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Thread: Making Circle Templates on the Bandsaw, the KISS way....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan

    Making Circle Templates on the Bandsaw, the KISS way....

    K.I.S.S. stands for "Keep It Simple.....Stupid" where the "Stu-pid" is me

    I had this idea drilled into my head by various good teachers along the way, other saying like, "When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, NOT zebras"

    .....unless you are in the Serengeti, I guess

    I had some rather NOT flat chunks of wood, I wanted to cut a circular turning blanks from, to do this, the easy way, is to have a selection of turning blank circle templates you can lay over the wood, secure it with one screw in the center and then, using the template as a guide, cut your blank.

    I wanted a quick and easy way of making some templates, I know one day I'll go to the trouble of making a really nice, adjustable circle cutting jig, but I do not have the time to do so right now, so this is what I came up with, for quick and easy.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    A piece of fairly thin MDF, I had it like this, with the sort of "L" shape to it, this works great, as there is support for the piece being cut on both sides.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I drew a line and then I drilled holes every centimeter, this would give me 2 cm jumps in template size (7/8"?) I then pushed a small nail through one of the holes, and cut it off, and sharpened it to a point.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I just eyeballed the set up, keep the jig square to the blade and keep the line with the holes in it, lined up with the teeth of the blade.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I would cut the piece of scrap thin plywood tot he size I want, in this case 18cm, I find the center of the square, and then drill a small hole, same size as the nail in the center. Pop the piece on the jig, with the nail in the 18cm hole.........

    Click image for larger version. 

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    .....turn on the saw, rotate the piece and there you are, a circle template.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I did this for 14 cm to 20 cm, and I'll do some larger sizes when I get some left over pieces of plywood from something.

    I also drilled a large hole in the templates, off center to hang them on.........

    Click image for larger version. 

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    There they sit on the wall with my blades, waiting for the next use.

    The jig cost next to nothing, took maybe 10 minutes to make and works great.

    Yep, I think I followed the KISS principle here fairly well!

    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
    Looks good, Stu! I've been using something similar for a long time but I never thought of making templates like that. I'll have to give it a try one day; thanks for the suggestion.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Goodland, Kansas
    They look good Stu. I am cheaper than you are. I used a cardboard box from our refrig to make mine. Hey they work.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    DSM, IA
    Stu, if I ever get a BS...maybe someday?...I will implement the KISS method. I try to use it on everything else.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
    My Website

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Inside the Beltway

    Brilliantly simple solution to a problem I've been having. Never have enough time to make a full scale jig for rounding blanks, but this is easily modified to a quick and simple solution!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Drums, PA
    Like Bernie, I use cardboard also. I have a large compass, I'm guessing it will do a 24" circle. That and a pair of scissors is all that is needed.

    Over the years I accidentally cut into the cardboard, cheap and easy to replace when needed.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
    Good process.. I think I'll try the KISS method next time I need to cut a circle.. thanks for a good tip.
    Tellico Plains, TN
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Nice and simple, but effective, Stu.

    I've used paper plates for templates on uneven blanks. On relatively even blanks, I just scribe a circle with a large pair of dividers and follow that line on the bandsaw.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Zushi, Japan
    Great idea Stu. I always eyeballed the not so flat chunks but they don't come out very round. This solves the problem beautifully.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Tokiwadai, Japan
    Very nice, Stu....I have a couple of "Drop Lids" to build, and this jig will work great.

    (wooden lids to hold down vegetables while you cook them in a pot)

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