Router Templates

Hello
Does anyone know if it is possible to get laser cut metal sheet templates for use in routing made up to my own design. What I'm thinking about is a template that can be clamped to the wood and the router used to remove the wood, this would then allow accurate repetition of the design. I am in the UK.
Thanks in advance for any advice.
Julian Ashcroft
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Talk to the metal working guys. There are all sorts of methods of cutting sheet metal that is very accurate. The problem with metal though, is that it can play hell with your router bits in case of an ooops. Ed
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I know someone who did just that, here in the USA. it's going to be expensive, so you will have to be making a bunch of whatever it is you are making to be worthwhile. cnc laser cutting is a specialty machine shop thing....
templates of thin plywood aren't too hard to make and the freedom to make changes to your design as you go along can be valuable. even if you are going to have a metal one made, I'd suggest you do your prototyping in wood or plastic anyway
here are a few places to try: http://tinyurl.com/y8mb http://www.kellysearch.com/gb-product-54691.html http://www.b-and-z.co.uk / http://www.5750components.co.uk /
and some other websites of interest: http://www.stonewood-precision.com/index.html http://www.dnc-electronics.co.uk/cnc/resources/machining.html http://www.spurengineering.co.uk /
bridger
wrote:

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Julian Ashcroft wrote...

Definitely possible. Be aware that the laser-cut edge is not perfectly square to the surface; that's probably no big deal, though. It's not perfectly smooth, either. You might want to clean up the edge a bit before using it as a template.
Cheers,
Jim
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Look for a machine shop with CNC and talk to them about it. It wouldn't be cheap, though.
I'd probably opt to create the pattern in a CAD program, then print and trace it to some MDF so I could create it myself. If you're just using these as router templates, they probably wouldn't need to be sheet metal.
FWIW
Brian.
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Julian,
Don't know why you want sheet metal. Most people people make their own templates from MDF / Ply etc. You could try acrylic (perspex) for something more durable or find a signmaker with a CNC machine who will cut templates in both materials for a price.With sheet metal you will need a considerable thickness for the template guide to ride on.
Rgds
Noel
noel dot hegan at virgin dot net
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I like to make templates of 1/4" or 1/2" hardboard. I buy cutoffs at the Borg for $.51 each, sometimes 4 ft. x 4 ft. Can't pass up the bargain, and they come in handy for so many things. Make up two templates, then use one for the master.
jmac
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I make my 'tracing' templates out of 1/8" 'Whiteboard' and my SERIOUS router templates from 1/4" hardboard faced with the 'Whiteboard' {which is then waxed}.
For less heavy-duty use I paint the hardboard with Seal Coat, then give it a couple of coats of water-based poly. I give special attention to the edges.
Regards & Good Luck, Ron Magen Backyard Boatshop

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