Making Templates

I like making template for marking out lines or to use as patterns to trim the material to size.  I drew the temples for the bow-stem on 1/8 Baltic Birch plywood and cut it out on a band-saw.  There is another way to make templates and that is to use either a CNC router or a laser cutter.  Since I don’t have access to a CNC router and I do have access to a laser cutter at Sylvania PCC I decided to draw the shelve and stringer templates in CAD for the laser cutter.  The laser bed is only 18″ x 32 so I had to find a way to connect the smaller pieces to make the larger template.  The template for the stringer show above is just under 8 feet long and consists of 4 segments.  I designed puzzle joints that I will use to glue the segments together.  The laser can do vector cuts, vector lines and raster images.  Text is usually done in raster and so are pictures but raster is slower than vector so cuts through the plywood are always done as a vector.  In the stringer, I added the angle of the cuts to the template so I don’t have to look it up each time.  I will have to transfer the reference lines from the front to the back when I draw out the seconds stringer since they are mirror images of each other.  Below are the segments as they will be cut out.Since there is a common straight edge gluing the segments together will be easy.

The shelf is longer at 170 inches long, just over 14 feet.  The six segments for the stringer will be cut out of two 18″ x 32″ pieces of 1/4 Baltic Birch.  I added reference lines with known points so I when I glue the segments together  can make sure that the shape is correct.

Sylvania PCC has a laser cutting class starting on September 25th, MCH291 Laser Cutting and Eng. Fund.

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