perspex/acrylic templates (Full Version)

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Stu -> perspex/acrylic templates (Dec. 22 2023 10:27:43)

Hi all,

Whats the best way to make some of your own templates from clear perspex?

I know you can buy some for various parts of the guitar but whats the best way of making custom ones? for various router jobs or what have you.

Is 3d printing a thing now for guitar making templates/jigs etc? or would you use a pro laser cutting service?

many thanks

RobF -> RE: perspex/acrylic templates (Dec. 22 2023 15:03:18)

Hi Stu,

Perspex/acrylic is good, so is the really high density flooring wood and it’s cheaper. Perspex can be cut on a table saw with a plastic cutting blade. Main thing with the plastic stuff if to keep the speeds low when using bits, etc… as it melts and gums up. It can also chip, if you’re not careful.

The flooring wood is dense and dimensionally stable but is murder on edge tools so save old bits and blades for working this instead of ruining new ones. The stuff with the easy clean fake grain on one side and hard coating on the other is good as the hard finish handles double-sided tape really well and magic marker lines can be wiped right off. It makes for very durable templates. If you’re using it as a routing template the sides can be further strengthened by coating with CA, which soaks right in and will give you a cracking headache as a bonus feature.

I have a friend in China who has been 3D printing jigs and templates for years now. He uses traditional Chinese marquetry as inspiration for his rosettes and purflings and some of his jigs are ridiculously detailed and complex. The end result justifies it, however, as his work is quite striking.

*edit* I missed the last part… It’s good to get in the habit of whipping together a jig whenever it occurs to you a task could benefit from it. Like a little project in itself. Sometimes a jig can be as simple as a stick of wood, so it doesn’t hurt to mark its purpose on it, or even make an application note about it in your workbook. Then toss it in a box when you’re done and six months later pull it out and scratch your head while trying to figure out WTF the darned thing is for…The point I’m trying to make is using an external cutting service is probably overkill as jigs and templates can often be in a constant state of evolution and it’s good to foster the mindset of cobbling one together on an as needed basis, just as a normal part of the process.

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