Here's a profiler made out of particle board, old pipe, and a Dremel tool. You'd think this wouldn't be stiff enough to meet the specifications required for high quality profiling, and you'd be right: the maker thinks 0.1mm is required, and this doesn't meet it. Hertzberg's profilers were made to a tolerance of 1/10000 of an inch, which at 2.5 µm is about 40x higher than 0.1mm. To me this seems silly, you're still going to be dominated by variation in the cane even at a much lower tolerance. Still, this profiler is a 2D profiler, mimicking the template both along and across the blade, and might conceivably be superior to no mechanical profile at all.
The rest of his site is interesting too. He's an analytically minded amateur, like myself.