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 Post subject: Circle Cutter
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:10 am 
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Does anybody have one of the circle cutters you use in a drill press? If so, how well do they work? When using plywood, do you cut from the face?

Thanks

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:15 am 
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Don't have one, but I did consider one once. Just didn't look like a good design to me. Decided to use hole saws, or a circle jig on the bandsaw instead.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:22 am 
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Gene wrote:
Don't have one, but I did consider one once. Just didn't look like a good design to me. Decided to use hole saws, or a circle jig on the bandsaw instead.


The hole saw might work, but I need to make a 6" hole. The bandsaw won't work for this application, because I need the board with a hole in it, not the circular piece I am cutting out.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:24 am 
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John Boy wrote:
Gene wrote:
Don't have one, but I did consider one once. Just didn't look like a good design to me. Decided to use hole saws, or a circle jig on the bandsaw instead.


The hole saw might work, but I need to make a 6" hole. The bandsaw won't work for this application, because I need the board with a hole in it, not the circular piece I am cutting out.

\
Make a small base for your router with a 1/4" pin. Might be tight for a router but how about a laminate trimmer?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:44 am 
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John - Using a circle cutter on a drill press is an effective way
of producing a hole. There are a few safety considerations
that must be followed:
1. Absolutely clamp your work piece securely to the drill press
table - under no circumstances try to hold the piece by hand!
2. Be certain the cutter on the end of the trammel is sharp and
securely tightened to the correct height.
3. Choose the correct drill speed for the material you are cutting
4. Use a backer board under your material

If the material is thick,i.e. 3/4" or more, consider drilling from
each side. The pilot bit will establish the center so it's easy to
index to when you turn the material over. Coming from each
side makes a cleaner cut on thick material.

Tom

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:25 am 
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John,
Not sure what your tool box looks like but, could you just drill a hole and use a jigsaw to rough cut the 6" hole and then a spindle sander or flapwheel in the drill press to clean it up to the line?

Rog

P S Not sure how large the piece is or what the thickness of material is.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:32 am 
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I have a cheap model that does the job. You will need pretty strong drill press to do a 6" hole. A 50$ benchtop model will stall and/or burn very easily once the diameter gets up there. A 3/4 HP floor model will sail through...


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:54 am 
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I have one and have only used it 3 or 4 times. It did a good job if you take your time. As far as drilling in plywood, I would work from the good side, that is the smoothest cut side. Mine only has one cutter, I have seen them with 2 cutters. As TominTexas said make sure it is clamped down and use a slow speed. Because mine only has one cutter I definately go slow.

Bill

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:06 am 
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Amateur Bill wrote:
I have one and have only used it 3 or 4 times. It did a good job if you take your time. As far as drilling in plywood, I would work from the good side, that is the smoothest cut side. Mine only has one cutter, I have seen them with 2 cutters. As TominTexas said make sure it is clamped down and use a slow speed. Because mine only has one cutter I definately go slow.

Bill


Same here. Again, clamp, use fence if you have one, slow speed, and work from the good side, back with a sacrificial board. Not sure if mine would even do a 6". Used to use it a lot before I discovered forstner bits. A hole that big though, you'd probably be better off using a router or hole saw.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:57 am 
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If you have a disk sander I made a simple jig for circles that does what you are looking for-- put a tiny pinhole in the center and draw the piece out from that pinhole with a string or compass and then rough the piece to outside the line with your bandsaw and then put the roughed out piece onto a board with a pin and spin it into the disk sander. I've used pins as tiny as pushpins or as large as dowels-- makes no difference if you're careful I guess what I am saying here is you could perhaps use the waste from your original inside cut as your "pivot pin point" if you wanted (with tape around it to take up the kerf)

here's picture/instructions I found online with the same idea (my jig is buried somewhere)
http://www.woodmagazine.com/woodworking ... ct-circle/

this practice could be used with a belt sander in a fixture as well

Lawrence


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:39 pm 
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What Tom said and do #1 twice. :wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:52 pm 
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[quote="Lawrence"]If you have a disk sander I made a simple jig for circles that does what you are looking for-- put a tiny pinhole in the center and draw the piece out from that pinhole with a string or compass and then rough the piece to outside the line with your bandsaw and then put the roughed out piece onto a board with a pin and spin it into the disk sander. I've used pins as tiny as pushpins or as large as dowels-- makes no difference if you're careful I guess what I am saying here is you could perhaps use the waste from your original inside cut as your "pivot pin point" if you wanted (with tape around it to take up the kerf)


Lawrence.......YOU are cutting a round disk....He needs a HOLE 6" in diameter! We are working from the inside out, you are working from the outside in. :-D

Rog

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:01 pm 
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oops :oops: thanks--

Lawrence


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:10 pm 
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I had to make some support pieces for an advertising display a few years ago.
I had to make 4" shouldered holes in some 3/4" Ply for some clear 4" tubing to sit in.
The Ply was about 6"x6"x3/4".

I was able to turn the squares. Can you mount your piece on a lathe? Do you have the swing?

Just trying to interject turning into the flatworld :-)

---Nailer---

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:24 pm 
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Rapid Roger wrote:
Lawrence wrote:
If you have a disk sander I made a simple jig for circles that does what you are looking for-- put a tiny pinhole in the center and draw the piece out from that pinhole with a string or compass and then rough the piece to outside the line with your bandsaw and then put the roughed out piece onto a board with a pin and spin it into the disk sander. I've used pins as tiny as pushpins or as large as dowels-- makes no difference if you're careful I guess what I am saying here is you could perhaps use the waste from your original inside cut as your "pivot pin point" if you wanted (with tape around it to take up the kerf)


Lawrence.......YOU are cutting a round disk....He needs a HOLE 6" in diameter! We are working from the inside out, you are working from the outside in. :-D

Rog


Come on, Lawrence. You got it all upside down!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:40 pm 
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Hey John,

Some good advice here, I would only add that it's worth the extra bucks to by a "balanced" fly-cutter. The balanced models have two cutters that are indexed via a rack an pinion system. They are safer, easier to use, and produce cleaner cuts. Unfortunately, they are considerably more expensive, but I think it's worth it for something that you will have for a lifetime.

My 2¢
Tom

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:16 pm 
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Thanks for all of the responses. Not even sure I am going to be doing it yet for sure. If so, I definitely have some info to go on.

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 Post subject: Re: Circle Cutter
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:07 pm 
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John Boy wrote:
Does anybody have one of the circle cutters you use in a drill press? If so, how well do they work? When using plywood, do you cut from the face?


Yes, and you score the face down through a couple plies and then turn it over. All the other warnings and cautions apply. Scares the H out of me. I am back on the router for holes larger than my holesaws. Collar and a spiral bit work a treat.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:23 pm 
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I was going to say easy answer, run it through a CNC machine...

Actually, now that I think of it, how about a router on a trammel?

Lawrence


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 Post subject: Making big holes
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:36 pm 
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I have a circle cutter and have used it a few times. It real easy to burn the cutter even at 250 rpms.

If this is a one time deal why not go to the home store and get a 6" hole saw? I think I have seen them that big. It makes fairly decent holes and does not seem to take a lot of power to use.
Richard


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