A Small Circle Center Finder & Drawing Aid





Introduction: A Small Circle Center Finder & Drawing Aid

I wanted to see what the largest diameter circle I could get from an irregular shaped small piece of wood. There are templates available for finding the center of log sections and locating the center point, but I was working with small stock. I made this center finder/drawing aid at the TechShop, www.techshop.ws.

Step 1:

I started by placing a .07 inch diameter circle in the center of a 1 inch diameter circle and then constructed concentric circles spaced at 1/8” increments. I used Corel Draw as that is the “resident” program for the Epilog lasers. I made the .07 inch circle "hairline width" and the larger circles .014 inches line width for etching.

Step 2:

In order to make it easier to see which circle you were looking at when using the circle center finder, I made every-other circle a dashed line.

Step 3:

To make the circle drawing aid I radiated lines at 30 degrees and located a small circle at the intersection of the lay-out line and each successive circle. These small circles must be “hairline width” to cut, leaving pencil point holes. I then erased the lay-out lines.

Step 4:

I added a top knot with a hanging hole and specified the perimeter line and hanging hole circle as “hairline width”.

Step 5:

Using the Epilog laser I engraved and cut the center finders from .093 inch thick acrylic plastic. To use, place the center finder over the stock in question and “eyeball” the largest circle that will fit. Use a push pin to hold the center and scribe a circle with a pencil.



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    I wish I could make this! It would help a lot, I don't have any fancy tools to make it though

    Like it! Do you have the CorelDraw file available for downloading?

    Good idea...;) Thank you for sharing...! I will make one myself..


    I was making a wooden mallet,and ended up using a nail,and string tied to a pencil to get my basic circle.

    Bgerens, fantastic Ible!!!!!!!

    I have only one complaint - why didn't I think of that? As soon as I get back into my shop (pulled muscle in my back working in an attic), I'm planning to fabricate a series of those in different sizes.

    My intended alterations to the concept - I'm going to use a circle cutting attachment with a pointed cutter on one of my Dremels to scribe the rings and then "paint" the scribed rings with ink (scrimshaw style) to make the rings more visible. Oh, and I'm going to give them a cool name (got to have a cool name). I think I'll dub them the "Rings of Bgerens."

    Any easy way I found to Ink laser etch without overlap or mess is to use a Sharpie marker, then when you have "inked" your lines, get a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and lightly rub over the top of your etchings. The ink in the etch stays and any overlap on top is taken off by the eraser without marring the surface.

    Actually, "compass" referred to the mathematical instrument about a hundred years (mid 14th Century vs. early 15th Century) before it referred to the navigational one.


    I make walking sticks,and chasing my hole guide around has been a waste of time,at best.It is a great idea you had.

    Glad it worked for you!

    Kinda limited on specific small circle sizes, eh? Wouldn't it be easier to use a drafting compass? Walmart has them about $6 bucks, and I don't know anyone who has an Epilog laser. Nice idea for portability though.