When cutting blanks for template routing, I like to cut them about 1⁄8" larger all the way around, then rout them to exact size with a pattern bit.

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When cutting blanks for template routing, I like to cut them about 18 " larger all the way around, then rout them to exact size with a pattern bit. Instead of tracing directly around the template and trying to cut outside the line, I "enlarge" the template slightly while I trace it, as shown at top.

Then, after bandsawing all the rough pieces, I stack them and stick them together with cloth-backed double-faced tape, tape the template on top, and rout them all to finished size.
—Chuck Hedlund, WOOD® magazine staff