To Template or Not to Template……That is the question. One of the comments I get quite often on the channel is “wouldn’t a template save time?”. It is a good question but as in many things in life there are pros and cons for using or not using a method.

On this build I have laid out every piece with no templates. The reason or excuse I use the most for not using a template is the nature of rough cut timbers. There are times when I need to make slight alterations to a timber in order to make things work. Those are situations where a template can be restrictive to the process.

In hindsight my best advice would be to make templates for the scarf joints as those require the most consistent layout every time. I did not do this and I probably would have had better results in the long run.

4 thoughts on “To Template or Not to Template…

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  1. Will you answer my question right there why you didn’t do it cuz if you would seem like it would save so much time cuz when it comes to Cabinetry without that kind of stuff you again it’ll take you forever to do a job you’ll find all kinds of ways to save time

    1. Cabinet wood is generally very square and true so templates work great and I use them for cabinet work. Out of square timbers don’t always work out as well so I measure them all, it saves me a lot of time when I put the timbers together.

  2. I use templates for mortises. My frame included over 150 mortises and I barely touched a chisel for any of them. I bought a 2 1/4 hp Bosch router with a plunge base and a 1/2″ long reach end mill to use for a bit. I cut a piece of OSB or plywood for each mortise size. This approach dramatically decreased the time it takes me to make a mortise. For comparison, how long does it take you to make a mortise? Say 2x8x 4 deep


    1. With the chain morticer it takes about 7 to 8 minutes for a mortice that size. Without the chain morticer and drilling it out by hand it takes about 20 minutes.

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