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Cutting precise small wood circle

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Forum topic by 12bar posted 03-28-2020 03:14 AM 666 views 0 times favorited 47 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12bar

44 posts in 1259 days


03-28-2020 03:14 AM

Topic tags/keywords: cutting small circle skill

I am building some vacuum pods to help me with vacuum press work for holding acoustic guitars that I build. I need to put wood plugs in side of the interior of the aluminum tubing I am using. I’m trying to figure out how to cut the plug without having a hole in the center like I would have if I used a hole saw. I do not have a lathe so that is out.
The plug must fit tight into the end of the aluminum tubing. I haven’t selected the exact tubing yet but I am thinking of about 1 3/8” OD or something close. With an inside diameter of approximately 1” or so.
One idea I have had is finding a 1” dowel and finding an aluminum pipe with an ID if 1”. However, my experience tell me not all 1” dowels are exactly 1”’.
So I am trying to figure out how to cut a circle approximately 1” or whatever is needed for the I.D. Of Aluminum piping I can find.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
12 bar.
Chuck

-- 12 Bar


47 replies so far

View hairy's profile

hairy

3050 posts in 4263 days


#1 posted 03-28-2020 04:02 AM

You could do it with a hole saw, and plug the hole .

A cap over the outside might be easier than a plug on the inside of the tube.

Maybe get an oversize dowel. Shape the side to a taper to stick in the hole.

just a thought…

-- Genghis Khan and his brother Don, couldn't keep on keeping on...

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

1256 posts in 1319 days


#2 posted 03-28-2020 04:45 AM

Start with next size dowel up from alum ID and turn down to fit on your lathe (you DO have a lathe?) Cut into slices of desired thickness.

Just buy corks. 1/2” to 3” sizes are readily available. They’re tapered to fit and will give a vacuum tight seal. They’re cheap and you don’t need any tools to “make” them. They’ll tolerate reasonable heat.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View Walker's profile

Walker

344 posts in 1203 days


#3 posted 03-28-2020 05:47 AM

Router with a circle jig. Cut slightly oversized, then sand it down by hand. Or a slightly oversized dowel and sand it down.

-- ~Walker

View MPython's profile

MPython

239 posts in 543 days


#4 posted 03-28-2020 10:42 AM

I have a simple home made circle cutting jig for my router that will cut circles as small as 3/4” in diameter. It requires a center pin, but the pin is short (about 3/8”) and doesn’t go all the way through 1/2” BB plywood.

View Tony_S's profile

Tony_S

1323 posts in 3814 days


#5 posted 03-28-2020 11:45 AM

Buy 1” tapered wood plugs from home depot or similar. Done.

-- “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” – Plato

View tvrgeek's profile

tvrgeek

941 posts in 2380 days


#6 posted 03-28-2020 12:26 PM

Does it have to move? Does it have to be wood? You could pour resin into the tube. Hard to give advice when we don’t see the design.

View jdh122's profile

jdh122

1152 posts in 3549 days


#7 posted 03-28-2020 12:26 PM

You can use a holesaw without the center drill bit. On a drill press if the stock is held down very well and the speed is turned way down. And even with a handheld drill if you first cut a hole in another piece, clamp it down and use it as a guide. The sizing is tricky, though: holesaws are sized to the outside diameter and you need the inside diameter. Probably best just to go with buying a couple plugs, as others have mentioned (unless you can’t get to a hardware store…)

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

1256 posts in 1319 days


#8 posted 03-28-2020 03:15 PM

JDH122: How do you use a holesaw without the mandrel? If you remove the center there is nothing to chuck!

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View Axis39's profile

Axis39

195 posts in 328 days


#9 posted 03-28-2020 04:31 PM

Use your drill press as a lathe. I do this all the time when I’m making knobs, since I don’t have a lathe either.

You could cut down blocks, or you could buy the next biggest dowel and sand, file, etc it down to the exact size you need.

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

View Foghorn's profile

Foghorn

449 posts in 117 days


#10 posted 03-28-2020 04:58 PM



JDH122: How do you use a holesaw without the mandrel? If you remove the center there is nothing to chuck!

- Madmark2

On my holesaw, the bit slides into the mandrel and is held by a set screw. Take the bit out and you’re good to go.

-- Darrel

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Madmark2

1256 posts in 1319 days


#11 posted 03-28-2020 05:21 PM

I just went out and measured the mandrels on two different hole saws.

The end remaining after removing the pilot is a 13/16” NUT! What shop drill press can chuck that size?

You’ve not actually done this, have you?

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View Tony_S's profile

Tony_S

1323 posts in 3814 days


#12 posted 03-28-2020 06:16 PM


You ve not actually done this, have you?

- Madmark2

I’m sure he has…and so have I!!
Most decent quality hole saw mandrels have replaceable drill bits Mark….you need to get out more.
https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/tools/power-tool-accessories/hole-cutters/100099-mandrels-for-bimetal-hss-tipped-hole-saws

-- “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” – Plato

View LeeRoyMan's profile

LeeRoyMan

1053 posts in 458 days


#13 posted 03-28-2020 06:23 PM

More than once…

Even the cheap ones.

-- I only know what I know, nothing less, nothing more -- That doesn't count what I used to know..

View AndyJ1s's profile

AndyJ1s

300 posts in 486 days


#14 posted 03-28-2020 06:34 PM

You can also use a circle cutter in your drill press. Like the hole saw, remove the center bit.

If you don’t have a drill press, use a hole saw (with bit), then plug the hole with a like sized dowel, glued in place. You can drill out the center hole (using the holesaw’s hole as a pilot hole) to the next larger available dowel size if necessary.

If you want a taper, you will need a way to chuck it (or likely a bolt through its middle in a drill press, and present rasp or coarse file, sandpaper, etc to it while spinning.

-- Andy - Arlington TX

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AndyJ1s

300 posts in 486 days


#15 posted 03-28-2020 06:39 PM

If you don’t have a DP, you could also chuck the bolt through the plug in a handheld power drill, and present the plug to a rasp/file/sanding block held in a vise or clamped to the bench.

If your drill chuck cannot grasp the bolt head or nut, then use a bolt with the head cut off (and 2 nuts), or threaded rod.

-- Andy - Arlington TX

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