Making a template

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by John Torchick, Sep 2, 2017.

  1. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    I have a saucepan that was my mother's. The wood handle has deteriorated over time and I want to replace it with the same contours as the original. Basically, it will be coves and rounded high places (can't recall the term for it). I have some cherry that has been in the dry for over a year. I could cut a rough piece and dry it in the microwave, weighing it as I go.
    What is the best way to make a template to duplicate the contours? The original finish was a black paint that soaked into the wood but has worn thin in places from years of use. Recommended finish?
    I have some ideas for the template but wanted to get input from the experienced turners here. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Bruce Schoenleber

    Bruce Schoenleber

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    A contour gauge should do the trick for you. Amazon, Lowes, Home Depot all have them for $10-$20 depending on length. Or you could just trace a profile on a piece of cardboard.
     
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  3. charlie knighton

    charlie knighton

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    cherry is very prone to cracking.....I quit putting cherry blanks into kiln.....I would be interested in results in microwave
     
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  4. john lucas

    john lucas

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    John Take a small flashlight and hold it several feet away. That will cast a shadow and you can hold a piece of paper near the handle and draw exactly what you need. Then measure the handle and the drawing to see if there was any enlargement from the light. Probably minimal but it depends on how far away you can get the light. Then just cut out the profile on the paper and you have a template.
     
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  5. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    You could use paper and scissors and use trial and error to fine tune the profile. If it is a spindle that can be lathe turned, you could just take measurements at key points (top and bottom of beads, coves, etc.). The handle doesn't have to be precisely the same as the old one.
     
  6. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    charlie, the cherry has been inside for a while. I might rough turn it and let it sit for a while. The pan has been on the shelf for a long time so there's no hurry. To all- thanks for the tips.
    What finish do you guys recommend? This won't be put in the dishwasher!
     
  7. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    John
    Lots of workable ideas so far.
    If you have a camera in your phone you can take a profile picture of the handle and resize it to the actual length and to the widest diameter then cut it out.

    I would not use a template.

    Most spindles are easily duplicated from measurements of the high and low spots
    Digital calipers make this easy.
    Write down the dimensions

    Turn your cherry into a cylinder a 1/32" larger in diameter than the largest diameter of the handle.
    Hold the old handle next to the cylinder and mark the lines for all the measurements you made.
    Then part in to the diameter of each measurement. I hold outside calipers in the groove I'm parting with both point against the wood until they slide over. I let them spring open the tiniest bit to allow for sanding. Actullay what happens is the spinning wood will sort of pull them over about a 1/32 from what they open to.
    Then put the spindle or a printou of it where you can see it as you connect the parted lines with the shapes in the spindle.
    Getting a template to fit everywhere is really hard.
    Connecting the lines is usually quite easy.

    Parting with one hand. I put the handle under my forearm and hold the tool with my index finger along the top of the tool. Let the bevel ride on the line. Keeping the bevel,in contact pull back slightly on the tool,and raise the handle. Mute tool edge,will begin peeling the wood away. Put the caliper ends in the groove. Continue cutting out depth with the parting tool by feeding the tool into the cut and over the tool rest maintaining the peeling cut. The cutting tip will be following an arc.

    Be sure your callipers ends are rounded over with sandpaper, a stone. A grinding wheel works but can be quite tricky and false move will have the tool thrown at you possibly causing serious injury. I alway run my finger over the callipers to check their smoothness. If I get any pick I sand the offending spot.

    Have fun!
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017
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  8. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Thanks, hockenbery. I have lots of cherry from a neighbor's tree. I'll try it and your approach to the handle. If it cracks, as has been mentioned, I have other wood that I can use. Then, the first one could be considered practice.
     
  9. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    If you have super thin CA, that can be used as a finish. I've used that as a finish for several kitchen items including several knives where the wood had become rough and gray from being washed in the dishwasher. Despite my urging to the contrary some of the knives have been regularly washed in the dishwasher along with the other silverware. The CA finish withstood this for longer than what I expected, but eventually water gets under the finish of any kind of film finish.
     
  10. BobCoates

    BobCoates

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  11. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    That's great, Bob. My birthday is the 11th. When should I expect it? ;) Thanks. Seriously, it would be great for duplicating something like miniature baseball bats. They are great give-aways at ball parks. One could miniaturize them and make pens from them. Or, one could sell them at the local youth ball games. Some of the games have several vendors, selling everything from sunglasses to cool-down scarves, etc.
     
  12. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    I have one of those duplicators, don't use it too often, only when I am making large numbers
    of the same item. It is quicker for me to eye ball a piece and take several measurements and
    duplicate a one-off piece then to set up the duplicator.
     
  13. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Lots of good info and thanks to all. Mike, I frequent a router forum and there is a lot on making templates for router projects. A bit different, though. I'll figure out something. My wife will probably tell me how to do it. She is the artsy-craftsy one in this household. She just finished three dresses (identical) for our three granddaughters. Just cut the material and sewed it together. Fit like a glove.
     

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