08:32 PM
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Or maybe you meant intarsia.
Name:  tigertrailheadweb2.jpg
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I took that picture from kathywise.com
Intarsia work is usually done with a scroll saw, sandpaper, and a lot of patience.
--Matt
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