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Template

under construction. See also Jig/Fixture

Defining the Term

As a noun, a pattern or mold cut from multiple density fiberboard (MDF), cardboard, sheet metal or plywood, for the purpose of guiding the direction of -- and confining the area of where a tool with a cutting edge, such as a router bit -- cuts or shapes.

An instrument used as a gauge or guide in bringing any piece of work to the desired shape; usually a flat piece of wood or metal having one edge shaped to correspond to the outline of the finished work; also used as a tool in moulding, and as a guide in forming moulds for castings or pottery, in an automatic lathe, etc. In the machine shop, working with metal, a gauge, pattern, or mold, commonly a thin plate or board, or a light frame used as a guide to the form of the work to be executed.

definition of template



On the left is an illustration a template that comes with instructions on the proper way to install a door's lock set.

Source of image: Popular Science Do-It-Yourself Encyclopedia v 12 New York, 1955, page 2786.



keller dovetail

On the left is an image of a  Keller dovetail template. Today, with almost every amateur woodworker an owner of a router and some form of dovetail Jig, or Template, this concept of template is commonplace.



Historical Precedents

Templet, a mould used in masonry and brickwork for the purpose of cutting or setting the work.

Peter Nicholson, Encyclopedia of Architecture: A Dictionary of the Science and Practice of ... 1852 page 484



His [R. Roberts's] system of templets and gauges, by means of which every part of an engine or tender corresponded with that of every other engine or tender of the same class.

Source: Samuel Smiles, Industrial Biography: Iron Workers and Tool Makers 1863,  page 271.



But a more usual method is to prepare a template, by cutting out a piece of stout sheet metal to the converse of the required form....

Source: Charles Percy Bysshe Shelley, Workshop appliances including descriptions of the gauging and measuring instruments, the hand cutting-tools, lathes, drilling, planning, and other machine-tools used by engineers. New York,: D. Appleton & co., 1873,  page 135.



If so, then take up the question of tools, appliances, and facilities generally. Are the machine tools such as will give the greatest possible output, or will it pay to install special tools? If the product is a specialty, has the question of small special tools, such as jigs, templets, gauges, punches, dies, and attachments, by which production is promoted, been considered?

Source: M. Cokely, "A Practical View of American Machine Shop Conditions", in Robert Marion La Follette, ed., The Making of America, Chicago, 1906, v 8, page 360.



Sources: Peter Nicholson, An Architectural Dictionary,  1819; Samuel Smiles, Industrial Biography: Iron Workers and Tool Makers 1863; Charles Percy Bysshe Shelley, Workshop appliances including descriptions of the gauging and measuring instruments, the hand cutting-tools, lathes, drilling, planning, and other machine-tools used by engineers. New York,: D. Appleton & co., 1873; M. Cokely, "A Practical View of American Machine Shop Conditions", in Robert Marion La Follette, ed., The Making of America, Chicago, 1906, v 8, Shelley, C. P. B. (Charles Percy Bysshe),  Workshop appliances including descriptions of the gauging and measuring instruments, the hand cutting-tools, lathes, drilling, planning, and other machine-tools used by engineers. by C. P. B. Shelley New York,: D. Appleton & co., 1873; Home Craftsman 4  January-February 1935; Popular Science Do-It-Yourself Encyclopedia v 12 New York, 1955, page 2786.