What do y’all use for knife templates?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Outdoor Gear Dad, Dec 29, 2020.

  1. Outdoor Gear Dad

    Outdoor Gear Dad Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 1, 2019
    I’ve got paper templates and plastic templates that I cut out of old placemats all over. They suck to trace out on steel. What do you guys use? This might seem like a no-brainer question, but I’m looking for creative ideas. Thought about buying a bunch of paint stir sticks from Home Depot and cutting them out of that.

    Any suggestions that work for you?
  2. argel55


    Oct 30, 2005
    I use some 3/32 plastic and 1/16 sheet metal that I make the most made templates out of.
  3. Fletch Helical

    Fletch Helical

    Sep 29, 2009
    I put them on hardboard (high density fiberboard) whatever you want to call it. Same stuff pegboards are made out of without the holes in it. You can get a 2x2 sheet usually from a Home Depot for a few bucks or buy a 4x8 sheet for a few bucks more and have them "cross cut" some 2'x4' sheets that you can make a bunch out of. Just don't get them wet :). What's nice is with some fine grit sandpaper you can smooth out any profiling by hand that might need to be done if need be.
  4. SBuzek

    SBuzek KnifeMaker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 7, 2006
    I use 1/8" micarta for fixed blades. And 3/32 A2 for folders
  5. Natlek


    Jun 9, 2015
  6. Branson1369


    Feb 17, 2019
    1/4” plywood
  7. Seedy Lot

    Seedy Lot

    Apr 15, 2019
    I was using kydex but recently switched to G10.
  8. David Schott

    David Schott

    Sep 27, 2004
    1/16" Norplex/micarta they sell super cheap on ebay
  9. TheEdge01


    Apr 3, 2015
    I just cut mine out of Manila folder paper. It’s not fancy, but it does the trick.
  10. Randydb

    Randydb Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 27, 2014
    I had a piece of 1/8" finish birch plywood. I took my drawing, stole my nieces glue stick, and glued my drawing to the plywood and then cut it out on my bandsaw and used my grinder to get things down to my lines and smooth.
  11. PEU

    PEU Gaucho Knifemaker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 6, 2006
    I have all of my templates stored as vectors. If I need to cut something, I vinyl plot the profile and cut it with the bandsaw. Simple and accurate.

  12. Hankins

    Hankins KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 7, 2008
    1/4"x2 1/2"x48" piece of Poplar sold in the wood trim section of the local Lowes or Home Depot
    Cost is around $3-4 but you can get quite a few templates out of one. Good thing is you can practice your grind on it, especially if it's a complicated one. These come in many other sizes as well so few limits on radical designs.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2020
    Branson1369 likes this.
  13. N.W. Gean

    N.W. Gean KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 10, 2018
    I have a 1/8" aluminum blank for the hunting knife I make. Lowes/Home Depot sells aluminum stock fairly cheap.
  14. Alex Topfer

    Alex Topfer

    May 1, 2019
    I use paper or baking parchment. As you noticed it's not the most accurate to transfer to steel, but i make tweaks to my design during grinding anyway so it doesn't bother me. If it's just a mockup to get a feel for size I use scrap cardboard.
    If you want it really accurate do a vector file and get it cut by waterjet
  15. JTknives

    JTknives Blade Heat Treating www.jarodtodd.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 11, 2006
    :rolleyes:I use a cnc file on a flash drive
  16. DanF

    DanF KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 17, 2017
    When I come up with a profile I want to keep I make an extra out of reclaimed 15N20 and use that as a template. When I’m gone someone will get a drawer full of ready to bevel useable pattern blanks
  17. Dominick Maone

    Dominick Maone

    Oct 14, 2018
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    This is what I use also. Super easy to cut with bandsaw and score with a razor what you can not reach with bandsaw.
  18. Jrmysell


    May 18, 2014
    I use the 1/8" plexiglass type stuff at lowes/homedepot. Super cheap for a sheet and see through.
  19. john april

    john april KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 27, 2006
    .040" sheet metal. i had used wood in the past but i noticed the scribe will start to eat away the edge after awhile.
  20. Horsewright

    Horsewright KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 4, 2011
    El Cheapo mild steel from the Depot. Some paper ones for the occasionally used ones or one offs and a few out of laminated wood. Day in day out knives I make often, mild steel.

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