Introduction: Build a Bandsaw Circle Cutting Jig
Hello everyone, I'm Ashley and in this Instructable I'm sharing how to build a bandsaw circle cutting jig. This is a really easy shop project that will make cutting circles a breeze! My circle cutting jig is largely inspired by George Vondriska’s bandsaw circle cutting jig. I loved the adjustable dovetail slider feature in his jig and had to incorporate into my jig.
Let's get started with the build!
The following are some of the tools and supplies I gathered to build my bandsaw circle cutting jig (affiliate links):
- Table saw
- Drill press
- 3/16" drill bit
- 5/16" drill bit
- playing cards
- 1/4" - 20 threaded inserts
- 1/4" - 20 threaded size star knob
- Sticky Measurement tape
- 3/16" dowel
- 1/2" plywood (I used scraps)
- Scrap hardwood for the miter slot runner and stop block
- Double sided tape
- Rare earth magnet
- E-6000 glue
- Wood Glue
Watch the how to make video below or continue reading for the written tutorial.
Step 1: Cut a Piece of Plywood for the Base of the Circle Jig
Cut a piece of plywood for the base of your bandsaw jig. My circle jig was created to fit on the Rikon 10-305 bench top bandsaw and is roughly 11″ x 16″. Your dimensions will vary based on the size of your bandsaw and on the size of the average circles that you want to create. The maximum sized circle that I can cut with my jig is just shy of 16″ radius.
Step 2: Cut a Sliding Dovetail
Cut a second piece of plywood to match the dimensions of your circle jig base.
Make a mark where the bandsaw blade will line up and from that point mark two lines: an inch above and below the initial mark. This section will be the adjustable sliding dovetail.
Cut along the lines with a 30 degree bevel on the table saw to create the sliding dovetail.
Step 3: Assemble the Jig
Glue the top sides to the base of the circle jig. First glue and clamp one side. Place the sliding dovetail with a card on each side before gluing and clamping the second side. This will ensure that the dovetail has room to freely slide in and out.
Once the glue dries, trim up the edges of the jig on the table saw.
Step 4: Create a Stop Block
I used a scrap piece of oak and attached it to end of the circle jig. You’ll want to ensure that the stop block allows the jig pivot dowel to line up with the front of the bandsaw blade.
Step 5: Attach a Runner for the Miter Gauge
Using more scrap oak, I ripped a piece of oak that matched the width of my bandsaw’s miter slot and attached it to the base of the circle cutting jig.
Step 6: Install Magnets for Jig Stability
At this point I noticed a had an imbalance issue with my bandsaw jig. I installed a small rare earth magnet to the base of my bandsaw jig. It was a magnet that purchased a long time ago so I do not know what the strength rating was, but it did the trick in resolving my jig’s balance issue.
Step 7: Create Clamping Mechanism for Sliding Dovetail
Step 8: Install Dowel for Circle Pivot Point
Drill a 3/16″ hole and insert a 3/16″ dowel. This is the pivot point for the wood blanks.
Step 9: Install Sticky Measurement Tape
This final step is a really nice to have: installing sticky measurement tape. To install the tape:
- Lock the sliding dovetail into place
- Cut a circle on the bandsaw with the jig
- Measure the diameter of the circle
- Line the sticky measurement tape up with the end of the sliding dovetail
- Cut off any excess tape
Applying sticky measurement tape to indicate the radius of the circle
Step 10: Enjoy!
Now you’re adjustable bandsaw circle jig is ready for action. Enjoy!
Sidebar: How to cut a circle without drilling a hole
More often than not you’ll probably want to cut a circle without damaging the surface by drilling a hole for the pivot point. You can avoid marring the surface of your circle by first cutting a sacrificial circle.
Attach a wood blank to the sacrificial circle using double sided tape. Now you can cut a circle from the wood blank without damaging the surface.
Thanks for checking out my Instructable!
Watch the video:
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