Template Crazy

January 28, 2010 Design  2 comments

Sometimes the best workmanship that a woodworker does is never seen on the final project.  It sits in a corner of the workshop and collects dust until it is time to make another of the same project.  I am, of course, talking about templates.  In these cases, the final project is not much more than a copy of the template.  The amount of care and time that a woodworker puts into creating a template will certainly show through in the final product, but if a template is done correctly, it will save you time and make your project look very impressive.

Why use a template?  Templates are especially handy when you need to create multiple items repeatedly.  I will admit that I get a little template crazy.  I sometimes create a template just to create another template.  For instance, recently I decided to make some racks for my pipe clamps so I could hang them up neatly on the wall.  It wasn’t really necessary that all of the U shaped slots on the rack be identical, but I am a bit of a stickler for such things.

I first made a template for a single slot.  I then used this template to create another template with multiple slots.  I accomplished this by using double stick tape to attach the single slot to longer workpiece of the final template.  I then routed the slot by following the single slot template with a flush trim bit mounted in my router table.  Once this was done, I then moved the single slot template the desired distance and reattached it.  I then routed out the second slot on the final template.

I repeated this process until my final template had the right number of slots.  In this case, I only had to put a little effort into making one slot, which translated into several identical slots.  This was a real time saver on something that could have become very mundane.

I did something similar on my Marquetry Mirror project.  I wanted to make sure that the mirror frame was completely symmetrical.  I started by making a template for half of the mirror frame.  I then used this template to create the other half of the frame.  By book-matching the templates together, I had a perfectly symmetrical mirror frame template.

2 comments to Template Crazy

  • avatar Torch02  says:

    I haven’t cranked out enough projects to have a plethora of template, but the one big one I have is not beause I needed to make multiple of the same part, but because I needed to make the same shape on different, but mating, parts.

    If we want to get really get deep into this – have you made a template to make a rack to hold your templates?!?

  • avatar Dennis_MGWW  says:

    Actually, for quite a while now, I have been trying to come up with a way to nicely store all of my templates. I haven’t been able to figure that out yet. Some are stacked on a shelf in my garage while others are leaning against the wall in my basement. I envision a day when my shop is large enough that I can have a dedicated wall just for hanging my templates on.

Leave a reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>