Cutting circles on the bandsaw

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Forum topic by deadherring posted 08-03-2015 09:32 PM 1701 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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63 posts in 1610 days

08-03-2015 09:32 PM


I have the “Grizzly 14 bandsaw and made this bandsaw circle cutting jig

I am testing it by trying to cut a 6” circle. By the time I get 3/4’s of the way thru the bandsaw is struggling and I can’t get through the cut. I am wondering if I should be able to make such a cut on the bandsaw or if the radius is too tight. I am checking through the bandsaw to reset it up in case something is out of wack. I already checked that the blade is not tensioned too tight and it is right at the line for the 1/8” blade I have in it. I am testing on 3/4” plywood.

Please let me know if my bandsaw should be able to handle such a cut or not and if yes, if you have any suggestions on what I might be doing wrong.



10 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


6593 posts in 2165 days

#1 posted 08-03-2015 09:39 PM

A 1/8” blade is more than sufficient. Most problems with circle jigs on the band saw are related to where you position the pivot in relation to the blade, and allowing the blade to bind.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View WhyMe's profile


1008 posts in 1527 days

#2 posted 08-03-2015 10:21 PM

Typically if you are using the builtin tension gauge the blade is not tight enough. Crank it up some. Also make sure the circle pivot point is directly perpendicular or slightly ahead of the center of the blade.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2657 days

#3 posted 08-04-2015 12:58 AM

3/4” ply will dull that 1/8” blade very quickly. Personally, I discarded my circle cutting jig and just follow a line drawn with a compass.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View jerryminer's profile


916 posts in 1408 days

#4 posted 08-04-2015 02:08 AM

a 1/8” blade should have no trouble with a 6” diameter circle. either your blade is dull (3/4ply can be tough on a 1/8 blade) or your pivot point is not in line with the blade.

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

View mmax's profile


179 posts in 3422 days

#5 posted 08-04-2015 02:15 AM

Pivot point not in line with blade is my guess.

-- Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else

View AlaskaGuy's profile


4047 posts in 2276 days

#6 posted 08-04-2015 03:16 AM

Pivot point need to be in line with the front of the blade teeth.

Look a # 11 figure 22

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View loydd's profile


2 posts in 2660 days

#7 posted 08-04-2015 06:29 AM

Maybe you should try a skip tooth blade, the fine tooth ones get clogged with saw dust. I can cut circles in big hunks of firewood with my grizz and 3/8 blade.

View BobAnderton's profile


255 posts in 2757 days

#8 posted 08-04-2015 04:33 PM

Don’t know how much it applies to your situation but I was having the same issue when I made a circle cutting jig for my bandsaw and I was trying to use a thin kerf blade, like a woodslicer with it. What’s making the saw struggle is the friction on the side of the blade as the wood is deflecting it to the side. I switched to a wide kerf blade, like this one , which is called a woodturner’s blade, and it worked way better. That little bit wider kerf eliminates friction on the side of the blade and the blade tracks true instead of being deflected.\

Like Loydd said, you should be able to cut circles in 6 inch thick stock with that kind of blade.

-- Bob Anderton - Austin, TX - Nova 3000 lathe, Alaskan Mark III mill, Husqavarna Saw

View deadherring's profile


63 posts in 1610 days

#9 posted 08-05-2015 02:49 PM

Thanks for all the advice. Below is a picture of the alignment of the pivot point to the blade. Seems like its pretty much in line. Also, I recently sharpened the blade so it shouldn’t be too dull.

I took the advice of someone above and just drew a circle with a homemade compass and cut it out with the jigsaw. Then, I was actually able to use the bandsaw circle cutting jig that I spent several hours making and thought would be a total waste on my Rigid sander to get the circle round and smooth.

Sometimes things work out when you think they won’t, but I’d still be interested in understanding why the bandsaw jig didn’t work.


View jerryminer's profile


916 posts in 1408 days

#10 posted 08-06-2015 02:10 AM

Maybe the perspective of the photo is throwing me off, but:

1. Looks like the side bearings are too far forward. They should be BEHIND the teeth—-at the bottom of the gullet (the space between teeth). If they are riding against the teeth, as it looks, they will dull the teeth, and the bearings will get chewed up, too.

2. Looks like the pivot point is too far back. Center of pivot should be at front of tooth, square to the direction of cut.

3. You sure that’s a 1/8” blade? Looks like a 3/8”—-but should still cut 3” radius.

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

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