Use a Band Saw to Cut Circles of Wood
LESLIE: Mike in Wisconsin seems to have a crafty question. What can we do for you?
MIKE: Yes, hi. Was just wondering what kind of equipment I would need … my wife has a basket-weaving business and sometimes her baskets have a bottom on … that solid wood bottom.
MIKE: And our supplier is going out of business. And just wondering what I would need to make these thick …
LESLIE: Just like a round?
MIKE: Pardon me?
LESLIE: Just a regular circle of wood?
MIKE: Yes. There’s circles, there’s ovals. Sometimes square but mostly circles and ovals.
TOM: I would think probably the best tool for you to invest in would be a band saw. (clears throat) Because a band saw is a stationary piece of equipment and you can make templates to cut circles. You can even make templates to cut ovals. And it’s pretty easy to use. How many of these baskets are you actually making, Mike? You making a lot of them?
LESLIE: See now, I was thinking, if it’s mostly circles, you can make a circle jig for a router quite easily. By tracing out that base on the router and then making a long sort of … almost like a do-not-disturb sign; you know, it’s oval on one end with a hole and then it’s like a long piece extending from it. Does that make sense?
MIKE: Yes, it does.
LESLIE: If you make one of those and trace the round end exactly to the router end, take off that plate, screw this piece on and then measure from the router bit out to your radius, you can then make a circle. It’s …
LESLIE: Yeah, if you just screw down the jig at the hole, at whatever measurement you want to make. If it’s an 18-inch circle, put it at 9 inches. And then you just move the router around and you’ve made a circle and it’s perfect.
TOM: OK, Mike?
TOM: There’s a couple of options for you there.
MIKE: Yeah. If you don’t mind, they’re smooth also. And, generally speaking, the edges are rounded. What … could I also do that on a router?
TOM: Oh, then there’s another use for the router right there. I mean that’s the main use of a router; to route over the edges and smooth them out quite nicely.
LESLIE: But you can even get the bit that makes the curved end …
TOM: That’s what I mean.
LESLIE: … and cuts your circle. Like start it with a plunge bit then switch it out and go around with the rounded bit.
MIKE: OK. Thank you.