Cutting out Circles and Arcs the Easy Way - Router Forums
Old 11-24-2011, 07:32 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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Cutting out Circles and Arcs the Easy Way

Hello folks, today we are going to learn how to find center points quickly and easily, how to lay out circles and arcs, how to use your router to cut and mold perfect circles end how to make a rabbet cuts along an irregular edge in episode 203 of the Router Workshop video series from Bob and Rick Rosendahl.

Bob considers circle work a lot of fun and explains how it can be done in a proper way. You will first need to draw a circle on the piece of wood that you will be cutting. You could perhaps use a compass to measure the circle or have your own device for this task. However, you first have to find the center of the piece of wood you will be cutting and for that you need to get your measurements correct. Once you have the measurements in place you will have no difficulty in carrying out the circles. Bob has a blank piece of material mounted on a sub base which fits snugly into the router table. This prevents the material from moving around when the router is used to cut the wood.

Bob first marks the center of wood, which is to be cut. He does that by using a piece of plastic to measure the wood from the end to end and arrives at a center point. Bob then uses a stick compass to draw circles. The first circle he draws is about 6 inches from the center using the stick compass. The next thing is to measure out the scallops on the outside of the 6-inch circle which again is carried out by using the stick compass. Bob taps the stick compass into the place where the lines used during the measurement of the board intersect with the first circle. However, the intersection of the first circle does not prove right for this particular task. Therefore, Bob uses the stick compass to draw an inner circle within the 6-inch circle that was first drawn. He then uses the intersection created by the inner circle to draw the scallops with the stick compass. This whole task may sound like a little complicated but is rather easy once you see the way it is done and handle by the experts in the field. Now that the markings have been completed, and it is time for the router to be brought out and readied for the task.

This time Bob has a circle jig mounted on a plunge router. The router is not being used as a table mount and circle jig will play a large role in cutting out the circles and the scallops. Bob has drilled two holes into the circle jig which make up the center one for the outer and one for the inner circle. This time Bob is using a plunging round over bit which will be used to cut through the board right over. The board is three-quarters of an inch in thickness, and the router bit will be cutting through the wood all the way.

Bob is going to do the scallops in the first place and therefore, the circle jig is nailed on to the intersection of the outer circle. Bob also sets the depth of the router to 3/4 of an inch which is equivalent to the size of the wood to be cut. There is plenty of cutting involved in this particular job, and Bob wants you to be patient about the whole matter. Bob is going to work on the wood in a counterclockwise direction and is going to do it slowly to keep out the chip load which will accumulate. Bob plunges down the router and makes to plunge points on the intersections to get a fair idea about the starting and closing point between which the cutting has to take place. Then it is time to begin cutting the wood. Once Bob is finished cutting the first part of the wood, he moves around to the next. Before doing that Bob ensures that he cleans up the first part and takes a look at the type of cut that has been accomplished. Needless to say that he has a perfect cut all along the way. Continuing in the same vein Bob finishes the other scallops that have to be cut changing the position of the router every time.

The next part is to cut the full circle which is 6 inches in diameter. Bob pins the router to the center of the board and finishes the job before you notice it. Finally, it's time to cut the inner circle which again Bob carries out without any difficulty. Bob and hands over the entire project to Rick to show how to get the rabbet on the inside of the scallops and the circles.

Rick is going to make a picture frame of the outer circle using a rabbeting bit and cutting out the inside of the piece. The depth of the inside should accommodate the glass and the picture that will be put into it. Rick is also going to show how a design can be added on the outer circles which have been cut with a Roman OG bit.

Rick is using the rabbeting bit and getting that setup into the table mounted router. Once he has set up the bit, we are ready to go ahead with rabbeting the insides of the circle. Rick warns that you always hold the circle from the outside when using a rabbeting bit to avoid any kind of injuries to your fingers. The depth of the router bit has been set at a quarter inch, and Rick is now ready to go ahead with the cutting. He's done with the cutting within a minute and has a clean cut as usual. Then he makes a change to the router and inserts the Roman OG bit and also sets the depth of the bit using just the outer part of it. As Rick will be cutting on the outside of the circle, he inserts a pin on the board of the router who will act as a guide for the circle to be directed at the bit. Once it is through with the cutting he has a nice little caul at the back of the circle which will stay away from the wall and act as a simple decoration, in case there are any deficiencies in the wall where the circle will be hung up.

Rick also makes a mention about the cross grains which are visible on the circle and gives a couple of tips about how the grains can always be kept in a straight line.

This was a fun episode which needed some geometrical skills to get the wood in proper shape before we start using a router to cut circles. The job certainly looks difficult but is rather easy if you spare the time to follow what Bob and Rick have tried to do. I certainly find it easier to manage this particular task and hope that you to will not have any difficulty in doing the same. I will see you again with another episode soon and hope that you have enjoyed this one. I would also appreciate your comments on any mistakes that I may have committed while explaining the steps mentioned by Bob and Rick Rosendahl. After all I am a newcomer and do not have the same experience as my mentors do.

Hi folks,

This is Rick Rosendhal and if you are reading this paragraph you are reading a paragraph that has been created by my selected woodworking beginner Harish. Harish has taken up to woodworking due to a change in the economic conditions which cost him his job. Not only does he feel that he can make a living from woodworking from home but is also enthusiastic about spreading information about how people without jobs or with spare time on their hands can earn an additional income from the comfort of their home with a small investment.

Harish is viewing all the Router Workshop videos, and then writing about the information he has picked up from a selected video. Looking at the way this man has been going ahead with his job, I feel that his articles can be of interest to those who want to follow his example. Join this special video series by clicking the link below and you can get all information you need about the right usage of a router and the many ways you can use it to generate income for yourselves. Don't miss out on the benefits but start learning today and avail the benefits as many beginners are doing.

learnexperience is offline

Old 11-26-2011, 01:29 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Country: United States
First Name: Joe
Posts: 16

Nice write up.

Welcome to the community and i look forward to your views on using wood working as an extra income or to even be a full time endeavor.
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