Acrylic Templates

Questions about tools and jigs you want to buy/build/modify.

Acrylic Templates

Postby David Grier » Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:44 pm

Does anyone here make acrylic templates or know of anyone that does?
David Grier
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:21 pm
Location: Lorain, Ohio 44052

Re: Acrylic Templates

Postby Randolph Rhett » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:18 pm

I make acrylic templates on my CNC machine for my own use. Are you asking for tips on how to do it, or looking for a commercial source for custom templates?
User avatar
Randolph Rhett
Posts: 339
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:19 pm
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Acrylic Templates

Postby Ed Minch » Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:16 pm

Ed Minch
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:59 pm

Re: Acrylic Templates

Postby Mark Wybierala » Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:08 pm

I have a friend who owns a sign making shop and I make templates from 3/8" lexan using scrap.
Mark Wybierala
Posts: 297
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:14 am
Location: Central New Jersey

Re: Acrylic Templates

Postby Alan Carruth » Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:51 pm

They're really easy to make if you have a drum sander in the drill press. A lot depends on how precise they need to be, of course.

I mostly use them to make outside molds for guitars, where really high precision is not needed. Once I have a drawing of the shape I clamp a piece of plastic over it, and carefully scribe a line over the one on the drawing. I cut the rough the shape out over size on the bandsaw and then use the drum sander to trim to the line. I use 1/4" stock, which make the plexi piece sturdy enough to use as a router template for making the mold. I see no impediment to making the pattern as precise as you like, for things like routing neck and PU pockets in solid bodies. A good pattern like that saves enough time on a build that it's worth making even for just one.
Alan Carruth
Posts: 860
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:11 pm

Re: Acrylic Templates

Postby Bob Hammond » Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:35 am

Here's one that I made. I had the plan copied (be sure to take a ruler along to measure the copy!). Then I applied 3M SprayMount (or 77?) to1/8" acrylic and laid the copy on it. After the adhesive was set, I cut away and removed everything but the outline & bracing pattern. I use spirits of naphtha to dissolve the adhesive where needed, while being careful to keep it away from the critical areas. Then I drilled tiny holes at the intersections of the braces, just large enough for a pencil point to pass through to mark a soundboard.
Bob Hammond
Posts: 579
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:13 pm

Re: Acrylic Templates

Postby David King » Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:49 pm

That's beautiful Bob but it looks pretty delicate. Acrylic is so brittle and so tricky to cut with high speed (heat generating) tools that I always try to find lexan/plexi if I can. That said I'm sure the acrylic (cast acrylic to be sure) is more stable, less prone to thermal expansion and warping over time.
David King
Posts: 2474
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:01 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Acrylic Templates

Postby Bob Hammond » Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:10 pm

Who needs high speed tools? A leisurely cut with a fine-toothed bandsaw and then a trimming with a sanding drum on a drill press cut the outline without a fuss. It would have been no more difficult if it had been 1/4" acrylic or polycarbonate. The template in the picture was made with ordinary window glazing.

Ah! Did you think that this was a 'skeleton' template, with all of the plastic between the braces removed? No - it's a still a sheet with paper glued on top, and with tiny holes drilled through the sheet. I didn't mill away all of the plastic between the paper that locates the braces.
Bob Hammond
Posts: 579
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:13 pm

Return to Tools and Jigs

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

Your purchase from these sites helps support the MIMForum, but only if you start at the links below!!!
Amazon music     Amazon books     Amazon tools     Rockler tools     Office Depot    

The MIMF is a member-supported forum, please consider supporting us with a donation, thanks!
 • Book store • Tool store • Links •