Template MaterialsIntroduction for Stonemasons Stonemasonry Department 2011
Introduction Stonemasons have been using templates for thousands of years to transfer identical moulds to multiple stones. The choice of material for each template can influence the accuracy of each stone and how long the stone takes to produce. This presentation is designed to introduce you to the five most common materials used by modern stonemasons to make templates.
Zinc very durable weather resistant easy to mark high accuracy moderately flexibile expensive specialty supplier required time consuming This is the best material to be used for template making. It is resistant to poor conditions and can be used multiple times. Zinc is therefore preferred when there are lots of stones being cut to one template. It is fairly easy to mark with a scriber and a high degree of accuracy can be obtained using a sharp pair of tin snips and files. The main disadvantage is that zinc is more expensive than any other template material. It can also be more time consuming to produce templates compared to alternative methods and it is therefore not suitable for “one off templates”.
Semi Rigid Plastic Sheet inexpensive translucent (see through) easy to mark reasonably durable highly flexible can be easily ripped/torn specialty supplier required not suitable for excessive use The semi-rigid plastic sheet is the most commonly used template making material. It is lightweight, easy to mark , easy to shape, translucent, flexible and relatively inexpensive. It is commonly used for taking a template from an existing stone as it can be traced through to reproduce an accurate profile. The sheet can be marked using a permanent marker or pencil. The main disadvantage to using the semi-rigid plastic sheet is that it will not withstand repeated use and has a tendency to curl at the edges and fold.
Plastic durable easy to mark high accuracy specialty supplier required more expensive than SRPS low flexibility Plastic is a relatively new template making material. It is usually delivered in large sheets (approx 2m x 1m) and can be stored outdoors if required. Plastic sheets are very easy to mark and cut accurately and will withstand repeated use. The main disadvantage of the plastic sheet is that it is slightly more expensive than the semi-rigid plastic sheet and cannot be traced through.
Hardboard inexpensive readily available easy to mark difficult to cut accurately time consuming to produce low flexibilityHard board is a material which is suitable for repeated use. It will keep a sharp edge and is not badlyaffected by adverse weather, although every effort should be made to keep it dry.Hardboard is very difficult to cut accurately and all edges have to be sanded to avoid “bumps”. A sharpscalpel is recommended for cutting hardboard.
Cardboard inexpensive readily available easy to mark low durability disintegrates when wet low accuracyAlthough commonly used, particularly when on a small-scale job, cardboard is not a suitable materialfor most templates.The advantages of using cardboard is that it is very cheap, readily available and is easy to mark.It is not suitable for repeated use or in wet weather as it will lose it’s edge and disintegrate.Cardboard can also be difficult to cut to an accurate tolerance.
ActivityIdentify whether each of the materials shown are suitable or unsuitable for the activities described.Indicate suitability with either a or a . Activity Zinc SRPS Plastic Hardboard Cardboard A joint template for 200m of string course (each individual stone measures 1m). A one time use template for a mullion on a small job. A multiple use template to be used in wet conditions. A template which is to be traced from an existing stone for a single use.
Activity AnswersIdentify whether each of the materials shown are suitable or unsuitable for the activities described.Indicate suitability with either a or a . Activity Zinc SRPS Plastic Hardboard Cardboard A joint template for 200m of string course (each individual stone measures 1m). A one time use template for a mullion on a small job. A multiple use template to be used in wet conditions. A template which is to be traced from an existing stone for a single use.
Developed by The Stonemasonry Department City of Glasgow College 2011