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...
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.
I have two suggestions. One is a tool that I inherited. It consist of
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.
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.
Better to be stuck up in a tree than tied to one.
Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar.org
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