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Hotwire template

Hi guys!
I already tested out several materials (wood, cardboard and metal) but every time i got stuck at a notches or scratches.
Which material do you use for hotwire templates?
I could use metal sheets but that would be pretty expensive in the end and i don´t want to spend a whole week in building templates.

Every help is welcome! :confused:
I haven't used a hot wire for making plane parts. I think the materials you have used should be fine. You may need to spend a little more time refining the templates so that they don't have things that will catch the wire. Maybe a hardboard/Masonite sort of material would work since it is a stabilized product without grain, but easy to work like wood.

I would cut the raw template out leaving plenty of material outside the line, and then sand it down to the line. As you get to the line switch to finer sandpaper until you are polishing the edge. This should eliminate the hang ups. I don't know if there is a wax that would resist the temperature of the wire, but lubricating the templates may help as well.


Cardboard Boy
I make my templates in carboard with aluminium tape.
I sometimes put a bit of cyano glue at the trailing edge to make it a bit stronger.


Drinker of coffee, Maker of things
On my f-100 i decided to use thin plywood. I had a similar problem as above where it would catch on the wood. It was actually burning itself into the wooden templates and catching and burning holes in the foam. Next time i try wood i will try your super glue idea on the edges, but i think next time i try something other than aluminum flashing i will try melamine covered wood and see how that deals with the heat.
That was excactly my problem, the hot wire burnes into the template.
I also thought about using aluminium tape but i didn´t thougt that it will actually work.
I thought it will just be stuck at the round edges were you have to cut into the alutape so i didn´t tryed it out but it sounds good!

Thank you!
Working on a model called the Jupiter Duck. It's a seaplane. The building material is 6mm Depron. Even with a brand new blade my cutting is not that good, so I thought of cutting with a hotwire. In this video I copied the plans, cut out the wing pattern, then glued it to a piece of posterboard. Then trimmed it to the plan outline. It worked really well and there was no sanding or touch up when I was done. More tips and foam builder resources at: https://www.foamboardflyers.com



Well-known member
I haver made many template and I found the best is table/bar top laminate. You can sand the edges until they are smooth.
Needed to make some Depron ribs for my Jupiter Duck. As mentioned in a previous video even with a brand new blade in my knife my cutting is not that good. I had luck while cutting the wing panels using a Hotwire so decided to try doing the ribs in a similar way. I did make lite ply ribs to guide the Hotwire. The ribs need to be sanded as smooth as possible along the edge where the Hotwire travels. When the wire gets stuck on even a sliver of wood it burns a little notch where ever it stops. I made a triple thick rib for the Duck to use as the midrib (root rib). More on that later. You can easily cut several separate ribs using this technique.