Making and using templates

This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Michael Schaefer 4 weeks, 1 day ago.

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Author
  • #21113

    A few things here:

    I wish I had the foresight to make a set of templates before the wood got here.  I could have sweated all the details in advance instead of while my timbers bask in the heat.

    I started to make a template of each end of the frame members. Then it occurred to me that I could assemble the ends of the template to ensure I had no mistakes. Then a bigger idea occurred to me: I could lay out the end of one member,  then draw the adjoining member in place, in a different color, right on top of it, leveraging the layout lines from the first piece while ensuring fit at the same time. With the whole joint laid out, I could then cut the combined outline. Then I could drill small holes at the vertices that define each individual piece (because they overlap). And finally, transfer the majority of the outline to each piece with a pencil,  punch tiny nail holes at the vertices that are in places where overlap occurs, remove the template and connect the dots for a perfectly mating piece.

    I doubt I’m the first person this occurred to, but it’s new to me and seems extremely useful on complex joints like king posts.

    Another use for their tiny holes and nail punches: I draw lines through mortise layout templates and punch locations for the drill bit to streamline drilling mortises. Perfect hole placement every time!

    Brice Cochran
    Brice Cochran

    Thanks for your insights and tips, Michael.  I typically make templates for the scarf joints, complex joinery, and knee braces.  We should team up on an article for the site on what you can do while you wait for your timber, you game?


    Yes, gladly. How shall we proceed? I’ve done several things that are worth passing on. Happy to write from the perspective of a “newby” finding my way through the complexity of starting a project, if that’s of interest.


    Brice Cochran
    Brice Cochran

    How about you make notes as you go through your project, we take those and write one or even a small series?


    Some ideas:

    1. Making and Using Templates

    (per above with examples, where to get missing dimensions, drawing precise angles)

    2. Setting up the Work Area

    (sizing, power, sawhorses, sliding tool tray, tool caddy, anti-fatigue measures)

    3. Managing and Protecting the Woodpile

    (cover or not, what to use, organization, supporting the wood, stickering, removing mildew, end-treatment)

    4. Moving timbers

    (one-man methods, useful equipment you can make, etc.)


Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.