Acrylic for cavity routing template

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Tom0Blam0, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. Tom0Blam0

    Tom0Blam0 Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2014
    Using this as a guide ( I bought a sheet of acrylic from home depot to make a template to increase the cavity size on my OLP stingray. Trouble is, I think the sheet may be too thin. It is .09" thick, and I should have gone with something closer to .18". I was being hasty and trying to be as cheap as possible.

    So my question is, would I be able to get away with something this thin, or would I be more likely to screw things up this way? It's no major loss as I could just make an initial template from the acrylic and transfer it to a thicker piece of MDF, but I figured I'd get some expert opinion from the folks here first.
  2. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    0.09" is very thin for a router template, given that it doesn't leave a lot of meat for a template bearing to run against. If you're using template guides (brass threaded type or similar) this will probably be worse. That doesn't mean it can't be done, but it's likely far less that ideal.

    I'd return it and get something else. Depending on the task, I use anywhere from 1/4" to 3/4" mdf for templates.
  3. Tom0Blam0

    Tom0Blam0 Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2014
    Thanks for helping a newbie out. I'll return it for something thicker.
  4. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    I made my first set of templates 3/8" MDF, which is about absolute minimum. I think 5/8" MDF is probably ideal. I do have a set of electronics cavity templates in Lexan from Stewmac that are around 1/4" thick.
  5. Tom0Blam0

    Tom0Blam0 Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2014
    Thanks for the reply. That's really helpful. Little details like the thickness of the patterns are often left out when folks describe their process. I have some left over MDF that I'm pretty sure is 5/8" thick that I can use to make the template.