How to template existing architectual woodwork?

Some of the curves and scroll-work moldings on our home's exterior are rotting away. I would like to make a template of parts that are still intact so that I can replicate them in my shop.
The woodwork requires ladder access and I would prefer not to remove it. So, I am looking for some good suggestions of how best to template or trace it while it is still in place...
So I was wondering if any of you have some good tricks of the trade for making an accurate template easily...
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Take a picture and print it on graph paper. It will probably take a few tries to get it cleaned up and scaled properly but should work.
Larry
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Make up a square box of known dimensions and lay that over it when you shoot. Then you can use the grid as a reference in Gimp or Photoshop or whatever to correct for lens distortions and perspective, and when printing to get the scaling close to 1:1.
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On 11/27/2011 9:15 AM, J. Clarke wrote:

a lot of thin strips that can be pushed against the surface. Once all of the strips are touching the wood you have a copy of the curve.
There are also flexible strips that can be bent to duplicate the curve. I am not sure how these would work standing a a 20' ladder to get the piece of molding on your house.
Take a picture of the curve and then using a photo program cut and blow it up until it is full size. Printing the full size curve to a sheet of paper, and use that to make your template. I don't know what you are doing but most curves could be done on 8X11 or 8X14 paper which can be printed on most printers.
If you go the picture route make sure the camera is perpendicular to the plane of the curve, other wise is will not reproduce accurately.
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To scale it correctly include a yard stick or 1 foot ruler in the pic That way you just scale back to that size.
On 11/27/2011 7:19 AM, Larry wrote:

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On 11/26/2011 7:39 PM, blueman wrote:

spray with Pam or similar. Make up a gob (technical term) of Bondo in an appropriate scrap box and hold till set or rig a way to keep the box there - single drywall screw comes to mind.
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On 11/26/2011 7:39 PM, blueman wrote:

http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/page.aspx?p2523&cat=1,42936,42958
http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/page.aspx?p2522&cat=1,42936,42958
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I have seen people spray the existing surface with silicone mold release and use body filler to make a mold. Also seen the same thing done with plaster. Alternatively something like saran wrap can be used.
I have not done this myself to replicate any wooden moldings, but have used it to repair plaster moldings and to make reverse-contour sanding blocks for wooden moldings.
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