Template before or after?

Curious if everyone templates their blank before or after they skin it?  I’ve done it both ways.  The past two years I’ve been getting my blanks close to finish thickness before putting down the template.  Don’t know if it makes any real difference but I feel I’m more accurate this way.  Hows everyone else doing it?

It just makes for easier saw cut if you template after…that’s just how I see it. I don’t think it makes much difference.

Start by checking your shaping racks, making sure they are level.    Then adjust the blanks high spots, until the blank has solid, no wobble contact with the rack heads.     THEN, skin the blank, and reconfirm that it is still level to the rack heads.     BOTH SIDES.    Then, lay out the template, draw the outline, and proceed as you normally do, in your shaping process.     This was my process, when doing production shaping, at the rate of ten boards per day.    It was the most efficient way to get the best result.    Hope this is helpful.


Bill - thanks for chiming in… I was always wondering what works best templating.


That sums up the best way, but any way that works for you is ok.


I can’t imagine doing 10 boards a day.  I could see me doing 4 at most.  Heck I’m beat after doing 1 cause I’m a desk jockey 8:30 - 5 M-F.  Right now it takes me about 2.5 hours start to finish for the shaping process.

If you’re using big oversized PU blanks, straightening them up and even planing close to finish thickness and foil before outline cut is a good technique (especially for DIY).

Close tolerance blanks it doesn’t make much difference and there’s no reason to do work on parts of the blank that will just end up as rail bones.

I’m glad I don’t have to worry about this stuff anymore. Twist and uneven blanks are a thing of the past where I work.

Mako, when I did that, I was twentyfive years old.     Today, I have a much greater appreciation for the process, than I did then.    On my own boards, I’d always stop 3/4ths of the way through, and put ‘‘fresh eyes’’ on it the next day to finish it up.     Amazing how much more I’d see doing that.      Now I do that on all the boards I shape.   As I said, I really enjoy the process now,  of releasing a finished board from the confines of a rough blank.   It’s like a form of therapy for me


I do both.

Depends on the blank and the application.


Beautiful Barry. Thanks for putting that up. Two questions. Are your lungs made of iron since you don’t wear a mask?  And what is that tape that allows you to tape over previous colors without pulling it up?

all the best

Barry, Your shaping stand at 12 seconds, did you hit that with a router?  Scarry!

How can you have so much fun without smiling?  But seriously. well done!!!

No mask is for filming only.

I do wear a mask.

Combo of low-tack tape and good paint.

One of the tricks I’ve picked up over the 30 years of painting boards.