Bandsaw circle cutting jig
We built this bandsaw circle cutting jig because we always look for solutions to reduce work time and to increase the quality of our work. We had to cut some perfect quarter circles for an MDF project: some awesome bookshelves letters for our kids’ room. We built the cutting jig so that we can cut the MDF board quickly and with high accuracy. As in general, each solution found to a problem turned out to be very useful for the entire activity, we also used this jig to build a beautiful oak wood Christmas tree stand.
You can see more details about how we built it and how good it works in our video:
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Sometimes the most complicated woodworking operations need simple solutions. So was in this case. This simple round cutting jig needs 5 working minutes and just a few things:
- a scrap MDF board
- a block of wood
- two F or C clamps
- two screws
1. First, I took the MDF board and I cut it halfway. I stopped the bandsaw. I took care to keep the board still until I clamped it on the bandsaw table
2. I clamped the board on the bandsaw table with a C clamp at one end.
3. At the other end, I had to use a small block of wood because the underneath of the table was not even. I wanted to make sure the clamp stays put. I clamped the block to the side trying to keep it flush to the table
4. I drilled a hole in the MDF board and through the block of wood and countersunk it, to hide the screw head. I secured the MDF board with a screw.
Now the board is secured to the bandsaw table.
5. I drew two points (we needed to cut two circles, each with a different radius). The distance between the bandsaw blade and the drawn points was equal with the radius of each circle.
6. I measured the distance between the bandsaw blade and the edge of the MDF board.
7. I measured the same distance next to the points previously drawn. These marks represented the centers of the circles.
8. I drilled two pilot holes (one for each size of the circle I needed to cut) slightly smaller than the screw I wanted to use.
9. I drilled the center hole into the board I needed to cut. I needed two quarters of circle on the same board, with the same center.
10. I first screwed the MDF board to the cutting jig in the hole for the quarter circle with a larger diameter.
11. I repositioned the board on the bandsaw circle cutting jig and I cut the quarter circle with the smaller diameter.
I used a thin bandsaw blade because these kind of blades are made for round cuts. I progressed as fast as possible, yet letting the blade do its job, not forcing it. This would have resulted in a more wobbly cut.
I used this jig to build: