You’ve just purchased a set of guitar plans and are ready to get started building your guitar. But you don’t want to cut or damage your original paper plans to build the templates. What do you do?
Yes, you can easily make extra copies by going to a copy store but some of those drawings have copyrights attached to them, and we do not want to infringe on those laws. This simple yet traditional procedure of making templates will work in any situation you are in and in your own shop.
Materials You Will Need – Here are the things you will need to create the template. You probably already have them on hand.
- A pair of scissors or hobby knife for cutting
- Charcoal pencil or colored chalk for carbon copy
- Masking tape
- A pencil to trace and mark
- Template material like thin cardboard or a thick poster board.
Step 1 – Prepare to transfer the guitar shape to the poster board. This technique is called making a carbon copy. Take the guitar plans and place it face down over a white surface on a table, if you can not see the lines clearly then take the plans and put it face down on a lighted background. This can be on a lighted table or against a window in you shop during the day. The point is that you want to clearly see the lines on the front when looking at the backside of the plans.
Step 2 – Trace over the lines. Using the charcoal pencil or colored chalk begin to trace or mark over the line of the guitar shape and sound hole. This does not need to be pretty or precise just make sure it is thick in width and over the necessary lines. When you are done take a tissue paper and lightly wipe off the excess charcoal or chalk.
Step 3 – Now you are ready to make your carbon copy. Position the poster board (or thin cardboard) securely on a table. Then overlay it with the guitar plan with the charcoal side face down making contact to the poster board. Next, secure the guitar plan to the poster board with the masking tape. Begin easily tracing over the guitar shape and sound hole with your pencil. There is no need to press hard because the charcoal will transfer with just light pressure.
Step 4 – When you’re done tracing over the guitar outline, gently remove the tape and lift the plan away from the poster board. Now that the outline is visible on the poster board, take a minute to darken the line with your pencil.
Step 5 – Now it is time to cut out your template. Using a pair of scissors or a hobby knife, cut out the shape of the guitar. Take time with your cutting to avoid any rough edges. Remember, this is your template, and you want it nice and smooth.
Your guitar template is now complete just repeat the process for the neck, bracing patterns, side panels, and other templates as you have need of them.