A table saw is a really handy tool to have around in the shop. They are often used for smaller, more precise cuts and bevels, so they’re great for cabinet work. You can also use it to cut a circle on the table saw by using a special jig that you can make or purchase from an arts and crafts store.
In this how-to guide, we will discuss how to cut a circle on a table saw, and the benefits of doing so.
Benefits of Cutting Circle With a Table Saw
In cutting a circular shape with a table saw, there are three benefits.
The first is that the process is relatively fast and easy to accomplish.
The second is that it can be accomplished more accurately when compared to other methods such as using a long straight edge to guide the cut based off measurements taken elsewhere.
The third advantage is that you can use jigs or pre-made pieces of round wood in order to make creating circles easier. These can be found for a small amount of money. The size of the circle cut-out that you make will need to be considered when deciding whether or not the method is worth purchasing your circular jig.
What Type of Wood Can I Cut a Circle Into With a Table Saw?
You can cut a circle into any type of wood with the table saw as long as you use the proper jig. Depending on what type of wood it is and what your desired diameter is, you may need to pre-drill the hole beforehand.
If you’re using oak or mahogany, for example, both are very dense hardwoods that might require pre-drilling if your desired diameter is greater than 5 inches.
If you are using a plywood piece or plywood sheet or an acrylic sheet, you’ll probably find that the material is too weak when trying to make a cut of this nature. You may want to consider using a circular saw or jigsaw instead if you need to cut out wood circles.
How to Cut a Perfect Circle on a Table Saw
- Best Table Saw for the Money
- Dado Blade
- Miter Gauge
- Screws or Nails
- 2x Wood (Preferably Plywood or 4×4)
Duration: 30 Minutes
Budget: $30-$50 (USD)
- Set your table saw blade at 90 degrees from the blade guard. This means that the blade is perpendicular to the table saw throat and parallel with the fence. Place your circle in position over where you want to cut out the circle and line it up with where you want your cut-out to be on your round piece of wood.
- Adjust the table saw so that there’s 0.375 inches between where you want your cut-out to begin as well as where you want it to end. You can do this by placing one hand on either side of the circular portion of your jig and lining up with where you’d like to make your cut starting from that point on both sides.
- Place the blade at 90 degrees from the blade guard and lower it into your cut-out. You can do this by raising or lowering one hand on either side of your circular jig and making sure that the jig coordinates with its intended location. Also, don’t forget to preload the saw just before you start cutting if it’s not already preloaded.
- Slowly lower the blade into position through your cut-out until you get about 0.375 inches of material between where you’d like to stop and where you’d like to begin cutting again. Gently rotate the blade back and forth until it clears your cut-out completely and you can slowly pull the saw away from your workpiece.
- The downside to this method is that the hole will be a bit smaller than your desired diameter, so you’ll have to either putty or sand down the hole. The upside is that it’s fast and easy to do and most circle cut-outs can be made within seconds with very little effort.
- If you accidentally make a mistake when cutting out your circle, you can buy an insert for your circular jig or cut a second circle slightly larger than your intended diameter and then place the smaller piece inside it. You can also use double-sided tape in order to make this easier.
If you’ve done all the steps, then you’ve pretty much perfected cutting a circle with a table saw!
How to Cut a Perfect Circle on a Table Saw Video
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I use a rip fence to help to cut a circle on wood?
Yes, a rip fence helps to measure properly for cutting circles on wood with a table saw.
Can I use a miter gauge to help to cut a circle on wood?
Yes, a miter gauge helps to measure properly for cutting circles on wood with a table saw.
Can I rip cut to cut a circle on wood?
No, a rip cut is a straight cut and not for circling wood on a table saw.
Can a miter saw cut a circle on wood?
No, miter saws can only cut angles and other types of straight cuts.
Can I use a reciprocating saw cut a circle on wood?
Yes, you can use a reciprocating saw to cut a circle on wood.
Can I use a bandsaw cut a circle on wood?
Yes, you can use a bandsaw to cut a circle on wood.
how to cut a circle on a table saw
This ends our How To Guide of How to Cut a Circle on a Table Saw.
Learning how to cut a circle on a table saw is very impressive since it’s fairly hart to cut on a saw made for straight cutting. Another amazing thing to learn is how to cut tenons on a table saw and how to cut laminate countertop with a table saw. Both are practical cuts to learn for your DIY and professional woodworking projects.
We hope the knowledge you gained here will help you in the future with your DIY or Professional Woodworking projects. We want you to be sure of that what you get from us are 100% facts, so please don’t hesitate to ask for advice or to advise us in return with accurate facts.
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Henry is a long time Trade Instructor at Dunwoody College of Technology. Henry has been teaching the trade of carpentry for over 15 years and is excited to share his knowledge with the next generation of builders. With his posts you will explore some general terms, tools, and techniques that are helpful for the beginning DIY Enthusiast!. He’ll also provide a list of all the best tips needed to start your building journey right away!