Circle Template

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Project by Peter Oxley posted 12-15-2007 04:07 PM 3954 views 3 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I find that I draw a lot of circles and arcs in the shop. Every time I need a circle, I scurry around looking for the can or jar or bottle or washer or something that is just the right diameter. Usually, I settle for something close that, if I angle my pencil just right, will allow me to describe something representing a circle if you stand back far enough. Well, I’d had enough! I wanted something better.

I mounted the router on the trammel and put in a ¼” spiral bit. I carefully set up the trammel for each radius and cut the series of arcs. With ¼” slots I can put my pencil against either the inside or outside edge of a slot and get two radii from each slot. Now I can draw arcs on every 1/8” increment between 7/8” radius and 6” radius. I flip the template around the centerpoint to get a full circle.

I had planned to use forsner bits to create smaller radius holes in the middle of the template, but it is much harder to find the center of a hole than the center of an arc, so now I’m not sure about the holes. My trammel slipped on the 5” radius arc resulting in much shouting and stomping around. After the 3” arc, the narrow strips of plastic were begining to show some flex, so I made quarter-circles the rest of the way out.

The material is 1/8” lexan and the template is approximately 12” wide x 18” long. Sorry I didn’t take the photo with a dollar bill – I don’t remember when I last saw one of those!

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18 comments so far

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 5209 days

#1 posted 12-15-2007 04:10 PM

What a good idea. Thanks.

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 5356 days

#2 posted 12-15-2007 04:13 PM

Very cool idea Peter and easy to store too.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View toyguy's profile


1779 posts in 5172 days

#3 posted 12-15-2007 04:53 PM

Just what I need…..running out of cans and stuff…...

-- Brian, Ontario Canada,

View rpmurphy509's profile


288 posts in 5189 days

#4 posted 12-15-2007 04:57 PM

Excellent idea!

-- Still learning everything

View bryano's profile


546 posts in 5268 days

#5 posted 12-15-2007 05:11 PM

nice jig Peter. I could use one of these myself.

-- bryano

View gbvinc's profile


629 posts in 5281 days

#6 posted 12-15-2007 05:24 PM

Excellent idea Peter! Mass producing them yet?

View Jeff's profile


1010 posts in 5428 days

#7 posted 12-15-2007 05:39 PM

Very useful. Favorited!

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4074 posts in 5398 days

#8 posted 12-15-2007 05:55 PM

Looks like something Starrett would make. Really nice.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View Atelierwoodworks's profile


112 posts in 5348 days

#9 posted 12-15-2007 06:27 PM

You should be running to put a patent on this, thats not a joke, run…......

-- Atelierwoodworks Vaud Switzerland

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 5649 days

#10 posted 12-15-2007 06:35 PM

like a drafting template…back when people drafted with pencils. Cool

View Dadoo's profile


1790 posts in 5325 days

#11 posted 12-15-2007 07:32 PM

I do that “shouting and stomping around” dance once in awhile too.

You should be able to fill in the 5” mistake area with epoxy and reroute it.

Question is, does this jig suit your needs?

-- Make Woodworking Great Again!

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 5215 days

#12 posted 12-15-2007 07:58 PM

exellent peter i think most everyone would need one now and then

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 5427 days

#13 posted 12-15-2007 09:30 PM

Great idea Peter. Thanks.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 5297 days

#14 posted 12-16-2007 01:00 AM

That’s nifty, Peter.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 5400 days

#15 posted 12-16-2007 06:56 AM

Pretty clever Peter. That’s using the old noggin.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

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