How To Make Router Templates The Faster And Easier Way

Believe it or not, creating router templates is actually really easy.

It might sound complicated for first timers in the woodworking business, but you'll find it not difficult as you go on.

I can teach you how to make router templates in this article and it won't even take a lot of your time.

Templates are handy in woodworking, especially if you are trying to make some cool furniture.

Templates are also often used for designing wooden materials. This is ideal for bed frames, headboards and even tables that you would want to have some cool details on.

It would also be a cool business on your end should you become really dedicated and good at it.

Before we proceed to the step-by-step procedure on how to create router templates the right and easy way, you must be aware of the prerequisites first.


Must-Haves In Creating Router Templates

1. Router

In order to make this project possible, you will need a good router.

You can usually buy it from your local hardware shop or you can also order it online. Most of the time, it comes as a set with the table and other woodworking equipment.

If you don't need a set, you can always buy it alone and the price could range from $100 to $180 depending on the brand and online store.

2. Plywood or Hardboard

I would typically advise that you use a hardboard because it is more affordable and it is so easy to work with.

3. Paper and Pencil

You will need this to draw your pattern on the piece of wood that you want to design on or create a template of.

4. Jigsaw or Scroll Saw

You will use jig saw or scroll saw in shaping the hardboard or plywood.

You can read our detailed guide on how to find the best scroll saw. In the blink of an eye, below are our top 3 picks.

5. Sandpaper

This is for finishing touches and making your project more presentable and professional.

Methodology In Making Router Templates


how to make a router template


  • Step 1: Designing - Find a sample of a design that you want for your wooden project. You can find it straight out of a book or any pattern you like where you can trace it on another piece of paper or you can always draw your own. You could use some spray adhesive to keep the material in place.
  • Step 2: Creating A Pattern - Once you are done with that, cut around the pattern using a scroll saw. In order to produce some really usable pieces out of it, drill about 1/16 inches of hold on the surrounding line of your pattern.
  • Step 3: Cutting - Carefully thread the blade of the scroll saw on your pattern and start the cutting. Doing this will create a positive template that is perfect for the creation of a raised shaped. Meanwhile, a negative template will also be created for the recessed material that fits right with the positive template.
  • Step 4: Sanding - Simply sand all the edges of the template and smooth the parts where a small dent was produced because of the starter hole. Make sure that you use a good sandpaper or any wood filing material to create a presentable finished product.

The Routing Process

how to make a router template guide


  • Step 1: Preparation - Get a foam pad to secure the wooden pattern that you made that is on your benchtop. It is better to be safe than sorry, Not having a foam pad at this point would not only ruin your project but it could even cause some accidents.
  • Step 2: Securing The Template - It is a must to also get some glue to dab your template on with your pattern. This will make the whole thing even more secure. Should you be routing all throughout the pattern, don't forget to include a board that would back it up. You could attach that board using some hot glue.
  • Step 3: Cutting - Once everything is secured from your pattern to your template, get a straight bit and start cutting. Make sure that it is with the same diameter as the wood's bushing in order to create the same measured piece of your template. You could also use a V-groove bit in case you want a more carved design.
  • Step 4: Routing - This process involves the right setting of the bit that you are going to use. Make sure that you set it according to the depth that you need and always route it on the direction that counterclockwise to the positive template. If you are aiming for the negative template, then the route has to be done clockwise and it has to be inside it. It is also important that the bushing can be pressed firmly against the template every time it is used. This will save you time and energy while working on a project.
  • Step 5: Shaping - You can choose between having a recessed shape or having it standing from the surface. Whichever you prefer, all you need to do is route it and have the template popped off using a chisel.

You can also watch the video of how you could make a router template here.


It is really only hard when you think of creating it because it technically sounds difficult, especially for first timers. But as you have read, it is pretty easy to process and apply it to your project.

To sum it all up, basically, all you need to do is get a design that you want and create a pattern out of it. Once the pattern is done, you can then create your desired template.

Once your template has been established, the cutting, the routing, and the sanding could then take place.

Perhaps the most difficult part here would have to be measuring everything and making sure it is all precise. One wrong measurement could mess up the entire project and you don't want that to happen.

You are not expected to be instantly good at it the first time you try doing it. But don't feel bad and don't be so hard on yourself. Not everybody could really perfect it the first time.

It takes practice sometimes, so we would suggest to get your hands more on projects that would involve routing and creating a template router. Have fun!

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