Making a double sided template

Hi everyone,

After searching “template”, “template making” and “making templates” on the forum I decided to post a question here as I couldn’t find a relevant topic here already.

I’ve designed and cut out several of my own templates, I cut them out full size, nose to tail on one end and a straight parallel line to match the stringer on the other.

I’m trying to figure out how to make those duble-sided (like the ones in the picture), mainly to save space and materials and to be able to recreate the same curves on different sized boards.


For my flipable templates I just join the upper left quarter (nose) to the lower right quarter (tail)


For search purposes:

Swing template

Spin template

Flip template

To add to MiWie post, I would pass the center line of both the nose and tail quarters by a couple of inches each. This will aid in preventing flat spots on the plane shape.

What?  You don’t want a stack of templates cluttering up the shaping bay?  Nice job on the ones you have accumulated.  It’s been my experience that simple one sided or shortened spin templates are the best.  I have a few full board templates that I use for several models that I duplicate regularly.  But a full template has to be very accurate.  Better to use a one side template with the factory edge at the stringer.  Cluttering up a one sided template with another shape or size just leads to confusion.   A shortened spin template is the most versatile and can be used with a flexible straight edge like a batten.  By using a batten you can extend the size of the board or shorten easily.  A batten can also be used to change curves.  With just a few spin templates and a batten a shaper can shape a large variety of boards from short to long.  I’ve got maybe 20 or 30 templates, mostly spins.  I can shape anything with those templates and a couple of battens.  Lowel

The ones with the ‘hooks’ on them…I have yet to see, make or use ones like that. What is it for?

I thought I knew stuff, but clearly I do not. Can you elaborate on what a Batten is exactly? Thanks in advance from simple minds

A flexy stick 

The term comes from the sail making industry and ship building where they “lofted” the designs and created really big curves using long clear strips of wood.  You will want a long stick, likely a wooden strip of even thickness and no knots or imperfections.  Think Home Depot rack.  Set a few points you need to hit on your blank template.  Maybe hammer a nail or two to hold the batten on its edge and trace the curve.  You can see how convenient and adjustable that would be.  Thin strips give tight curves and the converse is true.  Generally, with just a few measured points along the outline, you can adjust your batten to create an eye pleasing curve.  After generating a bunch of these curves and cutting spin templates, you will have physical database from which to create even more curves.

“why, when I was your age, we didn’t have computers.  we had battons.  and they were wood.  and we liked them.”

all the best

My first exposure to “battens” was with windsurfer sails. 

They were flexible (semi-stiff) strips of plastic/fiberglass inserted into the sails to keep them fully extended/tight in the absence of wind.  They help to maintain the shape of the sail’s foil, especially for sails with larger surface areas (sail roach/leech).

Hi jrandy - On spin templates that I’ve made, I often take a drawing or photo, enlarge or shrink it to size for a 1":1’ scale and transfer to wrapping paper in full size.  I take a pair of scissors and cut it out and then transfer to hard material like Masonite.  On templates in excess of 8’ it is usually easier to do a spin template.  I trace the front part of the template to the Masonite and then trace the rear part on the opposite side.  If I initially traced up to the wide point and the wide point was not centered, I end up with one side of the spin template longer than the other.  That is how I usually end up with those ‘loose ends’ you’ve shown with arrows - I.E. one side is longer than the other.  I’ve also found that by extending the curves beyond the original tracing dimensions that with a bit of shifting around of the templates on the blank, I can make a fairly wide range of lengths using those curves.  My end points often overlap the stringer and I ‘sample’ sections of a curve to fit desired dimensions.  As someone pointed out, with a few templates, it is possible to create a bunch of different outlines on the blanks.  I’ve been known to use a section of the nose portion to trace a portion of a tail curve on the blank… whatever ‘fits’ and looks right(?)  Most of my templates have little marks near the ends where I’ve shifted the template across the stringer line so the stringer intersects the edge of the template an inch or more from the end.  I also shift my width and wide point dimensions around - both narrower and wider as well as fore and aft to fit the situation.  That photo of the templates in this thread show a nice selection of usable curves within the confines of those patterns… I think I could combine sections of several of those patterns to come up with some decent curves to fit a wide range of different shapes.  Some are obviously good to go as-is.


those “hooks” are just incidental to drawing the curve off of the board.  IOW, sometimes you just end up with a little extra masonite on the end.  The straight edge along that hook is the center line, if you chose to use it as such.

all the best

Thank you Stoney.  Your explanation is much appreciated.  Lowel

Thank you Mr. Tate!  Instructural and well said.  Lowel

Thanks for the info Everyone!