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How To Cut Perfect Circles In Timber Or Board

There have been plenty of projects I've done, and more than a few that I want to do, that require you to cut perfect circles. But how do you cut a perfect circle in timber or board?




Whether it is cutting a perfect circle for a side table, coffee table or dining table, or cutting a perfect circle for a wall-mounted clock, there are going to be times when you need to cut a perfect circle. Measuring out a circular shape is fairly easy if you hammer a nail into the centre of your timber or board, attach a length of chain and then insert a pencil in the end. It's not the perfect shape we are concerned with here, it's more about how you cut out the perfect shape. Because when you are making a project, you don't want to spoil it by cutting out a shape that isn't quite a perfect circle, or one that has wobbly edges. So, we take a look at a couple of methods you can use to cut out perfectly shaped circles.








One sure way to cut perfect circles is with a router. When using a router to cut perfect circle, you also need to invest in a Circle Cutting Router Jig. You can pick these up from specialist power tool or hardware stores and they cost around R1600. If you feel that's a bit too much for your pocket, there's always the opportunity to make your own jig using 12mm SupaWood, or even Perspex.



The method for cutting perfect circles using a jig is a simple one - screw the jig to the base plate of your router as and when you need to cut as many circles as you need.



After drilling a hole in the exact centre of your work piece, a nail or screw secures in place at the required diameter (which is adjustable) and you can then proceed to plunge the router to cut a circular slot shape in the work piece.








You won't be able to cut through the work piece in one go, but will have to adjust the cutting depth incrementally on each pass until the circle is cut.



If you are interested in finding out more details on the Rockler Circular Cutting Jig, click here to go to the Tools4Wood website.










As an option, rather than increasing the plunge depth on your router you can always remove the router and switch this out for your jigsaw. However, keep in mind that the cut edge when using a jigsaw is never as perfect as that when using a router.




You can cut circles with a band saw, but as with a jigsaw, they are not going to be absolutely perfect circles. Any manual method of cutting is going to be slightly imperfect unless you have an extremely steady hand and work slowly. If this is your only option, make sure to sand away any flaws once cut.




When cutting circles using a table saw, you need to be 100% focused on the task. It isn't a project I would recommend, as it is tricky and not absolutely safe (in my personal opinion). Plus, there's no guarantee of a perfect circle. One slight slip and you have to start all over again.



Thanks to for sharing this information. Now you can set yourself up to cut perfect circles, every time, over and over again. 





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