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Wood templates are patterns or models used in the making of specific pieces, usually those with curved lines or irregular designs and shapes. If, for example, you are making a set of chairs with shaped seats, legs, or back splats that are supposed to match, templates can be used as patterns to ensure that all the chairs have matching elements.
The template is laid down on the raw stock and the pattern is traced; then the workpiece is cut to match the master. Such patterns can be made from cardboard, plywood, hard-board, or scrap stock around the workshop. They save considerable layout time and produce more consistent, accurate results.
The word template is also used in reference to the guides used with routers. Cut with a saber, jig, or band saw, the template can be just about any shape. Don’t forget, however, that you must allow for the distance between the bit and the baseplate of the router.