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Inlay template material

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  • Inlay template material

    I just got a new Porter Cable router and an inlay kit. I made a quick and dirty template out of some solid luan planed down with my new tp1300. I wasn't happy with the template (too soft). The instructions say to use plastic or Masonite. The problem is the spacer in the inlay kit is 1/4 in, the plastic available at the local HD is .22. I haven't measured it yet, but I believe the Masonite is a hair under 1/4 also. Has anyone else made templates for inlay? Any suggestions on material. I don't know about the cost and availability of 3/8 stock.

  • #2
    I make my templates out of 1/4" Masonite, and have had no problems doing inlay work with them.


    • #3
      Are you using the inlay kit that uses the small removable brass bushing on the guide? It seems to me that if you have template material that is not as thick as the bushing, you will have trouble with the router rocking while trying to rout.


      • #4
        Sorry in the delay getting back to you, but I wanted to wait until I got home to do some measuring.

        I do have the inlay kit with the bushing that comes off.

        When I measured my masonite templates they are .239", or just under 1/4". The bushing however, is .194" which is about 3/16".

        I think if you measure your bushing it will be about the same size.

        Have fun with your inlay kit, I know I have!


        • #5
          My bushing is .25. Hence the problem. I can either: 1. go to 3/8 material 2. laminate to the bottom of 1/4" nominal template material. 3. plane some hardwood to .20. 4. add some thin material to the base of my router. 5. file down the bushing and guide. What brand is your kit? Mine is Whiteside.


          • #6
            I have that kit and was successful using some higher grade 1/4 plywood. I certainly do not think you would want to plane down hardwood everytime you needed a template.
            "USA Today has come up with a new survey. Apparently three out of four
            people make up 75 percent of the population."
            David Letterman, late-night talk show host


            • #7
              I found a good material today. I have some leftover pieces of laminate flooring. They are 5/16 with a high density fiberboard base, and the laminate top makes the router base slide easily. I tried it out just a few minutes ago, and it works great. Now all I need are some good images to make into inlay. The price is right too. By the way I found that a hand plane works great to cut the inlay flush with the stock.
              Last edited by Clovishound; 02-10-2006, 05:43 PM.


              • #8
                Clovishound: Glad you found some cheap material to make your templates out of. I bet that laminate does make a good smooth surface.

                By the way, I got my kit from MCLS.


                • #9
                  I've also used 1/2" plywood to make templates out of.


                  • #10
                    I bought some clear 1/4 polycarbonate off ebay and it's been great for templates, router bases, etc. Takes a little patience to work it, but I've been pretty happy with the results. I made an oversized clear round sub-base for my router that accepts my PC bushings and haven't looked back.