As a woodworker or maker, one day you will need to make a wooden circle for that particular project.
Whether they are for a round tabletop, a shop clock, or any other round object, your goal will always be the same.
The wooden circle needs to be precisely the size, and you want to make it in a safe and efficient manner.
But sometimes making perfect round circles is not the only requirement for a router circle jig. Depending on the project you are working on, there may be a need to make a circle without a center hole.
Well, all of that is exactly what you are going to discover in this blog post. In this article, you will find all the details on how to make the best router circle jig, which you can make wooden circles without a center hole. Thanks to the infinitely variable settings that can be made via the threaded rod, this router circle jig can make any size circle. That is pretty unique!
This router circle jig is an easy to make bigger project, and super easy to set up and use. In my opinion, after searching for router circle jig ideas, this is the best router jig to make circles.
I’ll show you how to build this router circle jig!
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What do you need to make a router circle jig?
To prepare you for building this router circle jig, I have made a few handy lists.
In addition to a few personal protective equipments that I use*, I also list the materials as well as the (power) tools you will need to build this router jig .
* Safety is always your own responsibility!
Safety first! Protect yourself!
Materials I used for this router circle jig
(power)Tools I used for this router circle jig
Watch the video and learn how to make a router circle jig
In the video below, you can see how I made a very simple router circle jig. This router jig is easy to connect to the router and makes perfect circles without that disturbing hole in the middle.
For this project, I used my Makita 3709 Router to attach the router circle jig on. If you use another brand of router, there can be a small difference in the way you will make the connection between the jig and the router.
How to make a router circle jig?
Now that we have gone through the list of what we all need for this project, I will explain step by step how I made this router circle jig.
Collect your materials and find the best wood. Together we will build this router circle jig that you will enjoy for a long time.
Step 1 | Preparing the rotation point disks
To make my router circle jig, I started with this step because I will have to join pieces with epoxy glue to make this part.
Epoxy glue takes some time to cure. You need to keep in mind it takes about 1 hour depending on the temperature.
While the glue was setting, I could make the other pieces for the router circle jig.
By the time I made all the pieces, the glue was dry, and I was able to assemble the jig.
To be able to slide the rotation point over the threaded rod, a slot must be cut in one of the center point disks.
Because it is safer to work with a larger piece of wood, I first saw the slot before cutting out the disk.
An additional advantage is that if I cut out the disk later, the slot will be perfectly in the center of the circle.
The slot should be 0.31 inches (ca. 8 mm) wide by 0.31 inches (ca. 8 mm) deep.
Now that the slot has been cut, I could cut out 3 disks with a drill press and 2 inches (ca. 5 cm) hole saw.
One disk needs to have the slot in the middle, so for that disk I needed the wood where we just made the slot in.
I made the disk by lowering the center drill in the middle of the slot and sawing out a circle.
When you do this, please take small steps at the time and don’t force the drill.
The other two disks of this router circle jig, don’t need to have a slot and could be cut from a piece of scrap wood.
Step 2 | Gluing the bolt into a disk
To rotate the center point of this router circle jig, I needed an anchor point. I made that anchor point by placing a bolt in one of the full disks.
The head of the bolt could be marked on the wood and chiseled.
If you do this, make sure that the head of the bolt is flush with the surface of the disk.
Now I could glue the bolt into the chiseled hole. To have a strong connection, I used epoxy glue here.
Epoxy glue is a two-component adhesive. When the resin and the hardener come into contact, you have about 5 minutes to process this glue. Depending on the temperature, the glue is dry after about one hour.
To prepare the epoxy glue, I will explain the steps I take to mix the epoxy.
- On my workbench, I put 2 or 3 pieces of painter’s tape next to each other, so that I get a surface large enough to mix the glue on.
- I press an equal amount of both components outwards onto the painter’s tape.
- To mix the resin with the hardener I use a disposable spoon, which is smooth, easy to clean and reusable.
- I apply the glue on the workpieces and leave the painter’s tape with the rest of the glue on the workbench.
I use this left over to regularly check whether the glue is sufficiently hard. That way I don’t have to touch the glued parts with the risk of loosening.
- Once the bonding is good, I clean up everything and throw the painter’s tape with the glue into the residual waste. For a more in depth guide on mixing epoxy glue, check out my article How to Mix Epoxy Glue Properly: A Clear Step-by-Step Guide to Success
You can find more information on epoxy glue on another article I wrote.
In that article, I go deeper into what epoxy glue is and how and when to use it.
I highly recommend reading this blog post.
By that you will better understand epoxy glue to use it for your projects.
Facts about epoxy glue
- Resin and Harder must not come into contact with each other when not in use. After use, clean the nozzle with a cloth and place the special cap on the nozzle.
- There are types of plastic that you cannot glue, such as polyethylene and polypropylene.
- Store cool, frost-free, upright (nozzle up) and tightly closed.
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Step 3 | Making the connection piece
To quickly and easily attach the router circle jig to the router, I will now show you how to make a piece that ensures a firm and tight connection.
You can also use a piece of scrap wood for this connection part.
On the back of the Makita 3709, there is a small bar molded into the plastic case of the router.
By measuring this beam, I could make a groove in the wood that is equal to that beam, so that the wood will fits perfectly on this guide.
The connection between the router circle jig and the router must be tight. If the connection is loose, the router will be able to move freely.
Therefore, the circle you will make will never be perfect and will show inequalities.
I made the slot in the wood with my crosscut sled and the table saw.
If you don’t get a crosscut sled, you can always use a miter gauge on your table saw.
What you can also do is make your own crosscut sled.
To be inspired, watch my article on how to make a crosscut sled and make your own.
The height of the saw blade should be set equal to the height of the little bar on the back of the router.
After checking whether the connection is good, you can cut the block to the correct width, flush with the back of the router.
In order to clamp the block between the router base and the button, a slot must be made so that the piece can slide over the bolt.
I made that slot by clamping the piece on my crosscut sled, setting the saw blade to the correct depth, and sawing the slot to the width equal to the thickness of the clamping bolt.
To attach this piece to the threaded rod I drilled an 8 mm hole.
To determine the height of the drill hole, I placed the three disks that I made earlier on top of each other.
The circle with the slot should now be at the top, and the opening of the slot determines where to drill the hole in this piece.
After these 2 steps, just touch up the edges with a file and sandpaper, and the workpiece should look like the picture below.
If you want to know more about how to determine the right sandpaper for your project, be sure to check out my blog: The perfect sandpaper grit guide for woodworking.
Everything you need to know about sandpaper can be found in this article. It will no doubt give you a better understanding of the proper use of sandpaper.
There is also a FREE downloadable guide available to help you determine the right sandpaper grit.
Step 4 | Assembling
Step 4.1 | Attaching the connection piece to the threaded rod
To attach the connection piece on to the threaded rod, I glued it with CA glue. I applied some CA glue to the threaded rod, and place the connection piece on the threaded rod.
The slot should be on the outside, and the end of the threaded rod should not go beyond the inside of the slot.
After the connection piece is in the right position, the accelerator that instantly hardens the glue can be sprayed on.
CA glue works instantly, so make sure the pieces you want to glue are in perfect position.
Step 4.2 | Assembling the rotation center point
Of the three disks I made at the beginning of this project, one disk has a slot, one disk has a glued bolt and one disk has remained original.
For now, I glued the disk with the groove on top of the disk with the glued bolt.
To glue the two pieces together, I placed the disk with the bolt down on the table.
On the circle with the slot, I added some wood glue on the side of the slot and glued the 2 parts together.
When you do this, be sure you don’t put wood glue into the slot.
Wood glue has maximum strength if it can dry under pressure.
Therefore, you can clamp these 2 parts or use brad nails as I did.
If you do not have a nail gun, you can alternatively use small nails.
The advantage of using nails is that you can use the glued piece immediately, so you don’t waste time waiting for the glue to dry out.
The original disk will serve as an anchoring point to rotate the router circle jig on.
For the moment, we are not using this one.
Step 4.2 | Assembling the rotation center point
Now that all the pieces were ready, they could be brought together.
On the threaded rod, I first place a nut followed by a washer.
Then I slid the threaded rod through the opening of the center rotation point.
To fix the threaded rod on the center point, I have placed a washer on the outside again, followed by a nut.
Now, my router circle jig was ready to use!
How to use a router circle jig
This Router circle jig is very easy to operate.
Start by connecting the jig to the router.
Slide the connection piece behind the clamping bolt and tighten it.
Take your workpiece and determine the middle on your workpiece.
Mark this center point with a pencil so that it is clearly visible.
Apply double-sided tape to the bottom of the third disc.
When you have drilled out that disc, you have drilled a hole in the center of the disc through the center drill, this now comes in handy.
Put your pencil in that hole. I use my Pica pencil for this, but you can also use a screwdriver.
Place the point of the pencil on the previously marked center, and now lower the disk.
This way, you have placed the disk perfectly in the middle of your workpiece.
Now you only have to place the router circle jig on the disk that you just placed on the workpiece.
Do this by entering the bolt into the hole of the disk you just placed on your workpiece.
Determine the diameter of your circle by adjusting the threaded rod with nuts.
Make sure you tighten the nuts properly! Due to the vibrations of the router, these can come off and the diameter of the circle will change.
Turn on the router and run.
Building your workshop can be daunting, filled with trial and error. Believe me, I’ve been there too.
But it was “The Ultimate Small Workshop” course, a gem I discovered and now endorse on Christofix.com, that provided insights unparalleled to any other. This expertise empowered me to invest wisely and save substantially.
I really suggest it to all of my fellow DIYers and creators!
I hope this information on how to make a router circle jig was helpful, and that this blog and video inspires you.
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Christophe, founder of Christofix.com
Woodworking | DIY | Home decoration