Hot-melt glue forms template for oddly shaped workpiece
I recently made a frame for a fishing net, using steam-bent maple strips, but one step had me flummoxed. I just couldn’t cut a V-shaped piece that would fit tightly into the narrow section of the oval. I was about to give up and leave the gap when I realized I could use hot glue to make a perfect pattern for the odd shape. First I made the straight part of the pattern from wood and clamped it in place. Then I used a normal glue bottle to create a dam, and loaded up the triangular cavity with hot glue. Once the glue cooled completely it peeled away pretty easily. I attached the triangular piece to the straight piece to form a perfect pattern for the entire insert, which I made from Spanish cedar.
I traced the pattern onto the stock to rough-cut it on the bandsaw, and then used double-sided tape to attach it to the piece for final trimming on the router table, using a spiral flush-trimming bit. The fit was perfect, and so is the fishing net.
—Joe Newman, Loveland, Ohio
—Drawings by Dan Thornton