The body blank was cut from one eight inch wide by ten foot long by 8/4 piece of poplar. I cut a single piece of popular as shown so it would fit both halves of the body while still clearing any knots in the piece of wood.
Before I jointed the edges, I planed the blank for thickness since I wouldn’t be able to do so once the two halves were joined together (the planner is 10 inches wide.) The final thickness was about 1.625 inches. Then it was time to joint the two edges on the jointer. I initially tried to do this with the pieces still connected so the jointed surfaces would be mirror images of each other when turned to be correctly oriented. That would allow for a tight, perpendicular joint even if the jointer wasn’t perfectly perpendicular. This didn’t work due to the knot in the center between the two halves, which gave the jointer trouble. Instead, I went ahead and cut the two pieces apart (including cutting out the knot from one of the pieces) and carefully jointed the two separate pieces.
Once I was satisfied with the joint, I used wood glue and two large bar clamps to glue the joint together. The extra clamps on the ends are to make sure the surface stays as level with each another as possible, since I wouldn’t be able to plane the finished full-sized blank.
Attaching the Master Template
I scraped and sanded the joint and top smooth then attached the paper template to the top surface. To line up the center of the template with the center of the joint, I used a line printed on the centerline of the printed body template. I also made sure to avoid as much of the weird grain near where the knot had been as I could while aligning the template.