|Project by woodbutcherbynight||posted 02-15-2017 05:04 PM||906 views||2 times favorited||7 comments|
Over the years I have had to make do with whatever method I could to make a circle for a project. Sure the lathe works but it has a limit on circumference and takes time. Many videos exist on this jig, lots of good ideas and some really strange approaches. Would not say mine is any better but I added improvements I thought worked better for me.
Base is ½ plywood, the next layer is 3 pieces cut to fit the sliding rule. Now I know some are going to look at the bottom and have a stroke on the number of screws used. Overkill, OMG what did you use the entire box??? Yeah all of the above. I assembled this with no glue and dialed in the sliding rule then took it all back apart and finished each piece, reassembled and used glue and the screws. Why? It seemed like a good idea at the time ya know? The plywood had two unsightly knots so I drilled them out and glued in dowels of mahogany.
The sliding rule base is a metal plate used in a cash register I seem to have 6 of them so one got used. I had a duller than a rock ¼ drill bit that I cut the bottom off and used it as my pivot. The ruler is an aluminum one I picked up at a box store, to attach after I set it correctly I used epoxy. To avoid confusion I sanded off the upside-down numbers, is may not be pretty but less confusion is best I am not getting any younger here.
To lock the jig in place on the work side I made a cleat to go under the bandsaw table. Sliding the unit into the blade this cleat hits the base of the table and extends 1 ½” under it. I spent a fair amount of time experimenting with locking down the opposite side for added safety. Experimenting with it I found it was not needed as you had more than enough pressure on the top pushing the blank around. Note I spent several days to determine this. (laughing)
While most jigs I have seen on videos just use plywood and maybe hit it with some wax I cannot abide that. I wrapped the sides with some mahogany strips and carefully cut out my slot for the sliding rule. Finished the entire piece with 4 coats of poly, let cure for a week then 3 coats of car wax. Yes for those so inclined that seems like overkill. Perhaps, but I subscribe to the idea that just because it is homemade does not mean it cannot look good.
In coming to the end of this project I have a strict rule for myself. Jigs, like tools, need a home. Sure the jig is made, now where you going to put it hotrod? Took a couple of tries before I settled on this location. Of course that meant a few more days making the cleats and rest block for the jig to sit in.
You can make this jig in many different ways. My design is 3 ¾” tall. The base measures 18”x18” which allows for a 26” circle, more if needed but it comfortably cuts 20” with ease. I did get a 3/16” blade from Timberwolf that they suggested would work well for this application. So far it has worked very well on everything I have cut.
-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.