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Cutting small circles?

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Forum topic by Korey99 posted 02-24-2010 04:49 AM 17121 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Korey99

5 posts in 2501 days


02-24-2010 04:49 AM

Topic tags/keywords: router circle jig

Hey all-

I’m pretty new to all of this, but I have some tools and the ambition to learn.

What I’m having a problem with is figuring out how to cut small circle holes (especially with the equipment I have). I have a router, a set of bushings and a Milescraft edge guide/circle guide combo. Using the circle jig, I can cut circles maybe 7-8 inches or so in diameter, but no smaller (since the pivot can’t go under the base of the router).

I’ve seen plans to make a wooden circle jig with a sliding bar that can position the pivot pin under the router base, but I was curious about a different approach. Could I use templates an a bushing to cut smaller circles? I’m thinking that I could cut a 7 inch circle with my existing jig, then use a 3/4” bushing with a 1/4” bit to cut a 6” circle using the 7” circle as a template. Then, I could use the 6” circle as a template to cut a 5” circle, etc. to get a whole set of templates (maybe do half-inch increments). Then when I need to cut a real circle, careful selection of template size, bushing size and bit size should get me about any size I need.

Would that approach work? Is there an easier way?

Thanks,
Korey


17 replies so far

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5177 posts in 2658 days


#1 posted 02-24-2010 05:01 AM

Greetings Korey:... What size circles are you talking about? What are they used for? You need to be a little more specific in detail to know what you’re after. If it’s solid circles you want, how about a hole saw? Explain.

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

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Korey99

5 posts in 2501 days


#2 posted 02-24-2010 05:10 AM

Hi Rick-

I don’t have any specific project in mind, but I’m just wanting a general method to cut circular holes in material (probably pine or MDF at the moment). I’m wondering how to cut holes less than 7 inches but bigger than 1-1/2”, in no specific increment at the moment. The last time I needed to cut one of these holes was in making my shop vac cyclone (cutting a hole to fit the shop vac hose into). I have some small hole saws, but what if I want to cut a 5-3/8” hole?

Basically, I’m trying to see what tools I still need to collect for general purpose skills.

Thanks,
Korey

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Rick Dennington

5177 posts in 2658 days


#3 posted 02-24-2010 05:25 AM

Korey—- Ok… I get the picture now. What you need is a circle-cutting jig to make all different size holes. You can make one yourself, or get one from places like Rockler, Woodcraft, Woodworkers Supply, Amazon.com….. any of these will carry one, or several. You can get them to fit a 6” router base and up. Or—make your own. I made all three of mine… they are easy to make, and you can set the radius to whatever size you need ….all you need is a piece of 1/4” plywood and a nail for a pivot pin. Rockler carries a really nice one if you don’t want to make your own…...nothing to it, though….

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

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Rick Dennington

5177 posts in 2658 days


#4 posted 02-24-2010 06:01 AM

Korey—- One I forgot to tell you about is called a circle-cutter, if you have a drill press. Just chuck it up, slide the cutter out to the size hole you need, tighten it down, and cut the hole. It is sold at the places named above in my last post.

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

View woodworm's profile

woodworm

14164 posts in 3054 days


#5 posted 02-24-2010 06:08 AM

Hi Rick,
Did you mean this drill circle cutter?
http://images.rockler.com/rockler/images/42861-01-500.jpg

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

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Korey99

5 posts in 2501 days


#6 posted 02-24-2010 06:14 AM

Thanks for the help Rick. What I don’t understand, though, is what type of circle-cutting jig you’re referring to. I looked on Rockler (among other places) and didn’t see what you were talking about. Could you please share a model number, link or something so I can see what you’re referring to?

Yes, I think in many cases the drill press circle-cutter would work, but not for large pieces that I can’t get under the drill press. In that case, though, I think I could use the drill press to cut a template, then use the template/bushing trick on my large piece.

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Rick Dennington

5177 posts in 2658 days


#7 posted 02-24-2010 06:17 AM

Woodworm…. yes—- that’s the one. Does it come in two sizes? I don’t have one yet, but plan to get one with my next order to Rockler. Thanks.

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

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Rick Dennington

5177 posts in 2658 days


#8 posted 02-24-2010 06:44 AM

Korey… I also looked at Rockler, and didn’t see them either. They carry one made by Jasper, but it’s not like mine. Google up Jasper Tools and take a look at what they have… several models to choose from. This may not be what you’re after, though. I’ll look at mine tomorrow, and send you a PM about it…...it’s just a plastic attachment that fits on your plunge router with a circle in the middle for a guide bushing. You have to remove the base plate on your router, mount it with screws, put in a spiral or straight bit and a guide bushing, and you’re good to go. Cut any size circle you want. I’ll see what mine’s called and PM you, ok?.....

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

View russv's profile

russv

262 posts in 2633 days


#9 posted 02-24-2010 10:08 PM

those are nice but sometimes the hole in the center is too big. if you go out on the internet you will see ways of cutting circle on the band saw. it’s easy to set up. you can cut 4’ circles or 2” circles or any size in between. the control is good and is safe. I’ve used the cutter shown above and you really have to be careful when using it. on the band saw, you have total control and you can make a circle without the hole in the center if you want.

just my humble opinion,
russv

-- yknotwood.com: where to go because you don't want no stinking plastic!

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Rick Dennington

5177 posts in 2658 days


#10 posted 02-24-2010 11:47 PM

Greetings russv…... Very good point to tell Korey. I’ve used the bandsaw to do that, and you’re right, you can have a lot better control. Concerning the hole in the circle cutter jig… I use a guide bushing, and a upcut spiral bit (usually a 5/8” bushing, and 1/4—3/8” spiral bit). Never had a problem doing it. As for the circle cuutter for the drill press….. that sucker scares me to just think about using it…...lol… that’s why I don’t have one, and really not interesting in getting one…...

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 3197 days


#11 posted 02-25-2010 04:17 AM

I have had the same question but haven’t been able to find any definitive information on the internet. In a book I read some time ago, there was information on making a new base for your router, then drilling a pivot hole the required distance (radius) from the opposite edge of the router bit. You drill a hole in your material, insert a pin (think cut off nail), insert the other end of the pin into the hole in the router base, and route your circle. Have never tried it but don’t see why it wouldn’t work. They actually drilled several holes with differing radii in the baseplate so it could be used for a variety of sizes. Wish I could recall the title of the book but old age and CRS strikes again.

Jim

-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4445 posts in 3426 days


#12 posted 02-25-2010 05:02 AM

In my projects is a bandsaw circle cutter. It works great.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Korey99's profile

Korey99

5 posts in 2501 days


#13 posted 02-25-2010 05:34 AM

Hi all-

Thanks for the information. That drill press circle cutter is something I’ve seen before, but besides looking terrifying I wasn’t sure whether it would cut clean holes. Also, I unfortunately don’t have a band saw…

Jim- I think I see what you’re talking about, and I think that might be what Rick was referring to as well. I was kind of hung up on the idea that this was the only homemade jig that would do what I wanted:

http://www.forums.woodnet.net/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&Number=4402142&page=&view=&sb=5&o=&vc=1

but are you just suggesting a new base for the router, with holes drilled in the base itself? Yeah, I don’t see why it would have to be done with the sliding bar. You could just use a different hole for the pin depending on the size you want. Is that what you’re talking about? Some like this:

http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2003582/9031/Jasper-Circle-Jig--Small--1---7-12.aspx

Thanks again, everyone, for the advice.

Korey

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surfin2

51276 posts in 2600 days


#14 posted 02-25-2010 08:11 AM

Here’s the link to Rockler http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=18041&filter=34499&pn=34499 good luck…

-- Rick

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 3197 days


#15 posted 02-26-2010 03:17 PM

Sufin2, the Rockler template would certainly work; in fact, I have been looking for such a template with ellipses vs circles. Korey, the Jasper Small Circle Jig you referenced is exactly what I’m talking about, though for the life of me, I can’t figure out how they laid out the hole patterns on it.

Jim

-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

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