How to Make a Router Template

What You'll Need
MDF Fiberboard
Band Saw

When working with wood, use a router template to save you valuable time and energy. It will give you a way to cut multiple pieces of identical size and shape without having to go through all the measurements again. Here’s how you can make your own template.

Step 1 - Choosing Your Material

Use an MDF fiberboard to construct your router template. You can choose from ½-inch or ¼-inch sizes. MDF fiberboard is the best material because it’s dense and simple to cut.

Step 2 - Follow a Plan

Make sure you create a plan so that your template is accurate. For example, if you are making chair legs, you will want to transfer the shape of the legs from your plans directly on the MDF fiberboard of your template.

Step 3 - Secure the Plans

Use masking tape to secure the plans directly to the MDF fiberboard. Tape the pieces firmly to ensure that the plans won’t move after they’ve been adhered.

Step 4 - Trace the Pattern

Use a sharp pencil to trace the pattern onto the MDF fiberboard. Do this slowly and precisely.

Step 5 - Cut the Template

Put on proper safety equipment, like goggles and gloves. Use your band saw to slowly and carefully cut the template.

Step 6 - Smooth It Out

Use sandpaper and smooth out the edges of the template. Since this is going to serve as your guide, you don’t want any stray pieces or splinters.

Step 7 - Use Your Template

You’re now ready to use your template. Put it on top of the piece you are cutting. Clamp it down to secure it tightly. Follow the edges of the template with the router.

A router template is an easy way to save yourself a lot of time when you are working on a project that requires several identical cuts. It only takes about 15 minutes to make your own template, and will potentially save you hours of work later.