How to Cut a Circle in Wood


A woodworker main objective would be to make circles that are a precise and perfect size in the safest and efficient manner. There are several ways to cut circles in wood. However, each cutting method will depend on the type of tool used.

The following are the various methods of cutting circles in wood.

By use of a Hole Saw

The easiest and simplest method to make small circles measuring up to seven inches in diameter is to use a Hole Saw. A supporting board can be used to avoid a blowout. Other tools include a jerk and a disc sander. These will be used to making a perfect circle.

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The procedure involves cutting a piece of the plywood and gluing together the plywood and a cleat so that when the cleat is in the miter hole. Cut a panel on top of the surface and should be vertical to the cleat underneath. Place a runner into the panel. Insert a final nail on one side of the runner towards the end.

Clamp the jerk to the counter of the disc sander positioning the cleat in the slot made on the miter. Dig a small hole in the middle of the surface of the workpiece and position the workpiece on top of the final nail. Shove the runner in front up to the point where the workpiece gets into contact with the rotating sanding disk. Clamp the runner and sand the work board by slowing spinning it in a clockwise direction up to the time the circle is shaped.

Reset the runner and start sanding the edges unto the point where you have a perfect diameter. Avoid unwarranted burns to the ends by spinning the work board steadily and by use of a clean sand disc. You can use the crepe block to clean it from time to time.

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By use of a Band Saw

The Band Saw is another tool that you can use to cut circles in a wood. The workpiece is rotated into the saw blade to make a cut. For a quick and neat cut, you can start with a plywood that is the size of the band saw counter and have a miter opening cleat pasted together to the surface.

Fit the cleat into the miter hole and push the jerk into the rotating blade up to the point where the bottom edge is even with the edge of the table. Fix the block on the bottom to prevent a jig. Make a line where the jerk is vertical to the cutting blade and even it with the teeth of the Saw and eventually insert the final nail hinge.

To use the jerk, make a small opening on the lowest part of the workpiece at the middle. The Put it above the final nail fitted in the jig. Drive the jerk forward on the table up to the point where it stops. Clamp it. Spin the workpiece in a clockwise direction into the cross portion so as to prevent the blade from pulling into a long portion. Now cut a circle. Use the side table to support in case of large pieces.

Place the blade on the position close to the table and start cutting. Make sure the cutting edge of the saw teeth positions well with the center line of the hedge point on the jerk. This is so as to achieve a perfect circle. Finally turn the workpiece in such a way that the bumps in the softwood are out of the cutting path of the blade.

Using a Router and Trammel

The idea of a Router and a Trammel is the same as using a thread and a pencil. Here you need to fix a half an inch O.D guide bushing and a twisting bit inside the router and fit the router in the jerk. Measure the radius you would prefer from the cutting end of the bit and fit in a final nail through the jerk arm.

Using a trammel, slot the final nail to the arm to put marks where the circle radius will be. Dig a small hole in the middle of the workpiece. Now slot the trammel hedge into the workpiece. You can use another board under the workpiece. Rotate the workpiece in an anticlockwise direction. You can make several passes to cut the circle if your workpiece is wider.

Using a Table Saw

You can also cut a circle in a wood using a table saw. In this method, you need a sliding jerk. You can create a circle and alter the appearance of a work piece in the circle.

First, cut the plywood and mount a hardwood runner on the surface that will fit your miter slot. Place the jerk on the right side of the miter slot and start cutting. Draw a line across the jerk vertical to the blade. You can start with a square piece and dig a small hole in the middle.

Put the mark on the radius and spin the workpiece on the jerk so that one side hangs the jerks edge. Using your hand, hold the workpiece or use a toggle clamp and slide the jerk forward so as to trim the edge. Slide the jerk back, spin the workpiece and cut the second edge. Continue forming edges until you come up with a circle

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Using a Router Table

This method is most useful when making small and large circles on a rounded table. Here you need a sliding jet and a twisted bit.

 Router Table
Router Table

To start, cut a plywood a few inches longer than the top of your router table. Fix 2 side cleats and a stopper cleat on the bottom of the board. Insert a hedge final nail into the jerk to face.

To make a circle, place the jerk on top of the router table at the middle of the final nail. Put a clamp and dig a small hole at the middle of the workpiece and put it on the finish nail. Spin the work piece in an anticlockwise direction and cut into a circle.


There are times, you work needs circles without middle holes in them, you can do this by altering the hedge bit in a way that it doesn’t come into contact with the plywood when drilling. Using a sharp blade will give you perfect work. A broader blade will help you navigate through the small circles with close-fitting curves.