template curve

I could use some help. I shaped a 7’2" swallow tail for a friend. I make the rail bands and rolled under edge. This morning I noticed a slight flat spot on the rail towards the bottom third of the board. Any way of coaxing that sucker out of there? Or, Start over?

it’ll be right mate. take it out of the scrutinous shaping room light and you probably wont notice, unless you are looking for it. Just clean it up a little bit. If you try to take it out, there is a tendency make it worse or start overshaping. But go for it if you are game. Maybe try to blend it into the whole rail and do the same on the other rail so it matches. One tip for that - concentrate on the area around the dip and how it realtes with the whole board, not the dip itself; if you focus on the dip, it seems to get worse, but if you focus on blending everything around together, then it works better. But dont scrap it just because of a little bump. And dont worry about a little dip - think of how different your board rides once it gets a big pressure ding or after you fix a rail ding and there is a slight bump…

Mike, I assume you are talking about a flat spot in the continuous curve of the outline itself. Sometimes that happens to me and is caused by truing up the outline by eye to the pecil line using the sureform. Jim Phillips reccommends using the planer to true the outline and this will take out those little flats and highs. If it is on both rails your template could have the flat spot in it. I blended one by standing the board on rail in the rack, marking the area with a piece of tape somewhere on the deck or bottom (out of the way) so you can easily see where the low spot is. Then gently using some 100 grit wrapped aound the rail pull away from the area in both directions. This brings down the adjacent higher areas and then you can pull the whole rail end to end to blend. Make several passes on the other rail to take it down some also to match. Be very careful not to overshape! You will have to run your fred tool again or whatever you use to make your tucked under edge. You will only lose a slight bit of width. Be careful to try to keep things symetrical on both sides. Take your time and look at it a lot! If you look closely at your trued outline before shaping these spots are usually noticable and can be fixed before shaping the rails.MLC

Thanks richard and krokus. I do use the sureform to true up my template line. I watched Mr. Phillips use the planer on his video. I’m getting better with the planer,but, was not quite confident enough to use it on the template curve. I will try it next time, however.

a tool that is great for getting a clean template curve a is rough grit sanding belt glued onto a firm but flexible board (mine is plexi-glass. i have heard others use thin wood or thick rubber). i jigsaw, then sureform/electric planer (depending on how clean my saw cut was, also how far outside the template line it is), final step is with the plexi-sand to flow everything together down to the line. the hardest thing learning was to get the rail cut perfectly vertical but this works great for me now.

Richard, How long, wide and thickness of plexiglass have you found to work best and be managable. MLC


This is something that happens when you have not shaped many boards. If its not too bad I wouldnt just start over. Others probably wont even notice it.

2-3’’ wide 15’‘-24’’ long thickness of plexi-glass is about 1/8’’ I have a smaller one and a larger one. The gritted belts for a belt sander work well - just cut one (so its a long piece instead of a loop) and get a plexi-glass piece to fit the belt. About 40 grit works well for me. Contact cement works great to glue it on. All materials are available at Lowes/Home Depot.