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Drawing stencils


I need some help finding some material to make custom drawing
stencils out of; like the kind you buy to draw a circle with. I
can’t find similar plastic material locally, and I’ve used thin
plexiglass, but its a poor substitute.

Also any services out there for taking computer generated shapes
and lasering, or otherwise cutting precision templates? BB


Hi: I make custom stencils by drawing them on paper, glueing them
to 24 guage copper and then sawing out the copper pattern.



Try using sheets of the material used for stenciling. It is
thin enough to cut easily and you can even do cleanup with a
variety of abrasive wheels and the flex shaft. It is usually
available at most better art supply stores. Good Luck! …Susan


BB- Check out your local sewing shop especially ones with a
quilting dept. They make a quilters template plastic which should
fit your needs. It comes in 11x17 sheets or at least thats how I
buy it at anywhere from $1.00-2.00/sheet. It’s the same material
that stencilers use, perhaps a little heavier. It’s semi-opaque
so you can see your design thru it for transfer and it takes a
beating. I’ve used it for years to make stained glass patterns.


BB, I could suggest the waterjet cutting process. I sub-out to
a contractor to cut multiples of 20 ga. stainless steel and
sterling. You need CAD drawings of the designs to run the cuts.
I had an engineering designer draw my sketches at about $30/hr.
and submitted the CAD drawings via email to about nine different
companies nation wide for quotes. I was referred to these
contractors by They supply the machines
to the companies they are referring out. I’m quite happy with
the results and it allows me to be more competitive. Oh, most
waterjet companies charge a minimum $200-250/setup. So, the more
cuts you can make in one run the better! The laser process is
about the same costs as waterjet. You may get a cleaner edge to
score your designs with laser, though. Set up an appoint. with a
local company to see the results. Let me know if you have more
questions. Good luck!

San Diego,CA


I have some old Xray film I’ve used for stencils and for
flexible patterns. It works OK, can be cut easily with any sharp
blade. I think Tim McCreight told me about this and maybe even
gave me the film. j


You might try rolling down a nickel coin to 0.3mm plate from
which templates can be easily pierced - the metal rolls dead flat
and is far more durable than plastic.

Alan Rathbone