Acrylic Templates

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Acrylic Templates

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

Does anyone here make acrylic templates or know of anyone that does?
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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?
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Re: Acrylic Templates

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

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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.
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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.
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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.
Attachments
templ.jpg
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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.
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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.
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