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Adjustable circle cutting jig for the tablesaw.

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Project by choppertoo posted 06-02-2013 08:59 PM 2009 views 19 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I make cat towers to raise extra funds to help support my daughter’s volleyball habit. : ) The season is expensive enough but now they’re off to nationals so every nickle helps.

The relevance of that statement is that I need consistently sized circles on a regular basis. Of course there are lots of options when it comes to cutting circles, Router, band saw and the table saw. I have a trammel for my router and have made a circle jig for the band saw but for some reason I just like cutting them on the table saw so that’s what I do. I was doing this with my crosscut sled but with front and back fences there was not enough space for the size circles I need to cut so I had to rough them out on the band saw to fit making for a two step process ~read P.I.T.A. ~ so I had to come up with a solution.

The platform for the jig use to be the top of a computer desk left in one of my rentals. The legs were shot but I just can’t seem to throw away clean flat wood. (in this case MDF). I like it because I kept this from the landfill and it is perfect for this jig.

I delayed making this for some time because I couldn’t figure out how to set/lock my pivot pin and have it be flush with the top so as not to be in the way. I was going to cut a rabbit and use aluminum channel for the sliding pivot point but couldn’t find what I was looking for. After much searching I came up with a different solution and I like it very much.

This thing works like a champ I am very glad I finally put it together. It is very easy to adjust and use. I also figured out a way to avoid having to search for that tiny hole when setting up my cut.

I just cut my blank an 1/8 inch over sized then lower the saw blade and use the outside edge of the zero clearance kerf as one reference point then I measure half the radius from the pin and put a mark on the edge nearest to me. Line up the blank and tap it in place with a hammer. Raise the blade and cut away.

Final shot is of our critters doing some QC before passing them onto another happy cat.

Thanks for looking.

-- The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that our aim is too low and we reach it.. Michelangelo





12 comments so far

View Picklehead's profile

Picklehead

632 posts in 653 days


#1 posted 06-02-2013 10:14 PM

Didn’t anybody ever tell you that you can’t cut circles with a tablesaw? It just can’t be done! Now cut it out! Jeez.

-- You've got to be smarter than the tree.

View stefang's profile

stefang

13530 posts in 2057 days


#2 posted 06-02-2013 10:28 PM

Great jig and it works!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Radu's profile

Radu

299 posts in 1767 days


#3 posted 06-03-2013 02:37 AM

Great idea. What would be the smallest circle diameter you could cut safely? Thanks for sharing.

View Diggerjacks's profile

Diggerjacks

1777 posts in 1862 days


#4 posted 06-03-2013 08:02 AM

Hello Choppertoo

A great idea

I have made one like this for my bandsaw but Im in reflexion to make one for my table saw also

What are the bigger and the smaller diametre you can cut ?

Thanks for sharing

-- Diggerjack-France ---The only limit is the limit of the mind and the mind has no limit

View JJohnston's profile

JJohnston

1587 posts in 2015 days


#5 posted 06-03-2013 12:10 PM

This would be even easier to use if you put an index mark on the movable pin piece and fixed marks indicating the diameter (labeled for diameter, but actually the radius) on the base. That way you’d only have to measure them out once.

-- "Sometimes even now, when I'm feeling lonely and beat, I drift back in time, and I find my feet...Down on Main Street." - Bob Seger

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

467 posts in 1101 days


#6 posted 06-03-2013 01:02 PM

Cool jig. How does the pivot point portion lock into the groove?

-- Matt, Illinois, http://www.reintroducing.com

View SheriDi's profile

SheriDi

125 posts in 2027 days


#7 posted 06-05-2013 02:42 PM

Great idea. I think I’ll make one!

-- A Veteran is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America for an amount up to and including their life. That is beyond honor

View choppertoo's profile

choppertoo

297 posts in 2036 days


#8 posted 06-07-2013 02:13 AM

@ Radu & Diggerjacks - The smallest mine will cut is a 7” diameter the biggest is 36”. you are limited only by the length of your sliding pivot slot. But I probably wouldn’t go much smaller than the 7” I have mine set for.

@ JJohnsoton – Yep, that is exactly what I have done.

@ Matt Przybylski - I used a threaded T-nut and a flat head screw. In photos 3 and 4 you can see the screw and the insert. I can take a closer photo if you would like.

Thanks for looking, everyone.

-- The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that our aim is too low and we reach it.. Michelangelo

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

467 posts in 1101 days


#9 posted 06-07-2013 01:11 PM

If you don’t mind that’d be appreciated. It seems that there is two pieces to this, correct? I’m just having a hard time understanding how it stays in place horizontally so it doesn’t move while cutting the circle.

-- Matt, Illinois, http://www.reintroducing.com

View choppertoo's profile

choppertoo

297 posts in 2036 days


#10 posted 06-08-2013 10:20 PM

@Matt P- Hopefully these photos will help. the piece on the left sits in the groove on the top side of the jig. The piece on the right sits in the groove on the bottom of the jig. The screw connects the two pieces. photo number 4 above shows the t-nut that receives the screw from above.

2013-06-07 08.02.26

2013-06-07 08.01.59

-- The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that our aim is too low and we reach it.. Michelangelo

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

467 posts in 1101 days


#11 posted 06-13-2013 05:00 PM

ah, that makes sense now! thank you :)

-- Matt, Illinois, http://www.reintroducing.com

View Cereal4Dinner's profile

Cereal4Dinner

25 posts in 967 days


#12 posted 06-19-2013 11:17 PM

Never would have thought to do this with a table saw. I have a similar setup on my router table.

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