Former templates are used to make the fuselage formers. They are necessary to securely hold the formers while the waste parts are removed.
Former templates are constructed of 1/4″ MDF, oak strips and 3/16″ dowel pins. They are sized to match each former size. Close fit is required to hold the part firmly. But the part must also slide easily in and out of the template.
First careful measurement of the width and height of the template is laid out onto a piece of 1/8″ liteply or thicker plywood if needed. It is imperative that the when cutting these lines the sides are perfectly square and fit firmly into the fuselage. Starting a small amount oversized allows the former to be trimmed slowly for a tight fit. Do not forget to allow for the formers to be 1/4″ shorter than the sides to allow the top and bottom to fit perfectly into the sides.
Next a piece of 1/4″ MDF is cut to be about 2″ larger all around than the former to be made.
The fuselage former cut from plywood is centered onto the MDF. Strips of oak cut just thicker than plywood former thickness and about 1″ wide are cut on the table saw. First an oak strip is glued along the bottom edge of the MDF but touching the bottom edge of the plywood former. Side strips of oak are then glued onto the MDF along the sides of the plywood former. Be sure the part will slide in and out but fit snuggly before gluing the second side on. The side oak strips are also long enough to extend all the way across the top edge of the MDF. Leave the top oak piece off for the time being. It is going to become a removable door. Do not worry about how much the outside edges of the template are not aligned. The whole template will be squared up at the end.
The router flush trim bit bearing will ride along guide strips of 1/4″ MDF. These strips are cut about 2″ wide and glued onto the oak strips leaving the area to be removed open. They set the size lightening hole to be made into the fuselage formers.
The bottom and side 2″ wide MDF guides are glued on first. Again the side pieces of MDF are long enough to extend all the way across the top edge of the oak strips. They must be placed carefully to size the lightening hole to be routed.
Now a piece of the oak strip is sanded lightly to make it just thinner than the oak strips along the sides. It will become part of the door. Carefully cut it to fit snuggly between the two side oak strips. Test fit it to make sure it will slide in and out but remain square when inserted. Now cut a piece of 2″ wide MDF to fit between the two side pieces of MDF. Again cut this piece to fit snugly and squarely. With the top oak piece inserted to firmly touch the plywood former, glue the top piece of MDF onto the top oak strip. DO NOT get glue onto the edges or it will not be removable. Be sure it is positioned to allow it to guide the router bit bearing. Drill a dowel pin hole into the top piece all the way through the three layers. The dowel will be used to secure the part inside for routing.
Former Template Use:
Insert the plywood former into the appropriate template. Drill a hole for the router bit.
CAUTION! These templates are small and require a firm hand to use. Be very careful to avoid injury or mistakes.
Adjust the router bit bearing height to ride on the 1/4″ MDF guide strips and make the parts.
Now Fuselage gluing can begin. See Fuselage Jig Use.