Router templates

Discussion in 'Plans, Designs & Software' started by Purelojik, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. Purelojik

    Purelojik New Member

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    Hey guys so I was looking for a place to get some acrylic templates made. Do you guys know of any good places online that'd be able to make them from either full size pdf's or CAD files?
     
  2. aeleus

    aeleus Active Member

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  3. Heretic

    Heretic Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that!

    I had them make these logo badges for me:

    [​IMG]

    They look great, and the service was fast and reasonably priced.
     
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  4. SimonB15

    SimonB15 Active Member

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    Cool. Are those for guitars?
     
  5. aeleus

    aeleus Active Member

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    Nice. Glad that worked out for you. What are they for?
     
  6. Heretic

    Heretic Well-Known Member

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    Yep, logo badges for guitar headstocks. Better than decals. It's stainless steel, by the way. They cost me right at $7.50 each.

    They're smaller than they look, about 1" in diameter. They are sitting on a fingerboard blank in that photo.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2013
  7. aeleus

    aeleus Active Member

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    Do you inlay them or surface-mount them? Stainless seems like a cool material to do inlay, but I worry that it would be difficult to sand flush with the wood.
     
  8. Heretic

    Heretic Well-Known Member

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    They'll be surface mounted, attached with tuner screws. If I was going to inlay them, I would have had them made exactly 1" around, and without the screw hole tabs. That way I could route for them with a simple forstner bit. And I probably would have had them made out of aluminum or brass, to make them easier to sand.

    These badges are for a series of standard basses I'm working on. It's an inexpensive and effective way to quickly install a logo, and it looks pretty good.

    I am now considering making an inlayable version for the more expensive fully custom basses.
     
  9. skeels

    skeels New Member

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    That's a sweet idea for logos, man!




    I may have to steal it.....
     
  10. Heretic

    Heretic Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, no problem. To be fair, I mostly got the idea from Oscar Prat.
     
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  11. silent_k

    silent_k New Member

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    Not sure if the OP is still looking for services to do this, but I've been using Ponoko to make my templates for about a year or so (http://www.ponoko.com). I've been using Inkscape with the basic blank templates they supply to draw neck shapes, electronics cavities, etc., and so far have only used their 6mm MDF for my templates. They have acrylic but it's more expensive and since I'm still working out the kinks in some of my stuff, MDF has been the way to go (and you can always use a 6mm/1/4" MDF template to create a thicker template from plywood or MDF). I've so far been really happy with their service.
     
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  12. Sully

    Sully Well-Known Member

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    That's a pretty cool option, for sure. What do they wind up charging per template?

    Sully
     
  13. Purelojik

    Purelojik New Member

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    ive just been getting quotes right now and it seems its about 40 bucks for a body template give or take with 5 day deliver. if you want next day or same day its about 80 bucks each, this is for 1/4 in acrylic
     
  14. silent_k

    silent_k New Member

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    Here's one example: last fall I had them laser cut in 6mm MDF a body template for a Klein-style build, plus two smaller templates for bridge routs, all of which fit on a single large sheet of their material (31.1" x 15.1"/790mm x 384mm). The cost of the materials was $8.69 and the making was $27.80 -- add in the shipping and the grand total was $48. If you're going to be making a lot of templates, or you'll know you'll be ordering several things in a short period, you can get a "prime" account for $39/month that reduces some of these costs, and means your stuff gets done more quickly -- I've done that for a few things I needed fast and I usually have them within a week or so (I think that's how I did the above template -- it's been a while and I don't regularly keep a prime account going). For the level of accuracy I think it's totally worth it. One of these days I'll make a few adjustments to what I've done so far and have acrylic masters made.

    I don't work for them, by the way -- just a happy customer so far. :)
     
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  15. Purelojik

    Purelojik New Member

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    do they stock MDF? or do we have to send them some?
     
  16. silent_k

    silent_k New Member

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    They stock everything they offer to cut, so nothing has to be sent except properly formatted files -- they have a lot of info on their website about how to put the files together properly, and stock templates you can download that correspond with the different sizes of raw material they have. They have 3 different sizes of MDF stock available -- can't recall the dimensions off the top of my head, but it's all on the site. I've been using Inkscape to make my drawings that get saved in SVG format -- they have downloadable SVGs you can use that have orange borders around where the edges of the stock are, plus some instructions about how to color the lines according to how you want the laser to cut (you can have it go all the way through or do various levels of engraving -- perfect for making center lines).
     
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  17. Purelojik

    Purelojik New Member

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    awesome dude i'll check them out for sure!
     
  18. LC100

    LC100 New Member

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    I have used Ponoko for a set of templates cut from bamboo plywood and probably will not use them for anything other than decorations. I've also had another guy cut a different template from 1/4" mdf and that will probably be only used for decoration, too.

    One of the things I've found is that lasers have a problem cutting curves through material thicker than paper. On every single template the edges are not perpendicular to the face of the material when a curve is involved. This is not a big deal on areas with no critical dimensions that need to be retained (general body lines) but is a very big problem where they are needed. All three suffer from this right around the neck join area and are useless because of it. The lasers seem to burn away material in a "vee" shape and that can (did) changes dimensions.

    I will not use lasers again for this task. After several hundred dollars mostly wasted (some templates with simple straight lines are still useable) on this experiment I have decided to go the CNC route for anything that requires exact dimensions. I believe CNC has other advantages as well. One of the templates from Ponoko was cut using material that was clearly bowed. Since lasers do not rely on mechanical cutters there is no need to secure the piece to the cutting table. This bow, though small, exaggerated the angled edges even more. With CNC the work piece must be secured to the table and that tiny warp would have been irrelevant.

    If your templates are for non-critical parts then lasers are a cheap and effective way to get something made. If you require dead nuts accuracy look elsewhere because chances are you will be disappointed with the results.
     
  19. Purelojik

    Purelojik New Member

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    pretty great stuff here.

    i was thinking about that after reading the limitations of laser cutting on polulu's site.

    so i just ordeered some stainless steel logo inlays for an idea i had for my headstocks. I dont have a guitar company but i do like the thought of it lol.

    here's what it'll look like.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. LC100

    LC100 New Member

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    For that kind of work lasers are brilliant. They do have some neat applications but I truly believe if you are after perfection then you should look elsewhere. I forgot to mention that because of how a laser works it creates a kerf which is really hard to allow for since all materials behave differently to the heat generated by a laser. Ponoko has some discussion about this in their forums section where they can only guesstimate the width and only with a few materials.

    CNC routing/cutting/etc., on the other hand, has a known dimension for the cutting tool and the paths can be offset to allow for this. Anyway, I'm not going to try to dissuade people from using them because they can be included in a builders arsenal if you know their limitations.
     
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