I’m a beginning woodworker with a basic question: For making templates out of medium density fiberboard (MDF), what’s the best way to secure paper patterns to MDF?


I'm a beginning woodworker with a basic question: For making templates out of medium density fiberboard (MDF), what's the best way to secure paper patterns to MDF—double-faced tape, glue, or something else?
—Erick Olsen, Methuen, Mass.


Stick to spray adhesives (such as 3M Spray Mount) for securing paper patterns to wood, Erick. Spray the paper with adhesive. Take care to avoid overspray on your workbench, or consider a dedicated spraying surface, such as this one.

For the strongest bond, place the paper on the MDF blank right away. If you'd like to remove the pattern later, wait about a minute for the adhesive to become tacky before pressing the pattern to the wood. Once you've cut your MDF template, simply peel the pattern away. If you have trouble removing the pattern, brush on paint thinner. The solvent will soak through the paper and soften the adhesive, making the pattern easier to remove.