MDF thickness for templates

drefaith

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hi, planning to make some body and neck templates and i was wondering whats the best thickness for it. i have choices from 6,9,12,15,18mm.

for the 6mm i think ill buy some for pickguard templates.

any ideas on what are the advantages in using a thinner or thicker mdf board?

thanks
 

gator payne

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Twice the thickness of the guide bearing that will be riding on it as you rout. if your guide bearing is 1/4" thick then I suggest 1/2" if 3/8" then 3/4"
 

drefaith

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Twice the thickness of the guide bearing that will be riding on it as you rout. if your guide bearing is 1/4" thick then I suggest 1/2" if 3/8" then 3/4"


thanks gator! im at the planning stage of an LP and SG build.big help! :D
 

DGNRepair

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Gator has a good rule. I would go with 3/4 from the start anyway. If you happen to burn part of it with a bearing gone bad you still have the other half or more to work with. Another thing, make a copy right off the bat. There's nothing worse than messing up a template when your not done with the body, neck, etc... Then you would have to remake the template in order to continue.
 

ievans

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The big advantage of thicker templates is that you can make shallower passes with a given size bit.

Let's say your bit is 1/2" long, with a 1/4" bearing (so the total bit size is 3/4"). To make a 1/4" cut using a 3/4" template, you'd have the bottom of the bearing ride 1/2" up the template. If you only had a 1/2" template, you couldn't do this; your cut would have to be deeper than 1/4".

If you've never used a pattern bit before with a router, you're going to want to make a number of shallow passes. This avoids tearout (or worse) and is easier to control. Routers are no joke, and 20,000 RPM of spinning sharp carbide is really scary if it bites into your workpiece.
 

bruce bennett

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Quick Question, I've always used either tempered Masonite ( extinct now) or
Lexan ( too expensive now) or machinist Die board ( also extinct now) and a few in UHMWP ( VERY expensive but last forever) for making templates.. I've recently started useing MDF and I was wondering if any of you have a recommendation on Sealing or Finishing of any type on a MDF template to help keep down movement.
 

DGNRepair

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Quick Question, I've always used either tempered Masonite ( extinct now) or
Lexan ( too expensive now) or machinist Die board ( also extinct now) and a few in UHMWP ( VERY expensive but last forever) for making templates.. I've recently started useing MDF and I was wondering if any of you have a recommendation on Sealing or Finishing of any type on a MDF template to help keep down movement.

Are you talking about the faces or the edges? One thing I can recommend is to brush the edges with water thin superglue. The glue seals and hardens the edge so you have even less chance of the bearing burning the side.
 

gator payne

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Quick Question, I've always used either tempered Masonite ( extinct now) or
Lexan ( too expensive now) or machinist Die board ( also extinct now) and a few in UHMWP ( VERY expensive but last forever) for making templates.. I've recently started useing MDF and I was wondering if any of you have a recommendation on Sealing or Finishing of any type on a MDF template to help keep down movement.

Great question Bruce. I seal cut edges with 2 lb cut of shellac just as soon as I have completed the template. I always make 2 copies of each template. One as a mater that never gets use except as a guide template for new working copies.

Ther is a drawback to MDF. Even sealed the cut edges tend to compress where the guide rollers tavel after a good bit of use. Not much but enough to make a difference in neck mortise to tenon fits.
 

pavel

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Quick Question, I've always used either tempered Masonite ( extinct now) or
Lexan ( too expensive now) or machinist Die board ( also extinct now) and a few in UHMWP ( VERY expensive but last forever) for making templates.. I've recently started useing MDF and I was wondering if any of you have a recommendation on Sealing or Finishing of any type on a MDF template to help keep down movement.

+1 on thin superglue. I use the older stuff that has been open for a while that I might throw out otherwise, it still sets well on MDF.
 

stmfitr636

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Routers are no joke, and 20,000 RPM of spinning sharp carbide is really scary if it bites into your workpiece.

Hell... they are scary even without touching wood!

This is my safety gear for using a router:

knightinroutingarmor.jpg
 

DGNRepair

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In my opinion nothing is as intimidating as a 4" long 2" cut Spiral bit. I'm not gonna lie, the first time I chucked one into my pin router and fired it up, I wet myself a little. :shock:
 

drefaith

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In my opinion nothing is as intimidating as a 4" long 2" cut Spiral bit. I'm not gonna lie, the first time I chucked one into my pin router and fired it up, I wet myself a little. :shock:

:laugh2: thanks DGN. btw, im a fan on ur facebook fanpage for like 3 or more so weeks now. great builds sir! hope i can build stuffs like you! its 3:56am now in manila and im so sleepy. will hit the sack for now. later!! :slash:
 

bruce bennett

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In my opinion nothing is as intimidating as a 4" long 2" cut Spiral bit. I'm not gonna lie, the first time I chucked one into my pin router and fired it up, I wet myself a little. :shock:

I hear ya.. We nicknamed that thing "the Death Stick" first time I bought one in about 1995.
 

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