Question! Small Circle Cutting Jig - Bandsaw or Disc Sander?

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Forum topic by Milo posted 06-26-2010 03:54 AM 3049 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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869 posts in 3314 days

06-26-2010 03:54 AM

Topic tags/keywords: jig question

Hey gang,

I want to make a V-Belt Sander, and I am at the stage where I am making the drum. I think I am going to make small circles out of 3/4” MDF and glue them up on a steel pin.

I’ve feel really good about the other aspects, but the drum has me a bit nervous. There seem to be two schools of thought on the best way to make small circles.

I am thinking I need 1.5” to 2” diameter discs. I’d appreciate any advice on how to make them.

Likes to jigs would be appreciated.


-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

8 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3572 days

#1 posted 06-26-2010 03:56 AM

A hole saw. with the wood rounds inside soom pvc pipe.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3069 days

#2 posted 06-26-2010 04:04 AM

Jim’s got it right about the pvc pipe. I would use the lathe to make a core for the pvc pipe but I know Jim is not a turner.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3329 days

#3 posted 06-26-2010 01:21 PM

The hole saw is best and easiest, but ideally should be used with a drillpress. You could also use a bandsaw circle cutting jig, but with such a small diameter you would have to use a very narrow blade. You bandsaw probably has a chart somewhere on it showing what size blade you would need.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3053 days

#4 posted 06-26-2010 01:56 PM

For that small, I would probably use a hole saw on the drill press, as has been mentioned. I probably would not try to cut them on the band saw to final size. You could rough cut them on the band saw and then use a jig on the disc sander to sand the to final size and that would give you a very uniform and smooth product, but a good sharp hole saw could do all of that in one operation.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View cutmantom's profile


405 posts in 3030 days

#5 posted 06-26-2010 02:11 PM

a larger diameter would run better in the machine, 3 inch or even up to 6 inch, you would just have to have the right combination of pulleys to get the appropriate rpm, I would rough cut them out, assemble them on the shaft, then either turn it on a lathe or make a router jig to set it in and true it up

View Milo's profile


869 posts in 3314 days

#6 posted 06-26-2010 04:28 PM

I’m actually going to try and do this on my Shopsmith. My new one has a much slower turn when I crank it all the way down than my old one, so I am going to try that first. K.I.S.S., ya know, which is always the way I try to keep things.

cutmantom – I noticed that drums that Stockroom Supply has (which EVERYONE on the net seems to point to for plans and supplies) offers a very small diameter drum on thier sanders. This is why I am going in that direction. I’m hoping to build a drum around 18” with a 1/4” rod down the center. One end goes to the chuck, the other will go into a bearing that I’ll have mounted in the endstock where the lathe center would usually go. Then I’ll just build a box around it with a removable lid for easy assembly.

Clear as mud, eh? ;-)

Jim, have you made drums like what you describe before?

Rich, I am not NEAR that good on a lathe! ;-)



-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

View levan's profile


472 posts in 2974 days

#7 posted 06-26-2010 05:12 PM

I would use a circle cutter in the drill press. Quick and easy

-- "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3069 days

#8 posted 06-26-2010 06:17 PM

Regarding the lathe – I have a 36” long wood (lamp) auger that I insert through a hollow tail stock. It’s slow going and you have to keep bringing the auger out to clear away the shavings. In theory, I can drill a hole 32” long, but I have never gone beyond 20”.

The auger will stay pretty close to the center – but not exact. After you drill the hole, you center the stock on the lathe with the hole and turn the outside. It’s surprisingly easy to make a near perfect cylinder. Once you are close, you finish with a course sandpaper and a block of wood. Only the high spots are sanded. By watching the dust you will see where the high spots are. Eventually, the sawdust will be coming out evenly all along the sandpaper.

You can do this with just about any wood, but it will be easier with a softer, straight grain hard wood like poplar.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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