I found the perfect router template material in—where else?—my kitchen!

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I found the perfect router template material in—where else?—my kitchen! Those polyethylene cutting boards make nearly indestructible templates for circle-cutting, butterfly keys, decorative inlay, or slot-cutting.

The plastic boards machine to shape easily using regular woodworking tools and blades. Then just clamp one to your workpiece and rout away. I've even used the cutting board's built-in handle to rout mortises or to make handles in projects and shop jigs.

The best feature of these cutting boards: their low cost. I find them for about a dollar apiece at discount stores.
—Serge Duclos, Delson, Que.