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View Full Version : How to make FLAWLESS Fiberglass Insert Template Shapes From Scratch- **VIDEOS**



mklett33
11-07-2012, 10:31 PM
Pardon the dust, under construction

Hey guys! Have you ever seen panels in installs like this and wondered how in the world did they get those shapes?

http://i1342.photobucket.com/albums/o768/caraudiofabrication/DSCN0073-2.jpg

http://i1342.photobucket.com/albums/o768/caraudiofabrication/DSCN0035-2.jpg

http://i1342.photobucket.com/albums/o768/caraudiofabrication/DSC_8129.jpg

Well with a series of router tips and tricks, you can start with literally any shape drawn on paper (shown on left), and transform it into a perfectly fabricated wooden template that you can then copy several times into future installs. (Shown on right).

http://i1342.photobucket.com/albums/o768/caraudiofabrication/DSC_8107.jpg

Take your installs to the next level with these shaped panels that you can use for hiding amps and crossovers, trimming around speakers, making amazing port shapes, the possibilities are endless! Let's get down to the nitty gritty:

What you Need:

Safety First! Make sure that you have eye protection, hearing protection, and a dust mask for that harmful MDF dust!

Tools:


Router and Router Table:

http://i1342.photobucket.com/albums/o768/caraudiofabrication/DSC_8125.jpg

Where to find: Online, Big Box Hardware Stores
Starting Cost: $100 (Don’t let the cost deter you, you can easily make this back doing installs for friends and family)
The workhorse of the operation the router and router table combo will allow you to use various “bits” to create different features that lead to the finalized template.
Important features to look for:

Variable Speed
Compatible with .5" and .25" shanks
Bit Height adjust from top of table


Router Bits (List shows in picture left to right)

http://i1342.photobucket.com/albums/o768/caraudiofabrication/DSC_8112.jpg

Flush Trim Router Bit:

Where to find: Online, Big Box Hardware Stores
Starting Cost: 15
The flush trim bit will allow you to make copies of shapes and transfer them from one panel to another with the upper bearing riding against the edge of the “master” template you are copying. Spiral trim bits are better but are more expensive.

Rabbeting Router Bit:

Where to find: Online, Big Box Hardware Stores
Starting Cost: 25
The rabbeting router bit allows you to make a 90 degree notch out of the template. This can be used in conjunction with the flush trim bit to enlarge or reduce the size of an insert. Watch the videos to understand this technique. It is in your best interest to purchase one of these with a set of bearings, allowing adjust-ability of the distance that the but will cut into your work piece.

Roundover / Chamfer Router Bits:

Where to find: Online, Big Box Hardware Stores
Starting Cost: 15 each
Though these bits are not required for template production they are very appealing when creating a finalized template as they can create a smooth rounded edge or an interesting bevel. When used correctly both can add an extra touch of appeal to a template.

Jig Saw:

http://i1342.photobucket.com/albums/o768/caraudiofabrication/DSC_8126.jpg

Where to find: Online, Big Box Hardware Stores
Starting Cost: 30
A more basic tool, there is probably not much info needed here. This will be used to rough cut your template shapes in order to minimize the work that your router must do to cut into the wood.

Drill and Drill Bits:

http://i1342.photobucket.com/albums/o768/caraudiofabrication/DSC_8114.jpg

Where to find: Online, Big Box Hardware Stores
Starting Cost: 30
Again, likely that you have an understanding of these tools. We will be using them to add a hole to start our jig saw when making “holes” on the inside of templates.


Materials


“Template Tape”:

http://i1342.photobucket.com/albums/o768/caraudiofabrication/DSC_8118.jpg

Where to find: Online, Big Box Hardware Stores, Art supply stores
Starting Cost: 3
Also known as double sided foam tape this tape will allow you to hold work pieces together while performing steps with the router table. It can also be used to allow for material “gap” when wrapping various pieces with suede, vinyl, carpet, etc.

Round and Straight Shaped Objects:

http://i1342.photobucket.com/albums/o768/caraudiofabrication/DSC_8115.jpg

Where to find: Everywhere!
Starting Cost: FREE!
In order to get parts of your shape to be perfectly smooth you are going to need existing surfaces to create them from. Start collecting large metal washers, speaker ring cut outs, straight edges from MDF etc!

mklett33
11-07-2012, 10:31 PM
Cont from above.


” MDF or Hardboard (Left) and 1/2" MDF (Right):

http://i1342.photobucket.com/albums/o768/caraudiofabrication/DSC_8127.jpg

Where to find: Big Box Hardware Stores, Lumber yards
Starting Cost: Depends on Size and date, material price changes
If you have a particular curve in your material that you cannot merely copy from an object you found you can use the 1/4" thin hardboard or mdf to smoothly cut the shape with your jigsaw, make sure you take the time to sand the surface you cut smooth so that the transition is perfect and has no rises.
A favorite among car audio enthusiasts the 1/2" MDF is a MUST for template production, MDF is void free and will allow for perfect surfaces when using various router steps.

Body Filler:

http://i1342.photobucket.com/albums/o768/caraudiofabrication/DSC_8117.jpg

Where to find: Online, Big Box Hardware Stores, Auto Supply, Auto Body Stores
Starting Cost: 15
Also known as “bondo” body filler is a must for making negative plugs throughout the process. I personally recommend “Rage Gold” by Evercoat due to its awesome working period and amazing sanding qualities.

Painters tape:

http://i1342.photobucket.com/albums/o768/caraudiofabrication/DSC_8120.jpg

Where to find: Online, Big Box Hardware Stores, Art Supply
Starting Cost: 3
An easily found item, we will be using the painters tape to protect our panels on steps that require the use of body filler.

Misc:


Other things you need that don’t need explaining: Scissors, marker, ruler.

http://i1342.photobucket.com/albums/o768/caraudiofabrication/DSC_8121.jpg

The Videos!

You are going to want to crack open a cold one and start to free your mind! Get those creative juices flowing! Follow the steps outlined in these videos to construct the templates!

Episode 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0zmgObQJjw

Episode 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXUSHr8o6lI

Episode 3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c52SGbnZIvI

Episode 4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHjj9LswVxI

With the templates made you can utilize them within your builds. Stay tuned for future steps outlining using mold fabric to mount them within a fiberglass surface, wrapping techniques for covering with material, as well as other techniques.

mklett33
11-07-2012, 10:37 PM
Reserved

carlosg_313
11-07-2012, 11:51 PM
Very impressed on the tutorial. step by step instructions is what got my attention on learning how to make these templates. just started working as an installer and with the goodies(tools) the shop has, i can take advantage and start practicing to make some bad *** templates. next step is to learn how to do kerf ports, by watching your vids. subscribed :)

Kangaroux
11-08-2012, 12:31 AM
Great tutorials OP, I'm sure a lot of people will make good use of them. Simple enough for everyone to understand, but still open ended so that they could easily be expanded to take it even further.

MadAudio
11-08-2012, 01:45 AM
good stuff really enjoyed it looking forward to giving this a try.

garretttt4
11-08-2012, 01:57 AM
This should be stickied.

CHEMMINS
11-08-2012, 10:50 AM
For a guy who has the time and tools....great work. For the guy short on time/tools.....buy the template.

/arguments

OmegaBunny
11-08-2012, 01:09 PM
Don't clutter up this thread just because you don't agree with the way OP did something. If you think there is a better way to do this then make a video and start your own thread!

mklett33
11-10-2012, 10:10 AM
Very impressed on the tutorial. step by step instructions is what got my attention on learning how to make these templates. just started working as an installer and with the goodies(tools) the shop has, i can take advantage and start practicing to make some bad *** templates. next step is to learn how to do kerf ports, by watching your vids. subscribed :)

Thanks man! I plan on doing quite a few more write ups like this, so do whatever you can to subscribe and stay tuned. Glad you enjoyed it!


Great tutorials OP, I'm sure a lot of people will make good use of them. Simple enough for everyone to understand, but still open ended so that they could easily be expanded to take it even further.

Thats right! This is only a basis to what could be a million different ideas and designs.


good stuff really enjoyed it looking forward to giving this a try.

If you do stop by and let us know how it worked for you. I would also appreciate if you use it in a build thread to link back to this thread, share the knowledge with others!


This should be stickied.

Haha thanks!




Don't clutter up this thread just because you don't agree with the way OP did something. If you think there is a better way to do this then make a video and start your own thread!

Thanks bunny!

mklett33
11-12-2012, 02:08 PM
Woo hoo stickied!

captbo
09-26-2013, 09:16 PM
outstanding craftsmanship !