Small Circle Cutting Jig

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Project by LittleBlackDuck posted 03-27-2017 03:25 PM 2112 views 5 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This article is designed to introduce what I affectionately call my “Wall flower jig”. If tends to crop up in a lot of pictures in my past projects but never gets the recognition it deserves. It is my Small Circle Cutting Jig.

All of you out there that are into toy making are aware of the dilemma of making small wheels for rolling toys. We have all seen great jigs for making wheels but most seem to be on steroids and cater for the larger type of circle sizes. To create small wheels we often fall back on the trusty (or should I call it the rusty) hole saws. Most of us can’t afford diamond encrusted cutters (even those of us with lasers) so we persevere with the cheaper hole saws that burns the wood and once you finish, takes half a day to extract the wheel plug from the overheated, resin glued metal cutter.

Those that have ventured into the realms of their own circle cutter jig making, often need to ask their neighbour to help them lift their oversized circle cutting jig onto their bandsaw and hire a cab/Uber to travel from one side of it to the other. Lets face it, most circle cutters seem to have “ferris wheel size” dimensions imprinted in their designers brain which is not ideal for those tiny 2 3/4 to 6 (or so) inchers.

In turn, this jig is designed for those piddly sized circles/wheels, however, I do recommend you swap out your 1” bandsaw blade for something that can take the smaller radii.

Just to break up the suspense and give you the opportunity for a coffee break, here is a link to the video I made of using the jig.

While this jig has been laser cut and incorporates gears, the gears are mainly cosmetic and predominantly for bragging purposes. Without the gears, the jig is still fully functional and all cuts are straight line cuts on the table saw (or crooked line cuts with a jig saw) with a couple of slots cut for the hardware using a router (table). The jig is small and can be ported and used in a similar fashion on a disc sander to remove the bandsaw marks from the circles’ perimeter.

The picture below shows the rack and pinion gears used to move the bottom slider,

however, they can be simply omitted and replaced by straight lines, followed by a dexterous use of either hand to achieve the same result with little or no significant effort.

The mitre tracks are cut out of a 3mm MDF piece to house the head of the ¼” bolt and a 6mm piece to provide support for the shaft of the bolt. Two sizes are catered for (19mm and 20mm) but they can be made as required.

There is an adjustable travel stop to stop the jig once the blade is level with the centre spindle.

Also there is a provision for a mag-switch to secure the jig to the band saw table,

I used to say that it was an overkill and not required, but I buggered up a wheel when the jig moved while making the video, so I now have a mouthful of humble pie and an employed mag-switch.

The standard configuration can be used on the disc sander, however, the mag-switch is only posing as it doesn’t work on the aluminium disc sander table and is only eye candy to complement the clamps…

Unfortunately, for the other sanding profiles, it is highly recommended the jigs’ components be made on a scroll saw. The central slider can be swapped out to accept the other profile sanding jigs that share a common slider.

SketchUp models are downloadable using this link.

And of course the obligatory side by side snap shot.

The following was a prototype portrait of the jig while still in puberty. Nevertheless it wore it’s gears well.

Thanks for taking the time to get to the end.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

8 comments so far

View GR8HUNTER's profile


6439 posts in 1218 days

#1 posted 03-27-2017 03:51 PM

very clever as always …but to damn hard for me to even figure out how to work it ….LMAO …GREAT JOB :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View SouthavenToyMaker's profile


204 posts in 1994 days

#2 posted 03-27-2017 03:57 PM

Wow, watched the video, that jig is very impressive. Sure would make life easier. Very nicely done.

-- Sean

View Dutchy's profile


3422 posts in 2674 days

#3 posted 03-27-2017 05:31 PM

Another nice one Alex.


View bruce317's profile


404 posts in 1329 days

#4 posted 03-27-2017 06:26 PM

Alex, after reading this & looking at your videos. Well done.

-- Bruce - Indiana - Sawdust is just, MAN GLITTER!

View oldnovice's profile


7499 posts in 3874 days

#5 posted 03-27-2017 07:17 PM

That is one clever design!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View crowie's profile


3193 posts in 2457 days

#6 posted 03-27-2017 09:19 PM

Alex, You sure don’t do things by half; that’s one fancy and fantastic jig set sir…very clever….

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3372 days

#7 posted 03-28-2017 11:27 AM

This is certainly one of the finest circle cutting jigs that I have ever seen. It is very creative and resourceful.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Ivan's profile


15054 posts in 3373 days

#8 posted 03-28-2017 05:43 PM

Very sofisitcated!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

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