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There are a wide variety of reasons you may need to cut a circle in wood. Perhaps you need to run a pipe through a piece of plywood or you need a circle of wood to make a piece of art you are envisioning. Whatever the reason, your circle can probably be cut quickly and easily with the right kind of cutting tool and a few easy steps.
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About This Article
If you want to cut circles in wood, start by purchasing a hole saw attachment, which you can put on a drill, if the hole you want to cut is less than 6 inches in size. When you’re ready to make the cut, fix your wood in place with clamps, making sure there’s nothing underneath it that the saw will accidentally cut. Then, place the pilot bit at the center of the circle you want to cut. Begin cutting slowly to make sure the saw cuts into the wood when it makes contact with the surface. If it jams and begins turning the drill around, lift the saw up gently before starting it again so it can work its way into the wood more slowly. Once you’ve cut through the wood, push a screwdriver into the hole on the edge of the hole saw to remove the piece of wood that’s stuck inside. For tips on how to cut circles out of wood with a power saw, keep reading!
Most saws are made to cut straight lines, but what if you want to cut a circle? You could use a hole saw, but the size of the circle is limited, and you’ll be left with a hole in the center. In this tutorial, I’ll show you 4 ways to cut circles in wood, using homemade circle cutting jigs.
Below, I’ve included a summary of how to make each circle cutting jig, whether it be with a router, a bandsaw, a table saw, or even a jigsaw. For more details on each method, be sure to check out the YouTube video.
4 Homemade Circle Cutting Jigs
Method #1: Router Circle Cutting Jig
- Plunge router
- 1/4 inch plywood
- Upspiral bit
The most common way of cutting circles in wood is using a plunge router with a circle cutting jig, and it’s the method I used to make my Lazy Susan. Now, you can buy a circle jig to fit your router, like this one, or you can make one yourself out of 1/4 inch plywood. I used my bandsaw to shape it, but this step is optional.
Remove the base plate from your router and use it to trace the screw holes on one end of you strip of plywood.
Then attach the router to the plywood making sure to countersink the screw heads.
Plunge the bit through the plywood jig, then remove the jig from the router and make the hole bigger.
Using a Router Circle Cutting Jig
To use the jig, make a small pilot hole in the jig, measuring from the edge of your router’s bit. For an 18 inch diameter circle for example, make a pilot hole at 9 inches from the bit.
Find the center of your wood blank and drill a pilot hole, then mount the jig using a finish nail.
With an upspiral bit mounted in the router, plunge the router 1/8th of an inch and guide the router around in a clockwise direction until you’ve made on full revolution.
Adjust the bit to plunge 1/8th deeper and make another revolution at this depth. Continue until you make it all the way through the wood and you’re left with a perfect circle.
Method #2: Router jig + Jigsaw + Flush Trim Bit
- Plunge router
- Circle cutting jig (see above)
- Upspiral bit
- Fine cutting jigsaw blade
- Flush trim bit
This method starts out the same as the previous using a plunge router and a circle cutting jig. Using the upsiral bit to make 2-3 revolutions, then remove the circle jig and grab your jigsaw.
Using the jigsaw free-hand, cut out the circle using the groove as a guide. Avoid getting too close to the inside edge of the groove, so that when you’re done, you’ll be left with a lip all round the circle.
Grab your router and install a flush trim bit with a bearing. Plunge the router and line up the bearing with the clean lip previously left by the router.
Going in a counter-clockwise direction, progressively shave off the excess wood until the bearing contacts the lip. Go all the way around the circle until you are left with a perfect circle.
Method #3: Bandsaw Circle Cutting Jig
- 1/4 inch blade
- 3/4 plywood
- Hardwood runner & stop blocks
If you have a bandsaw, I highly recommend this method. Cut a runner out of hardwood to fit the bandsaw’s miter slot, and a piece of 3/4 inch plywood. Attach the runner underneath the plywood so that the plywood overhangs the bandsaw’s table on the right.
Mount the sled to the bandsaw and cut the kerf, stopping about half way through.
Then mount some stops from underneath up against the front edge of the table.
Trace a line perpendicular to the front tip of the kerf line, then drill a pilot hole on the line to match the radius of the circle you want to make. Use a finish nail with the head cut off as a pivot pin.
Using a Bandsaw Circle Cutting Jig
To use the jig, find the center of your wood blank and make a small pilot hole, then mount the blank to the pivot pin on the jig.
Using a 1/4 inch bandsaw blade, slide the sled forward straight, cutting into the blank, until the stops hit the table and you can’t push the jig forward any further.
At this point, simply rotate the blank clockwise and cut the circle.
Method #4: Table Saw Circle Cutting Jig
- Table Saw
- 3/4 inch plywood
- Hardwood runner
- Combination blade
The last method made me a bit nervous at first, but I just had to give it a try. Cutting circles with a table saw? Yes, it is possible.
Mount a runner to a piece of 3/4 inch plywood, then run the sled through the blade to trim off the excess and create a zero clearance edge.
Trace a line across the sled, perpendicular to the blade, about half way front to back. On this line, drill a pilot then drill hole on the line to match the radius of the circle you want to make. Use a finish nail with the head cut off as a pivot pin.
Using the Table Saw Circle Cutting Jig
To use the jig, find the center of your wood blank and make a small pilot hole, then mount the blank to the pivot pin on the jig.
Start by slide the jig back and forth through the blade to cut off the 4 corners of the square blank.
Continue to cut off the 8 remaining tips of the blank. Then again to cut off all remining protrusions until your blank is as close to a circle as you can make it.
Line up the line on your jig with the front tip of you saw blade, then use a magswitch or stop to lock the jig in the position.
Using push pads to protect your hands, rotate the blank clockwise into the blade in order to shave and sculpt it into a perfect circle.
How can I cut a large (3.5′ – 4′ in diameter) circle out of a 4×8 sheet of plywood. The preferred method would be one that doesn’t leave any holes/marks in the circle’s plywood surface. It needs to be as near perfect as possible (shape/edges of the circle). The circle cutout will be used as a table top.
The tools that I have at my disposal are: Router, Dremel, circular saw, 10″ table saw, 14″ band saw, 10″ drill press, jigsaw, and a lathe.
5 Answers 5
How can I cut a large circle out of a 4×8 sheet of plywood?
You sound like the perfect candidate for a router circle jig. The one linked is available at Rockler, but they are easy enough to make yourself out of plywood.
The preferred method would be one that doesn’t leave any holes/marks in the plywood surface.
The one pictured uses a pin to keep the jig centered. This will leave a small hole in the plywood that you could either keep on the bottom side (assuming it doesn’t go entirely through) or find a way to cover up.
Otherwise, you should be able to find a way to affix the circle template to the plywood in a non-marring way, such as using double-sided carpet tape.
There are other means to make a large circle, as identified in this related Question. However, in my opinion, none will leave as nice of an edge finish as the router.
You can cut a perfect circle top using your table saw.
To do this, you will need a jig (a large sheet of plywood with a pin on which the board being cut spins).
Cut off corners (on the work piece) to remove large amounts of excess material. The first set of cuts take a square piece to an octagon. Then cut off more corners.
Using the jig, you can slowly cut off the excess by spinning the work piece.
Here is one example I found showing this technique: Cutting large circles on the table saw
If you need to have both sides of the work piece without holes, you can attach it to a sacrificial board using double sided tape.
Another option if you want to buy a tool for your Band saw, there are circle cutting jigs. The Carter one can cut circles over 4′ in diameter. I have one of these, though I’ve only used it a couple times. For flat stock it works pretty good, I bought it to cut bowl blanks round. You need to have your band saw tuned up well to get best results.
Pick one according to skill level.
Hook it up to your lathe after cutting it down to an octagon or hexadecagon, (squares are unruly,) and use a wide lathe bit to trim down to a penciled circle. Sand to perfect straight edges. Only try this, though, if you are good at lathing.
Also, you can put a nail in the middle, hook up a hand- moved power saw to it with a string as you would with drawing a circle, and ever so carefully pull it around the string into a perfect circle. You could also use a little wood and a nail or two to make a compass, which does the same thing. You can pull this with a little less skill using a router.
For a little money, you can put it on a device that spins it into a saw blade until it’s perfectly circular with a pin. If you’re willing to spend any money, you can buy a circle cutting jig or similar device for downwards of 400$. If needed, sacrifice a small piece of wood that holds the pin and is duct-taped on. This can be a piece you cut off to start.
There are many reasons you may have to cut holes into wood ranging from running wires through a stud, adding a bar to a space to hang a shelf or clothes, or adding a doorknob onto a door. Whatever the reason for needing a hole, there are quite a few different ways of getting that accomplished.
When it comes to drilling a hole, especially large diameter holes, it can often be quite tricky if you don’t have the right tools available. To drill holes into wood you’ll need to either a power drill/cordless drill or a hole saw.
I’ll review all of the different ways you can drill into wood using different bits here so you’re well equipped with the knowledge to do so when needed.
One of the most common ways to drill into wood is by using flat spade drill bits which are commonly known as paddle bits as well.
You can find them at almost all hardware stores and they are used mostly by electricians and plumbers to drill holes into studs when they want to run wires through the wall or plumbing holes for small pipes to run through.
The way a spade bit works is it’s a flat and wide bit on a long handle with a sharp point at the tip. The outer edges of a spade bit are typically sharpened to ensure they can properly cut through the wood.
DEWALT Drill Bit Set
Before you drill using a spade bit, ensure a secondary scrap piece of wood is put in place to prevent the hole from blowing out the other end making a big mess of the outside end of the hole.
To use a spade bit just locate the area you want to drill the hole through and place the point of the spade in that area. When you drill into the wood, make sure to do so with the drill straight-on to the wood and not at an angle. This is important so your hole is properly made.
As you drill through with the spade bit, ensure that you do so gently while increasing the speed as the tip goes in further. If the drill bogs down too much, make sure to pull it out and clean any debris from the hole and start again.
While spade bits are the best tool for drilling holes, the largest spade bit is around 1 ¼ inch in diameter for electrical purposes. But when you need a larger hole for plumbing purposes, a hole saw can often do the job.
While a hole saw sounds like a separate piece of equipment, it’s actually a circular saw that attaches to a bit that goes in your drill. Most drills work great for this except some cheaper cordless drills. If you have a cordless drill it should have variable speeds and have 18 volts of power or higher.
How to drill using a hole saw
To drill using a hole saw you need to first drill a 1/8 hole at the center of the hole you’re looking to drill. Drill it straight and completely through the piece of wood. This is called the pilot hole and is where the center bit of your hole saw will go. This will guide the hole saw on where to go when drilling through the piece of wood.
Insert your hole saw bit into the pilot hole and ensure to drill into the wood directly without any angle. You’ll need to grip the drill firmly (If your drill has a handle, that is extremely helpful) and run the drill slowly at first and gradually increasing the speed while putting pressure down. Occasionally back out the drill to clear out any sawdust and let the hole saw cool.
Only drill halfway through on the first side and then switch to the other side doing the same process until you have drilled out the circle completely. It’s important that you do it only halfway and then enter from the opposite side again as if you drilled completely on one side only it will be difficult to take out the piece of wood and the exiting side will have very rough edges and may splinter the wood going out.
Tips using a hole saw:
- Drilling through metal is a very similar process, however, you will go at a very slow speed and will need to have the proper type of hole saw for use on metals.
- If you have a very thick piece of wood and you’re drilling with a hole saw, you’ll only be able to go in the depth of the hole saw and then chisel out the wood from the inside of the hole. Once you’ve removed the wood from the hole, you can insert the hole saw and drill down again repeating this the entire way until you’ve completely drilled through the wood.
- Hole saws can be quite dangerous so be sure to always have your piece of wood clamped down. When drilling with your hole saw if you hit a nail or even tilt the hole saw it can often cause the bit to snag and twist the whole drill which can cause the drill or bit to be flung towards you. Be sure to always keep a very firm grip on the drill when using a hole saw.
Best Drills, Spade Bits, and Hole Saws
There are lots of equipment on the market, so I wanted to give you my suggested pieces of each of these that you can use when drilling holes:
- Best Drill: DEWALT DWD112 8.0 Amp 3/8-Inch VSR Pistol-Grip Drill with Keyless All-Metal Chuck
- Spade Bit: DEWALT DW1587 6 Bit 3/8-Inch to 1-Inch Spade Drill Bit Set
- Hole Saw: DEWALT D180002 Standard Electricians Bi-Metal Hole Saw Kit
A quality jigsaw is one of my favorite tools, and a seriously good DIY best buy. Armed with the right blade, you can cut all sorts of materials into nearly any two-dimensional shape you please. And most-importantly, do it safely.
But it’s flexibility as a creative tool is also its liability. Like a pencil, it can go in any direction, but in the hands of a human being, those directions will never be without the marks of our innate imperfection. Straight lines can be accomplished with a fence, but a perfect circle. You can’t draw one by hand, so don’t expect yourself to be able to jigsaw one either.
At least, not without a little help.
Recently, I needed to do this very thing on a project. The circle was an irregular size, so I couldn’t use a hole saw, and it was so large I probably couldn’t have found one (or afforded it) either. Plus, it was one of those working-late-on-Saturday-night sort of projects, and I definitely didn’t want to drive to the store, even if it had been open.
So, I thought to myself: if I used a compass to lay out this circle, why can’t I make a compass to saw it too? Here’s how to do one for a circle of nearly any size.
1. First, look through your scrap pile to find a thin piece of plywood, luan, or MDF. It only needs to be as long as the radius of your circle plus 2″ or so. Then, snag a thinnish but strong nail. A “wire nail” works well. You could also use a thin bolt, a rivet, or anything with a head on it.
2. Now, draw your circle with a compass or a circle guide.
3. Then, determine the thickness of your nail (mine was 1/16th inch), and drill a hole that size in the direct center of your circle. Use the divot left by your compass as a guide.
4. Now, set your workpiece aside, and pick up your thin plywood. Make a large crosshair mark on the top left corner, and drill out the center with the thin drill bit. Make sure your marks remain after you’ve drill the hole.
5. Then make a second large crosshair mark on your jig, setting the distance to be the same radius of your circle. Remember, the radius is half the overall diameter of the finished shape, from the center to one side.
6. Drill out a hole here through which you can insert your jigsaw blade. Somewhere around 7/16-1/2″ should work great.
7. Now, drill a starter hole in your project board to insert the circle. Try to line up the outside of circumference of the drill bit to the same arc of your circle to minimize irregularity. You could drill quite close, then nibble away a bit with the jigsaw blade to meet your line.
8. Now, assemble the whole thing. Securely clamp your workpiece to a sturdy surface, then place the jig on top. Put the nail through both small holes, and then line up your starter holes. You should be able to see through the jig to the circle outline on the bottom.
9. Now, we have to attach the saw to the jig so it can guide it through the cut. This is a job for one of my favorite work shop secrets: double stick tape! You can find this in the carpet section of the hardware store.
Place the tape on the jig, and insert the blade in the starter hole. Once it’s lined up with your circle, press down for several seconds to secure it.
10. Now, it’s time to make your cut. Keep the blade at full speed the entire time, and pull outwards and push down with medium pressure. This keeps tension on the jig. If you’re worried about pulling the tape off, don’t. It. Will. Stick.
11. Once you’re done, sand up any tool marks (sandpaper wrapped around a dowel or other cylindrical object will help you with the inside curve.) Use some mineral spirits to remove any adhesive from your jigsaw base.
Boom! Perfect circle.
What if you want the inside circle to not have a hole through the middle?
This can be tougher, but it is possible. One way is to not drill all the way through, and then size your nail to stop halfway through the wood. Then, once, your flip over your project, the hole will be hidden. This is similar to a circle cutting jig for your bandsaw.
Or, you can cut out the circle using this method, then use it as a guide for a pattern bit and your router. You’d cut one perfect circle as a guide, then cut out a slightly larger circle from your final material. Double stick tape them together (see?!), and then route the two flush.
by Mark Morris / in Hobbies
Balsa is a very light and soft wood used primarily for scale modelling and other crafts and hobbies. Due to its light weight and open grain, balsa is easily damaged and can be challenging to cut. There are several hand tools that work well, but for cutting accurate circles a band or scroll saw works best. You will need a thin blade with very fine teeth to make accurate cuts. Both band and scroll saws function in much the same way. There are specific details for different brands, but much of the process is the same.
Make a template by using a cup, can or other round object of the correct diameter to trace your circle on the surface of the balsa wood with a felt tip pen. Set the template on the balsa wood and trace the outline. Draw precise circles of a particular size with a compass. To draw a circle with a compass, open the legs of the compass to the correct diameter and tighten the nut to hold it firmly. Set the metal scribe point where you want the centre of your circle to be and drag the compass pencil around the scribe to draw the circle.
- Balsa is a very light and soft wood used primarily for scale modelling and other crafts and hobbies.
- To draw a circle with a compass, open the legs of the compass to the correct diameter and tighten the nut to hold it firmly.
Adjust the blade guide on the saw. Place the balsa on the saw table. Turn the wing nut on the guide counterclockwise and drop the guide down onto the balsa. Lift the guide slightly to allow the balsa to move freely and then turn the nut clockwise to tighten it in place.
- Adjust the blade guide on the saw.
- Lift the guide slightly to allow the balsa to move freely and then turn the nut clockwise to tighten it in place.
Start the saw and allow the blade to come up to full speed. Guide the piece through the blade, turning it as it goes. Remember that the blade is stationary and you are driving the piece, not the blade as with hand-held power saws. Keep the piece moving steadily and stay on the line. Continue turning the piece through the blade until the circle is completed. Sand the edges of the cut circle with 200-grit sandpaper to smooth the edge.
There are many ways in which you can cut a circle out of wood. However, the chances are that those ways require you to have some expensive power tools to get the job done, which not everyone can afford. But most people do have a drill back at home. So we are going to explore ways in which we can cut a circle in wood with a drill.
There are plenty of reasons why you would need to cut out a circle in a piece of wood. The problem is there are not many ways you can do it without the appropriate power tools. One way is to cut out a circle in wood using a jigsaw, but it requires you to build a frame for that.
If you have a simple drill at home, using the appropriate bits can also provide you with great results.
What Are the Drill Bits Used for Cutting a Circle in Wood?
There are two kinds of drill bits usually used for carving out a circle in wood. But there is a key difference between both bits, one will cut out a circle and one drill a circle in wood.
First drill bit which is used to cut out a circle is called a hole saw. A hole saw is basically an attachment more than a drill bit. It is attached over your usual drill bit used for drilling holes in a wall. You attach it on the end using a fastener. With it, you can cut out a circle from any piece of wood. You will have that piece of circular wood for use, you can make various objects out of it.
The other drill bit is used to drill in a circular hole in wood. This is called a spade bit and it is a wide bit with a narrow tip. It starts off small and as you progress to drill deeper it widens the hole. With a bigger spade bit, you can drill bigger holes in the wood. But it drills out a hole in the wood so you do not end up with a circular piece of wood.
So depending on your usage, you will have to use either method. There is another method but it requires a drill press and an attachment. We will not be covering that as not everyone has a drill press at home. Buying a drill press is expensive as well. But the hole saw attachment and the spade bit are not as expensive.
How to Cut a Circle With a Drill – Step by Step
For you to cut a circle with a drill you will need a handheld drill, a hole saw attachment if you want to cut a circle out or a spade bit.
Place the piece of wood you want to cut a circle in over two pieces of scrap wood that can elevate it. Otherwise, you will end up with a circular hole in your workbench. The best way is to make sure there is empty space under the piece of wood you want a circle in. You can also do that by placing the wood over the edges of two workbenches.
Take the battery out of your drill if you are using a battery-powered one. If you have a drill that uses an electric outlet disconnect the cord from it. After which you can attach either a spade bit or a hole saw attachment. The hole saw attachment uses a normal drill bit as well, so keep that in mind.
Plug the cord back in the outlet or slide in the battery again in the drill. Mark the center where you want to cut the circle in. This is to improve the accuracy of the hole.
If you are using a spade bit, start by drilling in the narrow point slowly inside the wood. Once the narrow point digs in you can increase the power and push the drill inside till it passes through. If you do not want a complete hole inside the wood but a partial one, the spade bit works best for that.
If you are using a hole saw attachment, you will need to first use the drill bit to create a hole in the center where you want to cut a circle. Then move down till the hole saw has clearly cut through the piece of wood.
If you have a hole saw attachment, you can slowly pull out the piece of circular wood from inside it. There will be a hole in the middle though, so keep that in mind when you are using it.
With these easy steps, you can cut a circle in a piece of wood. Of course, the thickness of the piece of wood also matters here. If the wood is too thick you cannot cut a circle all the way through using a hole saw. For that a spade bit is your best bet.
KATA Hole Saw Set
Material: Carbon Steel
Compatible With: Standard Electric Drill, Impact Drill
Ideal for: Softwood, Plywood, Plastic Plate, Plasterboard & Thin PVC Board
Includes: 13 Pieces Saw Blades: 3/4″ (19mm), 7/8″ (22mm), 1-1/8″ (29mm), 1-1/4″ (32mm), 1-1/2″ (38mm), 1-3/4″ (44mm), 2″ (51mm), 2-1/2″ (64mm), 3″ (76mm), 3-1/2″ (89mm), 4″ (102mm), 5″ (127mm), 6″(152mm), 2 Mandrels, 3 Drill Bits, 1 Hex Key, 1 Installation Plate.
Perks: Easy to Install, Fast Wood Cutting, Professional Quality, Solid Storage Case
Things to Be Careful of When Operating a Drill to Cut a Circle in Wood
- When changing drill bits or using attachments always make sure to cut off all power supply to the drill. If you are using a cordless drill take out the batteries before changing the drill bit. If you are using a corded one, then pull the cord out of the outlet to make sure it doesn’t turn on. This will make sure you avoid any accidental injuries while changing the bit.
- When cutting a circle always make sure that the wood is elevated from your workbench’s surface. You do not want to cut a circle in your workbench or damage it. You can use either two big pieces of wood to elevate it from the bench or place the wood at the edge of two workbenches.
The spade bit might require you to use different sizes to make it easier for you to cut a bit circle in wood. When you buy spade bits it usually comes in a set with different sizes anyways so you would not have to buy these separately. Just buying a set works out for
At some point in time, anyone making furniture is going to have to create a circular tabletop. Cutting circles in wood can be tricky, especially with a band saw. Woodworkers more commonly use a router to cut a circle because it is usually easier to keep the tabletop stationary and cut around it, rather than try to feed a large sheet of wood through a band saw. The problem many beginning woodworkers have is that they don’t always have a router. A band saw, on the other hand, is a more common tool for people to have.
The video below shows how to use a bandsaw to cut a circle in wood. The jig that he makes is quite simple and easy to make for anyone. In addition to easy to make, it is a very cheap option too. A piece of plywood, some bolts, wing nuts, and a scrap piece of a shelf bracket are all that is needed to build this jig. Once completed, the jig will allow you to cut a 3 inch to 40+ inch diameter circle in wood. You can even add a longer bracket to the jig to make an even bigger circle.
As noted in the video, you need to be careful with cutting a small circle. Not only are your fingers going to be very close to the saw blade while you are making the cuts, but the thickness of the blade will get stuck in the wood as you are turning it. Tight radiuses and wide blades do not mix well. If you can get a thinner blade for a tight circle, that is your best option. With a larger circle diameter the width of the blade is not nearly as important as the circle can still turn without pinching the blade.
It can be very difficult to create a perfectly circular cut with a jigsaw. Luckily, there’s another easy way to cut a circle using a router and a simple DIY circle jig. Watch this video to learn how.
How to Make and Use a Spline Jig
Add splines to mitered corners in picture frames and boxes! This tutorial shows you how to make and use a spline jig for the table saw.
Make an Easy Circle Jig for Jigsaws
Cut perfect circles with a jigsaw with this circle jig for a jigsaw. Using some scrap wood and a threaded rod make a simple jig that can be adjusted.
How to Cut a Circle in Wood – 6 Different Ways
Learn how to cut a circle in wood six different ways, depending on the tools you have in your garage or workshop!
How to Cut Circles – 4 Methods
How to Cut Circles – 4 Methods: In this tutorial, I’ll show you 4 ways to cut circles in wood, using DIY homemade circle cutting jigs.Below, I’ve included a summary of how to make each circle cutting jig, whether it be with a router, a bandsaw, a table saw, or even a jigsaw. For a…
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I recently finished up a furniture building project where I needed to make a perfect circle for a table top. This table top was for a round end table that was a knockoff of Studio McGee’s Cora Side Table.
In order to cut a perfect circle in the wood for the table top, I used a circle cutting jig for my router. The jig I used was the CircleGuideKit made by Milescraft.
In this post, I will review the CircleGuideKit and provide a detailed tutorial for how to use the kit in order to cut large and small circles in wood. Spoiler alert: the CircleGuideKit is awesome and well worth the money!
Step 1: Prepare the Wood
For this particular project, I glued 8/4 cherry together to make the top. If you do a glue up in the wood, be sure that the surface is smooth before you cut a circle in it with the CircleGuideKit. This will ensure that the jig can run over the piece easily and avoid any imperfections or tearout.
You can smooth the surface of the wood by using a hand plane, a thickness planer if you have one big enough, a drum sander, or hand sander. I used an orbital sander to smooth out the glue up on the table top before I routed out a circle.
This part of the process wouldn’t be needed if you are cutting a circle in plywood, for example. I recently did this when I made a set of cornhole boards.
Step 1: Install the Base Plate and Centering Pin on the Router
The CircleGuideKit comes with everything you need to cut circles from 1.5″ to 52″.
Install the centering pin to your router. This will allow you to line up the base plate that comes with the kit correctly.
If you already have a base plate on your router, remove it. Install the provided base plate that comes with the circle cutting kit. Add the provided bushing into the base plate. This bushing will align with the centering pin.
Once aligned, you can now remove the bushing from the base plate and centering pin from the router.
Step 3: Determine the Desired Diameter for the Circle and Prepare the CircleGuideKit
Attach the aluminum beam to the circle guide head. You will now need to decide what size circle you will cut.
Your circle will fall into 1 of 3 categories in regards to diameter: 1.5″-10″, 10″-42″, or 42″-52″. You will then apply the correct circle slide according to your desired circle diameter.
Step 4: Locate the Center and Install the CircleGuideKit
Mark the center of your piece with a pencil. Be sure to do this on the underside of your piece since you have to drill a hole for the kit to rotate from.
The kit comes with a drill bit for drilling the center hole.
Add the center pivot with the provided pivot screw.
You can now lay the CircleGuideKit on the center pivot.
You will now adjust the diameter of the circle you will be cutting in the wood. The aluminum beam comes with a measuring tape to help set the correct size.
Step 5: Install the Router Bit and Attach the Router to the Kit
The kit comes with a straight bit that you will install in your router. This bit worked great in getting a clean cut and a perfect circle!
Apply the router to the CircleGuideKit. Since you have already attached the correct base plate to your router, it will lock into place when rotated onto the CircleGuideKit.
Step 6: Cut a Perfect Circle in the Wood with the Router
You can now begin cutting a circle in the wood using the router. Make multiple shallow passes. Each pass should be around 1/4″ deep at a time.
Make sure you have a surface below your piece that can be cut into. I find foam insulation to be the best solution for this.
Continue this process until you have cut all the way through the wood.
You can now fill the screw hole with wood filler if you’d like (although this would theoretically be the underside of your table top, so it might not be needed). Give it a good sanding, and you now have a perfect circle cut out of wood!
For more router projects, check out these related posts:
Final Thoughts on a Review of the CircleGuideKit by Milescraft
The CircleGuideKit provides a quick, easy, and accurate way to cut small and large circles. It is easily customizable to whatever size circle you need to cut in the wood. It is a great jig to add to your home shop!
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