Template buiding tool??? - RC Groups
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Mar 06, 2013, 05:55 AM
Registered User

Template buiding tool???

I want to make air plane template for hot wire cutting. The meterial is 5mm plywood or hardboard.
The template just like this video:
Simple homemade DIY Hot wire cutter or router table (0 min 57 sec)

What tool should I use for this project:
+Dremel 4200 or 8220
+Jig Saw
+ Maktec 370 router/laminate trimmer
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Mar 07, 2013, 11:11 AM
Registered User


Please give me some advice
Mar 07, 2013, 11:38 AM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
It sounds like you're not that familiar with using any of these tools or the answer would be obvious. And there is nothing like actually trying stuff to learn the best way instead of waiting for someone on the interwebz to tell you how and when.

The hand held Dremel is going to be very difficult to control and cut any sort of smooth lines in the template material. With no guide but your hands it will be difficult to cut straight lines in that sort of material. The problem being that side loads are generated at the cutter which are dependent on the feed rate along the line. If you have a Dremel try it. You'll quickly see what I mean. So a LOT of sanding would be needed to finish off the template.

The small router/laminate cutter will only be slightly better thanks to the flat base at least offering you some support so the cut lines are straight up and down. But there's still the issue of side loads that are tied in to the feed rate through the material. It's hard to get a reasonably straight line.

Both the Dremel and the router would be HUGE dust generators as well. Like I mean clouds of it.

By leaps and bounds the jig saw would be a better choice. Use a fine high TPI blade that is intended for smooth cuts on wood to limit any tear out.

THe edges will still need to be sanded smooth but the results from the jig saw will require a lot less sanding because you can safely cut closer to the line.

For the actual template material unless you are using a very good grade of plywood you'll probably find that the hardboard is the better material. Even better is the dark coloured tempered hardboard which is more dense and seems to use some sort of better glue for bonding the dust fibers together. I've used this dark "tempered hardboard" for hotwire templates and it works well. It works nicely because the edges polish up so well so the wire doesn't catch and jump around as it runs along the edge.

THe only problem is I've only found it in 1/8 thick. If that would work for you then go with it.
Mar 07, 2013, 11:52 AM
Registered User


Thanks for replying!
I have an Makita 4328 Jig saw, but it vibrate too much. Now I want to buy one more tool. Dremel have over 200W power but it can rout with small bit. MT370 have more power but they use >=6mm rout bits. Dremel is expensive and hard to buy from my country.
Please take a look into my re-drawing plan base on RCPOWERS's plan.
Mar 07, 2013, 12:14 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
Yes, most jig saws do vibrate a lot. I always hated them until I got to try out a nicely balanced DeWalt model. I was so shocked that it was a smooth running saw that I bought one of my own. But it was solidly in the middle of the price range from cheap to crazy high. So it wasn't a cheap model.

The perfect tool for cutting templates for this sort of project would be a bandsaw or scroll saw. But if you are limited to hand tools then of all the options I can think of you're still best off with a jig saw.

If you are limited to handtools for now it might be worth considering buying a NICE jigsaw. It'll cost the equivalent of somewhere around $100US but you will get a lifetime of use from it.

If you do go shopping for a good jig saw then be sure to test it at the store. You'll quickly realize that the good quality more expensive ones cost more for a good reason. I know I was totally shocked at how good a GOOD jigsaw could be.

But if you can afford the cost and space then a benchtop bandsaw or jig saw is likely a more useful tool for model building.

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