Australian Woodsmith 3rd October 2018
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Routed Circles

Cutting a circular workpiece is a common woodworking challenge. There are several methods, but I found one that I come back to time and again — making it on the router table. 

In order to make circles at the router table, all you need is a large plywood base. A runner on the edge of the base rides along the side of the router table to let you rout into the base with control. And a dowel on the base creates a pivot point for rotating a workpiece above it. 

You can cut circles of varying diameter with this method. Just cut into the base with the router bit until the distance from the centre of the dowel to the edge of the bit matches the radius of your circle. Then clamp the base in place. 

Next, cut the blank to size as shown above, and drill a hole in the centre of the blank to fit over the dowel in the base. With the blank in place, turn on the router, and rotate it counter-clockwise. A thick blank will need to be routed by raising the bit slightly between each pass.           

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In this issue we take a look at the mechanics of joinery and analyse how all the stresses in a joint get resolved. In our techniques pages we show you how to create geometric relief carving followed by a clever system for making perfect panel screens with a domino cutter. Our weekend project is a piston-fit pencil case, while our designer project is a laminated sound box that cleverly works as an amplifier for smart phones. Our heirloom project is a handsome tool cabinet that boasts seven drawers and a huge amount of easy-to-access storage space. Our turning project is a lighthouse pepper mill that is bound to attract attention. As usual we feature clever tips and techniques from our generous readers.

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SAFETY IN THE WORKSHOP Safety devices, such as riving knives, guards on table saws and guards over router bits have been deliberately left out of the line drawings in Australian Woodsmith projects in order to make them easier to follow. It goes without saying that where safety devices have been supplied by the manufacturers you should use them. We encourage the use of push sticks as good work practice.
    Exercise vigilance and the greatest of care when using power tools, whether stationary or portable. Keep all your tools sharp and well maintained. Wear protective eyewear, a dust mask and a hearing protector when appropriate. By limiting distractions and developing safe work practices you will go a long way to avoiding workshop accidents. So, work safe fellow woodworkers.  -Editor
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