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Australian Woodsmith 19th February 2020

Cleaner Circle Cutting

Faced with the challenge of creating multiple wood discs for coasters, I needed a way to cut them out without making a centre hole in the workpiece. I came up with a simple solution using a circle cutter and a scrap block. 

To do it, adjust the drill bit on the circle cutter so it’s higher than the depth of the cutting blade by the thickness of the workpiece, plus 3mm, as shown in Figure 1.

Use a scrap block of wood that’s at least the same thickness as the workpiece from which the circle is being cut and shorter diagonally than the diameter of the circle. Locate the block in the centre of the circle and use double-sided tape to hold it in place.

To keep the parts from moving as the blade makes the cut, clamp the workpiece to the drill press table. The block stabilises the circle cutter without drilling into the workpiece blank. The disc is completely cut out when it starts to spin.

After removing the scrap block, you’ll have a blank disc with no centre hole. The same block can be used again to cut out multiple discs.

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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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