You might not think being able to cut a perfect circle on a common table saw is life changing, but you may not be a DIY blogger, you may not be a perfectionist, and you may not loath using a jigsaw with your whole being.
Have you ever started watching something on YouTube, and next thing you know its 4 hours later and you are watching a tutorial on installing wool dreadlocks? Maybe not dreadlocks, but you know you have fallen down the YouTube rabbit hole before.
It was during one of these internet video time warps when I came upon this video:
Of course I needed to try this myself. I was a little worried about what it may do to my saw blade, but I already needed a new one, so I figured "why not?".
The first step is to determine how large of a circle you need to cut, or technically, the diameter. Once you know that number, divide it in half, and that gives you your radius. Starting from the top, center of your saw blade, measure out the distance of your radius, and make a mark on the table. This is where you need to drill a hole.
Yes, you will have to drill a hole in the table portion of your saw. At first I didn't like that idea, but then I thought about it; my saw is a tool. Its sole purpose in life is to cut things, not look beautiful. Drilling a small hole in the table doesn't affect it's ability at all.
The next step is to drill the same size hole in whatever you will be cutting. I chose to use something thin and easy to cut for my first attempt. I went with 1/8" MDF veneer. Just make sure you have a bit more than your radius length in all directions around that point.
Lower your saw blade all the way down. Thread a small bolt through the hole in your material, and table top. I wanted to make sure the MDF I was cutting had no chance of flying off, so I chose to add a nut to my bolt and lightly tightened it. Not necessary, but it made me feel better. Make sure your material spins easily.
Raise your saw blade so about 1/16" of the blade is exposed. I lifted up the MDF so you could see what that looks like.
Lay the material flat on the table and turn on the saw. Use a scrap piece of wood or a push stick to hold the material down, over the saw blade. Spin the material all the way around one time. At this point, you should have scored a nice line.
Raise your saw blade another 1/16" and make another pass. Continue to raise and turn until all of the material has been cut through.
That's it! You now should have a perfect circle. There will be a small hole from the bolt, but that's easily fixed with some wood filler.
Be patient! The thicker your material, the more passes you will need. Don't be tempted to raise your blade more than 1/16" at a time, trust me!
Think of the possibilities this opens up! Artwork, clocks, tabletops etc. I already have a long list of circular projects in store. I don't care how nice of a jigsaw you have, you can get a good circle, but never perfect. This technique takes a little patience, but it really was simple. Give it a shot! And if you do, please send me a photo of what you do with your circle.