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Technical How to: Making Templates

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by -Brent-, Jul 21, 2021.

  1. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,654

    -Brent-
    Member

    I've just made templates for the front floor of my coupe and it took me a while. Measurements weren't equal, there were bends to account for and a hole for a brake lever that I wanted centered.

    It was a fun task but, I'll be honest, there was a bunch of trial and error and it left me wondering about the template tricks and how-tos of others.

    I still have other templates to make for the interior, windows, etc., and I would love to see how you guys go about it. I'm sure it will be helpful to others, as well.

    One "trick" I like is to add tape to any short edges (I trimmed one side back to center the brake lever) and then added tape to areas to get the dimensions proper.

    20210717_193532.jpg

    So, let's have at it!
     
  2. fourspd2quad
    Joined: Jul 6, 2006
    Posts: 843

    fourspd2quad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    If I were doing a template like that I would have started with a piece with the oval slot in it and taped it in place it around the shifter. Then I would have cut some straight pieces to form the perimeter then filled in the middle.
     
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  3. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 1,921

    6sally6
    Member


    GREAT idea!! Make the pieces fit......then tape the pieces together.
    6sally6
     
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  4. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,654

    -Brent-
    Member


    I started with tape and a smaller piece of board.

    20210525_213441.jpg
     

  5. I use clear thick plastic sheet, the stuff that gets wrapped around some industrial stuff. You can see where holes are, and just mark the position on the plastic. For complex areas, cut out the area (say around handles, pedals, etc), from the big piece, and use a smaller piece which can be cut around the unmovable bits, then tape it to the big piece.
     
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  6. Brent: Looks to me like you nailed it. Not a complicated piece but looks good moo
     
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  7. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,654

    -Brent-
    Member

    This is a great tip! I have some odd panels to make and I am definitely going to try this.
     
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  8. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,654

    -Brent-
    Member

    If it were square and the lengths the same it would have been a cinch, my brain can comprehend that. This one took me a bit to stop and then proceeded by keeping it simple.

    Trying that heavy mil plastic idea now...

    20210721_193024.jpg

    20210721_211752.jpg

    I need more magnets in the shop.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2021
  9. fourspd2quad
    Joined: Jul 6, 2006
    Posts: 843

    fourspd2quad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Skinning cats different ways is fun.:)
     
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  10. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,654

    -Brent-
    Member

    My hope is that we'll see a ton of different ways in this thread.
     
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  11. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 2,035

    lostone
    Member
    from kansas

    Ditto for me, smaller pieces cut to fit the edges then tape and fit more pieces together until I have one big pattern.

    Infact went thru this about 2 weeks ago. Once I get the pattern done, if its big I walk the edge of the pattern with it on the metal with spray paint then just cut at the edge of the paint.

    1st pic is pattern, 2nd pattern after transferred to metal and 3rd metal cut out and in place.
     

    Attached Files:

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  12. Harv
    Joined: Jan 16, 2008
    Posts: 416

    Harv
    Member
    from Sydney

    This is clever. For complex patterns that have to bend, I use thin cardboard or often newspaper material. If I then use a Sharpie to mark the template onto steel, I sometimes find the thin template moves around as I'm trying to trace the edges. Spraypaint would help stop that movement.

    Cheers, and thanks,
    Harv
     
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  13. More mostly flat/angular stuff I like pizza boxes, perfect thickness.. ram board would work great too, and less greasy, never thought of that.

    For curved sheet metal panels I like butcher paper.
     
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  14. pirate
    Joined: Jun 29, 2006
    Posts: 732

    pirate
    Member
    from Alabama

    Probably doesn’t apply here for large templates you made for the floors. While I was working I travelled a lot. I started collecting the plastic hotel key cards. I used them to make small templates for brackets, radius gages and small parts. I’ve also used them for shaping, scrapping and smoothing epoxy. Because they are plastic you can grind, band saw, file, bend, etc. and work them similar to metal and really refine a shape when needed. Throw them away after your done. Another use, being from the south I used to keep one in my wallet to clean frost off the windshield when traveling to northern climates.
     
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  15. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,450

    Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Member

    I'm an admitted cheap ass always keeping my eyes open for castoffs that I can use around the garage and yard. I know someone that works in a retail store, and have them save their take down window banners ( "40% off sale" ) before they get dumped in the cardboard recycle dumpster or compactor. They're made of sturdy poster board, some being double thick and some are quite large; 4' x 6'. Also free are the 2' x 3' thin poster board like paper spacers in the toilet paper stacks at Costco. When my kids were little I'd grab a few when we shopped there for them to draw and paint on as they're white on one side. I still occasionally grab a couple and toss them in the cart. Cereal boxes are good for smaller, heavier patterns for plate steel projects (engine mounts, etc).

    At Michael's, I bought a large sketchpad (18" x 24") of very thin high quality paper and a couple of packs of nickel size magnets. It works great for curved surfaces as well as making patterns of already broke sheet metal shapes. For instance, you could easily replicate a set back firewall or a battery box without ever getting out a tape measure. Wrap it tight with magnets, trace with a sharpie, then trim with scissors.

    Another tip for fitting patterns for something like floorboards when your poster board runs long at the side panels; I hold down the edge with a 12" level to make a crease, then come behind it with a razor knife.
     
  16. blazedogs
    Joined: Sep 22, 2014
    Posts: 495

    blazedogs
    Member

    Poster Board from the dollar store 2 for a buck
     
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  17. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 13,703

    Tim
    Member
    from KCMO

    Dirty hands for making witness marks on thin template materials for finding the edge.

    I use that for a lot of things actually. Putting something on the bottom side that i know disrupts easy and then seeing what wears off.

    I’m of the mind set of measure a million times and build it on the bench but I find more and more the template/ mock it up route is more effective.

    good thread topic!
     
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  18. jetnow1
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,998

    jetnow1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from CT
    1. A-D Truckers

    I learned a long time ago, if possible do not measure, mark in place.
     
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  19. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 2,035

    lostone
    Member
    from kansas

    Actually cheaper at Wal-Mart ! Lol

    Bought some 2 weeks ago, infact I went to dollar store first. Girlfriend said that's cheaper at walmart, didn't believe her ,hey its dollar store, but yep walmart was cheaper!
     
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  20. Paul
    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 15,787

    Paul
    Editor

    For locating bolt holes I cut the hole oversize and cut aother piece big enough to overlap with the correct size bolt hole in it, drop a bolt through the hole and tape the piece in place.
    Similar with all holes, shift lever, brake handle, pedals, etc.
     
  21. Dave G in Gansevoort
    Joined: Mar 28, 2019
    Posts: 1,279

    Dave G in Gansevoort
    Member
    from Upstate NY

    Well, another person's idea to plaigerize. This is simple genius.
     
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  22. I go to the local frame shop and ask for matte board BLEMS. Super cheap and I have found it is the best material to cut templates from. I have some that are going on 20 years old.
     
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  23. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,654

    -Brent-
    Member

    Like the art/picture frame store?
     
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  24. Yes, they often get damaged or bad boards. Awesome template material
     
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  25. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 3,283

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

    Years ago HAMB had a tech week, and I showed methods I used, starting with 20# poster board obtained from a paper supply company (stationary store is too thin) the great thing about it while being the same thickness as the sheet metal I use, is that running a ball point pen along a straight edge, creates a perfect break line for a fold upload_2021-7-22_8-5-59.png upload_2021-7-22_8-5-37.jpeg upload_2021-7-22_8-5-23.png
     
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  26. Sounds like the matte board we use
     
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  27. I go to places like Micheal's and buy poster board, but I ask them for the torn and soiled pieces, I usually leave with a dozen or more sheets for a buck, I tape them together if I need anything large.

    Having been in the picture framing business I had plenty of scrap mat board to work with, but mat board is pricey, it doesn't have to be the actual thickness to make a template. HRP
     
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  28. I think I paid $3 a sheet the last time around and the fact that it is thick mimics the steel and helps patterns last
     
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  29. eaglebeak
    Joined: Sep 17, 2007
    Posts: 1,233

    eaglebeak
    Member

    Jumbo size cereal boxes.
     
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  30. Paulz
    Joined: Dec 30, 2018
    Posts: 83

    Paulz
    Member

    I've done that on small rust holes. Grind the hole out back to solid metal with burr, then hold a piece of paper over the hole and rub it with your finger, transfer it to metal and cut out a perfect fitting patch.
     
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