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Old Jun 29, 2003, 12:35 AM
FlightofSong is offline
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Danville Vermilion, Illinois, United States
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HOWTO: Foam cutting templates - 5 minutes each MAX!

I really hate scroll-sawing formica and sanding it, and plywood is even less fun. Here's my method for cutting templates and having them finished and ready to go in 5 minutes apiece, maximum! This may be old news to some of you, but it may help someone get started at doing this.

This method assumes that you've already printed out your templates, whether you drew them yourself, or used somthing like profili to generate them.

What you need:

-Printed template drawings
-Aluminum Flashing - available at Lowes for $5 for an 18" X 10' roll.
-Good NONSERRATED scissors. I picked up some utility shears at Big Lots for 88 cents. The work great!
-Your favorit contact cement - I use Super 77.
-Some fine-grit sandpaper - 400 grit or better.

OK - glue the paper templates down to a piece of the flashing, and cut them out wiht the scissors. Hit the cutouts with a few lengthwise strokes with the sandpaper, and you're done!

Easy, huh? Since the scissors leave a nice smooth cut, if you cut on the line, there is none of the pain of sanding the templates. Just polish it with a few strokes, and you're good to go.
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Last edited by FlightofSong; Jun 29, 2003 at 12:41 AM.
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Old Jun 29, 2003, 09:22 AM
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The only problem I've had with flashing templates is that they act as a very effective cooling fin for the wire. I guess the thing to do is block the template out from the blank so that cooled wire is not trying to cut. Of course this means different measurements.

Has anyone else dealt with this?

dang
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Old Jun 29, 2003, 09:39 AM
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Perth
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Dang

If you are making a highly tapered wing, the flashing template/heat sink works great, if it is used only on the smaller rib section. This way you do not burn the side with the short cut.

Alfred
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Old Jun 29, 2003, 02:11 PM
FlightofSong is offline
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Why yes, I DO work for GP
Danville Vermilion, Illinois, United States
Joined Oct 2002
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Using a "sawing" motion, where the bow is slowly moved from side to side as the cut is made, seems to eliminate any tearing problems at the template side.

However, it won't work with something like a Feather/Cut. In that case, formica seems to be the best way to go.
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Old Jul 06, 2003, 11:07 PM
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Useful chatter guys.
Thanks,
dang
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Old Jun 28, 2016, 10:11 AM
RotoTillerGuy is offline
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United States, CA, South El Monte
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I use a CNC router to cut my custom Formica/Masonite Hotwire templates.

Phenolic is an even better material, but harder to find.

If anyone needs a set, $35.00 for two bottoms and two top templates, made of Formica.
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Old Jun 28, 2016, 10:57 AM
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I switched to G-10. It is brutal on blades but the templates are super durable and they come out pretty nice.

Definitely not a 5-10 minute project though
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