Woodworking – How To Use A Router Circle Cutting Jig

While working on any woodworking project, there are times when you need to cut perfect circles, some small and some big. Your task can become extremely time-consuming and irksome if you are not equipped with right tools. In the olden days, it was a very common practice to make a circle on wooden piece using a compass and then employing a convenient tool to cut the circle. The perfection would depend on the artisan’s deft fingers! A lot of user-friendly tools in carpentry have been invented and made their appearance in the market since then. Cutting a perfect circle in wood is a near impossibility without a proper tool to do the job and that is when you need an efficient router circle cutting jig. As a woodworking hobbyist, it is not enough if you procure a router for cutting circles, you must know how to use it effectively too.

Cutting a perfect circle in wood can be quite challenging in the absence of right devices. Normally, you have three options; a jig saw, a band saw or a router. If you think jig saws are inexpensive and well-suited for the task, you will have to think again. Jig saws are fine for cutting some irregular pieces but certainly not cutting circles. Band saws do a real neat job of cutting circles of various diameters, but then here you will have to make a circle jig before you can first and this is one project that you have to make before getting on with the actual project.

All said and done, routers can cut most perfect circles with a variety of diameters. You can buy good circle jigs of your choice and they are easily available in the market and work fine when used with a trammel system. Measurements are already mentioned on the jigs and you can choose the one that is suitable for your woodworking task. The only setback in case of using a router is that – if you want to call it a setback – you need to make a clear pivotal point on your wood to facilitate putting the reference pin of the router. The router is then placed on the circle jig and you choose the right diameter from the jig, which already has various diameters mentioned on it.

Many of the jigs are made of good quality acrylic and come with pre-drilled holes and hence mounting your router on the jig becomes simple task. While measuring the router bit, do not forget to include the height of the jig’s wood to the height of wooden panel you will be cutting. For safer side, let the router depth be a little longer than the two heights put together to ensure a clean cut.

When you place the jig on the panel, make sure that the pivot point is exactly in the center of the panel that you are going to cut. Once the jig is securely placed on the panel, you are ready to cut the circle. Turn on the router by slowly lowering the bit into the wooden panel. Using both your hands, rotate router-jig combination skillfully around your pivot point and cut the circle. You might even need to go round several times to get the perfect cutting. Once your job is satisfactorily finished, remove the router and the jig and your circle is ready. Using the router circle cutting jig while you’re woodworking feels easy over a period and with experience you will be able to get quicker and more accurate results

Source by John A Lonergan

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