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Recently, I acquired some pieces of 1 3/4 oak and I want to make a circular top out of it. What is going to be the best way to cut the top?

1. I have looked into a circle cuttlng jig and spiral bits for my router. Bits that cut to 1 3/4 are a bit expensive (pun intended) but I am willing to do it if that is best.

2. I could rough cut it with a jig or band saw, but I will still have a clean the edges with a router bit.

3. What else am I missing?

Thanks in advance for your guidance.
 

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I don't see that you are missing anything. Cutting close to the line before routing sounds like a good plan. Just remember not to climb cut.

I do not see any reason the bit has to be spiral. Spiral would be better but it is not a must. The risk of tear out lessens with the spiral bit but a straight bit would get it done.
 

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If you have the band saw, then a circle cutting jig ifor the BS is the best way to go. There are loads of plans on google, that can get pretty complicated, but all you really need is a base, a cleat into your miter slot and a pivot point at the radius. I've got one hanging in the shop from a 24" tabletop that I made just out of scraps, and just use a screw through the bottom for the pivot, if I made more circles, I'd consider making a fancier adjustable one.

Check out BFD's project
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@chefdan - How do you deal with blade drift and deflection on the BS? What size blade did you use for your 24 inch table top?

@joey502 0 What do you mean by climb cut?
 

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Another thing you can do is to go as deep as you can with a spiral bit and then use a flush trim bit with the bearing riding on the surface that the spiral bit cut. That lets you cut it from both sides so you only need 7/8" on either side to cut.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I like the half spiral/ flush trim approach. Realistically, what is the most I should remove at one time with the flush trim bit? Assuming I remove the mass of material with the bandsaw or jigsaw and leave the finishing cut to the router, there still would be quite a bit of material to be cut.
 

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I use a bandsaw circle-cutting jig but the pivot point slides back and forth. There's an article in Fine Woodworking.

Michael Fortune Bandsaw Circle Jig

That will get a perfect circle very quickly and won't need much cleaning. Bandsaw drift and deflection won't happen on a properly-tune saw that has a good blade installed.
 

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@chefdan - How do you deal with blade drift and deflection on the BS? What size blade did you use for your 24 inch table top?
1) Tune the saw, and watch the snodgrass tuning method, with it I don't get any drift,
1.5) Use a good blade, I Like timberwolf and wood slicer
2) 3/8

- ezgnann
 

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What diameter circle are we talking about? At an 1-3/4 thickness I'm assuming that you're thinking about a fairly large circle. I built my bandsaw circle cutting jig based on Winky's with some minor modifications. That allows me to cut circles from as little as 3 inches out to about 6 feet in diameter (using supplemental support). The size circle you're making determines the size blade you need to use. Small circles need a small blade but that leaves a rougher edge. For smaller circles, I use a similar jig on my sanding station to smooth out the edges. For large circles, you can honestly just sand off the saw marks free hand and the very minor variations from a perfect circle won't be noticeable to the eye unless you really go wild with the sander.
 

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I use a circle cutting jig and a plunge router. With a spiral bit I don't worry about pre-cutting close to the line. I just cut the circle out in 3-4 light passes. The jig ensures the circle remains true.
 
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