Template making

I just made a spin template off my favorite 9’6" noserider…What do you guys do to make sure your templates have nice, smooth lines?  I traced the outline and then sanded with a 40 grit hard, long block to make it as true as I can get it…Is there any way, without all the fancy lights and “blue” room to see inconsistencies in the outline???  Looks smooth, feels smooth…

I usually use my eyes… and a planer

Thanks.  I just layed down a “stringer” with a pencil on the garage floor and traced the spin template out…Looks perfect.  Thanks. I thought maybe some of you pros had a trick to get it perfect.


I find that a hand belt sander works better than planers and sanding blocks. I designed an outline on the AKU shaping program, printed in out, used spray adhesive to masonite, cut out the the template 1/8" outside the pencil line with a jigsaw, than used a belt sander with 80 grit to smooth out the outline. Zero wobbles. Took me a few minutes with the belt sander. I have spent much more time using other methods without the seamless results.


Basically, the eye of the template maker, who sometimes is not a very even shaper!
It’s still artform, not science, so the eye tells all.

I was just thinking about this today.  (i could not make templates without this tool:


Is masonite still the gold standard?

i like lauan door skin.  cut that puppy out with a bosch jigsaw and use a little block plane to get the bumps.  works great, feels great


Is masonite still the gold standard?


It is for me.    Tempered Masonite, smooth both sides, is my favorite.

The tempered is the way to go.  Its a fair bit heavier, but it holds detail very well.  There is no one right way to make a template, but there are plenty of wrong ways.

Lee Vanderhurst posted a great tip awhile back that I think is worth reposting...

Lay your template edge on a flat surface and rock it back and forth to feel for any bumps or flat spots.  You can often feel stuff that the eye misses.

I hope I got that right.

Luan or lauan or whatever is hard to work with for me.  It warps and seems to move when I flip it.  but it is easy to shape.  Just not long term material.