A.Gary Katz, a finish carpenter in Reseda, Calif., and moderator of jlconline.com's finish-carpentry forum, responds: Whenever I'm duplicating a shape with a pattern template, I generally like to use a pilot — or pattern — bit guided by a top- or bottom-mounted bearing that matches the diameter of the cutters.

An advantage of this setup is that the template can be made to exactly match the size and shape of the workpiece; there's no need to calculate offsets. And because the bit is going around the outside of the pattern, sawdust buildup interfering with the cutter is rarely a problem.

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