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I am looking to make some really nice templates that will last forever to use with my router. I am thinking about 1/4" thick if not more. Do any of u know what kind of plastic is best for this and a good online place or store ( I am in Dallas) to purchase it???
 

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John
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I am looking to make some really nice templates that will last forever to use with my router. I am thinking about 1/4" thick if not more. Do any of u know what kind of plastic is best for this and a good online place or store ( I am in Dallas) to purchase it???
I prefer Lexan (polycarbonate) to acrylic, it's a little softer but virtually unbreakable. 1/4" is a good thickness but if you are planning on using it with guide bushings, you may need to shorten the barrels to about 3/16".
In Dallas, you should be able to find local sources easily. Unless you are making very large templates you might be able to buy offcuts from sign shops, aquarium mfgs, display case mfg, pop/vending machine places.... etc... etc.

If you need large amounts, you may check these guys
http://www.professionalplastics.com/Richardson_TX-Dallas
 

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Plastic is kinda soft to use for templates. If you are working with straight lines then formica covered plywood would work better. If you are working with curved templates then a hardwood such as oak would do it. If you have the means of working with metal then aluminum would make good templates. It's hard enough to hold up but not so hard that it would damage bits if the cutting surface would accidentally strike the template.
 

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Old School
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What you use for templates, depends on what kind of template you need. Templates are generally considered a sort of guide, or spacer. As for polycarbonate or acrylic, they may appear the same. The box stores sell a variety of "plastic sheet". Their clear sheets could be an extrusion, instead of a cast sheet, which have disadvantages as to hardness, flexibility, heat and friction resistance. Polycarbonate isn't "softer" per-se than acrylic, but it's more flexible. It can break and shatter under the right conditions.






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