How to Properly Make a Circle Jig to use on a Band Saw:
As band saw reviews already clearly mentioned that a band saw has a blade which is very narrow and this very narrow blade is exactly why a band saw is so great at cutting curves that are so insanely smooth. Cutting freehand more often than not can usually get the job done especially if you go slowly; it is ideal for shapes that are non-symmetrical or work pieces that have a ton of curves in them. The slower you go than the better the results will be, getting close to cut-line is great and anything you miss can be touched up later simply by sanding those areas. Curves are easy but making a perfect circle can be hard; to be able to make a perfect circle you need to make the perfect circle jig first.
These full guides step by step are mentioned below:
Step One – Use a piece of sheet stock to make the jig, you want it to be the width of the table of your band saw. For example for a circle with a sixteen inch diameter a jig that is ten inches or even twelve inches will work just fine. All of the edges of the jig should be lined up with the table and it should just barely be touching the blade. Make a mark here on the front edge with the tips of the blade teeth.
Step Two – From where you made your mark you need to use a square to continue out the line all the way across the entire surface of the jig. The line should be in the center and it should be straight. Go back to the front edge and measure and mark areas that are one inch apart from each other on this line.
Step Three – Bore a hole in each of your marks; don’t go all the way through the jog. Each of these holes marks where the center of the circle will be that you are making. With that being said the hole that is drilled at the one inch mark will be the pivot area for the circle that will be made with the two inch mark and so on.
Step Four – Now you need to place your jig back on the table of the band saw, the line of holes should be perfectly perpendicular to where the blade is as well as even with the teeth of the blade. Once you have the jig positioned correctly you should securely clamp it to the table.
Step Five – You need to have a short piece of dowel cut for the pivot; it needs to be short enough that it fits into the holes drilled but doesn’t affect the jig from not being flat on the table. When cutting a circle keep in mind that the distance from where the blade is with what you are cutting is going to be the radius of that circle.
Step Six – Whatever size circle that is desired to be cut it is always best suggested to cut the circle a little bit bigger just in case something goes wrong. You can always touch it up later on by sanding it to pure perfection.
Step Seven – Place your work piece on top of the dowel and keep the front edge lined with the blade; if you have done everything correctly so far than this step should just have the piece fall right into place.
Step Eight – Turn the saw on and begin rotating your work piece slowly and smoothly on the pivot. When you are done with the circle, shut the saw off and wait for the blade to completely stop moving before you remove the waste and or the work piece.
If you are interested making a band saw box, refer the following guides