If you don't have acces to a laser cutter, waterjet machine, or CNC
mill/router, at some point you're going to have to cut it by hand. I would
try making it out of masonite using a coping saw or fret saw. Masonite is
fairly hard, but easy to cut, and is inexpensive. When you lay out the
design, you'll need to allow for whatever bushing size you plan to ue as
well as the bit diameter.
A few- it depends on the job.
Usually I use 1/4" hardboard and rough cut to within an 1/8" or so of
the line, then file or sand to the finished shape. If you don't have
a bandsaw, get a coping saw- they're fairly cheap, and easy to use.
If you need to make inside cuts, you can drill a hole and thread the
blade through with one.
Otherwise, use the router freehand the first time, then sand or file
to the finished shape and then switch to your pattern bit to make
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