creating templates

Hi all, my son and I are having a go at shaping our first board, we have the blank and want to shape a 5’8 fish 20" wide. Only thing is I am stuffed if I can find / make a template!?!?!

We have been to blending curves but each time we print off the template and put them together they all seem to measure 5’4???

Ive got the book thats going around (photocopy that someone has put inline) which is a brilliant resource however I m having trouble following the example to use the graph paper. How do you measure 2.2 inches off the graph paper (scaled down)???

It would be great if anyone had any tips because we are slowly gping mad with a blank in the shed and no template to shape it to.


Thanks heaps.


Do it the old-fashioned way,

Find a board you like,

Trace it on a thin piece of door skin, or panelling.

Cut it out with a Jig saw and fair it up with a sanding block.

That will be good practice for the board.

Hey parso check out  Print out the grided a4 sheets and glue them onto some wood with spray adhesive. cut out with jigsaw and smooth them out with a hard pad. Or just go with barrys idea. 

I to have always done what Barry does. When I find a nice board that I like, I’ll trace it on to 1/8" Masonite. Then once you have some templates you can start modifying those. I cut the template in roughly leaving the line with a jigsaw, then carefully smooth that rough cut down to the line with a belt sander, then finish with a sanding block. Here’s a cool template design technique: Multiple lengths from one curve. This can be done with the tail as well. Start by tracing a curve from one of your existing templates on to a new 8’ peace of material. Lay out your modified nose or tale curves on your one basic design. Cut and shape the longest line. Then trace it on to a new peace of template material and set it aside. Cut and shape in the next curve, transfer it on to another new peace of template material and set it aside, and so on. When you finish all the curves, you’re left with one finished template(the shortest of the group) and multiple progressively longer in length templates that you’ve traced, that are ready to cut and shape in. I’ve made as many as 12 different lengths and designs from one basic curve with this technique. I had already cut, shaped in, and transferred four longer lengths from this one template before taking this photograph.


Yo parso, I had the same issue! I just spaced out the 10 or so printed pages from blending curves and spaced them out a 1/2" or 1" to get my desired length. Then tape it and cut it, I recommend traceing the cut out paper on to cardboard or Masonite and cut that for you template…After all you are blending the curves .I used a 5’8" nug from there site and made a 6’2" nug by just stretching out the middle of the board(6" straight away). Your only 4" short so just a little spacing out …Good luck and have fun 

I use a flexible metal yard stick! And I “made it up” 25 + yrs ago - as
Teen dabbling w shaping…fyi - I shaped my first three boards w surform and block -Nothing else.believe it or not,.I’m still using a bendy yard stick!. Lol. When I first started we didn’t have a template. then i found the yard stick, and noticed it flexed! I knew right then I could bend out my own curves! No bs. It works.

Thanks for all our sugestions and ideas, i great that you all were so free with your advice.

We finally ended up with a template both my son and I were happy with (will post a phot when we transfer it to masonite).

Next shaping…

To get a to scale template you need to go to your printer preferances and disable print with border. Most printers seem to print with a border by default so making things just that little bit smaller than to scale.