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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I cant work out which way to cut a circle, or even if it matters.

I'm using a plunge router on a trammel, going to cut a circle in a square piece of beech. using a straight sided plunge router bit, should i go clockwise, or anticlockwise?
 

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According to Pat Warner, it doesn't matter. I'e attached a copy of the instructions that came with his circle jig and he suggests cutting halfway in one direction and then reversing to complete the circle, more so that the vacuum hose and cord don't get tangled up. It always amazes me that people don't make the plate on circle jigs with a hole for a guide bushing rather than bolting the router to it - with the router pivoting on the guide bushing, the router can stay in the same relative position while making the cut and there's no problem with the cord tangling. One of these days, I'm going to look at making a bushing for his base plate - OD to fit the existing hole and ID for a guide bushing, probably 3/4". I do see that Festool makes their version to use the guide bushing, and there used to be a US manufacturer that did that too, and I thought that I had one but haven't seen that for a while.
 

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According to Pat Warner, it doesn't matter.
one direction will give ya fuzzy edge to the outside...
the other to the inside...
pick yur poison...
 

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I start by drilling a bit sized hole all the way through the material and then lower the bit there by small increments. Always have run counterclockwise

The sound of the bit changes when you come back to the hole and i stop there, raise the bit and power down. This allows me to clean any residual dust and chips from the piece before lowering the Bit slightly and cutting another pass.

I also rest the center piece on small padded blocks (prevents slippage) which allows me to cut through the piece on the last pass. However, if I need a good edge on the bottom side, I skip the blocks, use double sided tape to prevent slippage and cut through into a resting blank under the piece.

I use a spiral upcutting bit as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I like the pilot hole idea.
On this circle I have drilled the centre hole all the way through so can just turn the block over to get a clean cut on the underside.
I dont have any spiral bits, just cheap straight ones that I am going to use up before spending money on better ones.
 

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Well, how big is the hole to be? If small enough, I would just use a hole saw, my largest is 7". Hmm, just remembered, I've also got an adjustable hole cutter thingie, works great for pretty large holes, but takes forever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've cut it, but learnt a lot on the way. mainly to not do what I did this time.
The finished disc is 13" across.
If I did this again I would mark out the circle, cut close to it on the bandsaw, then use the router table to finish the cut.
The router and bit I used was not man enough for 1" thick beech, even turning it over and cutting from the bottom as well.

Oh well, "if I can learn something, my day has not been in vain"
 

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one direction will give ya fuzzy edge to the outside...
the other to the inside...
pick yur poison...
Doesn't matter on plywood or MDF. Make your pattern from either, rough cut your blank, attach pattern using brads or double-stick tape and cut using a pattern bit. Change direction so you're not cutting against the grain - if you've cut close to finished size when roughing out the blank, climb cutting shouldn't be a problem - and you'll get a nice clean cut.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Tom, I have a bandsaw circle cutting jig, I just wanted to experiment with the router. OOOPS. Wont make that mistake again.

I'm making a lazy susan, with tile insert. I'm now chewing the internal wood away to allow a 10 mm tile to sit flush inside the 20 mm edge.
I think I'm doing everything on this build in the hardest way possible. But hey, its a hobby, right?
 

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Tom, I have a bandsaw circle cutting jig, I just wanted to experiment with the router. OOOPS. Wont make that mistake again.

I'm making a lazy susan, with tile insert. I'm now chewing the internal wood away to allow a 10 mm tile to sit flush inside the 20 mm edge.
I think I'm doing everything on this build in the hardest way possible. But hey, its a hobby, right?
Last circle cut was for a ring for the duct collection cyclone. It has a circle cut inside the ring, like a flat donut. I used a quality 4 TPI blade which produced a really nice edge on the outside, and a jigsaw on the inside circle, which wasn't quite as smooth. But that's what they make sandpaper for, right?
 

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Not to argue with my betters... but it did go slightly smoother anti clockwise, less jerkiness. As far as the cut edges, I couldnt see a difference.
Just visualise the bit in a groove, if you go clockwise the bit cuts into the wood and it still cuts into the wood going anti-clockwise.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well,,, that was a bust.

Having glued two pieces of 3/4" thick beech plank side by side to make a 14" square, and then cutting a 13" circle, and then cutting another ring an inch inside the edge and removing a 1/2" across the entire inside to allow room for the tile to sit, The damn thing warped!

I've had the plank in my workshop almost a year. Cut two pieces from the same plank and glued them.
Its warped almost a 1/2" over a 7" distance. Both sides.
Its even pulled apart the joint that was made with titebond 3
No way of salvaging it to get a flat tile inside it.
 
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