Basic pattern fabrication - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-07-2010, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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Basic pattern fabrication

Tools Required
  • Router
  • flush cut router bit with pattern bearing
  • Table saw or anything that will make clean straight cuts
  • Double stick tape
  • Saber saw
  • Drill and 1/2" drill bit
  • Bench Vice or other clamping system to hold work piece in place.
  • Normal tools for layout. pencil, ruler, compass and square

Material Required
  • MDF or Masonite sheet material 1/4" thick or more
  • Double stick tape
Basic Pattern making
In this case a pattern is required to make a nice clean rectangular hole in a solid oak panel. The process is started by taking measurements for the required opening size. Then a ¼ Masonite sheet is cut to a size large enough to give the router a place to rest and not so large as to get in the way.
Next cut some strips of ¼ Masonite on table saw to form the square that is need to form the pattern. “ the idea is to have straight edges on all sides” Check size and layout then correct as required. Place double stick tape on each strip then place masonite strips on the large piece of Masonite along layout lines of desired pattern

Press masonite strips down and check for proper placement, square and size. always check double stick tape for good adhesion to pattern masonite before routing or milling opening

Then drill a ½ inch hole for router bit to drop into.

Next set the guide bearing so it will run against the side of the masonite strips

Set router in place

And trim out masonite to the edges by moving in a clockwise direction until all material is removed.

Note you can use saber saw to rough cut the opening, staying away from edges. Then use a router to finish cut to pattern size. “this is recommended for some types of materials like acrylic" And a lot of dust can be avoided if this is done.

Remove from vice or clamps and flip over!
The result is a nice pattern with straight edges and square corners that can be used to cut openings into wood or plastic.

Now to put this pattern to use!
Mark location of pattern on work piece.
Apply double stick tape to pattern in locations that will hold well on work piece.

Clean dust or dirt off work surface and stick pattern to work piece to be routed out. Press down firmly and double check for good adhesion. Any movement of the pattern during the routing process will damage the work piece.

Drill hole for router bit and or saber saw out most of material and then use router to do final finish cut along edge.

Next pull pattern and tape off work piece.

Mark or label the pattern or patterns and store for future use.

The finished cut out, clean, correct size and if needed, you can repeat this on another project in minutes.

When using patterns like this, complex cuts and layouts are easy and professional.

This skill can be applied to other types of fabrication also.
Making patterns for plastic fabrication is almost a must for every part as shown below!

Very detailed parts can be built and reproduced as required when this method is used.

Hope you found this informative
And thanks for taking the time to read it.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 07:23 PM
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ha! theres nothing basic about this!!...I mean...look at all the specialized tools!!

it is IMPOSSIBLE to find 1 person who regrets going pressurized

if you do it right, you can spend a lot of money in this hobby...of course, if you do it wrong - you'll spend A LOT more
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MrMoneybags View Post
ha! theres nothing basic about this!!...I mean...look at all the specialized tools!!
Hey, thanks for reading

The tools used in this guide are mostly normal things many people have. Drill, router and a way to cut 1/4 masonite straight. I wrote this up because it's an easy way to make openings in cabinets that look profesional. Using this type of method is faster and you can get near perfect results every time, no sanding or filing required.
Also these skills and methods can be used in many ways on different projects with practice and planning.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 03:57 PM
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Oh but to have a decent plunge many unfinished projects
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