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  • circles

    I cannot seem to cut a dang circle. Tonight I was trying to cut a circle for a moon. I followed the pattern and ended up with sort of a lemon shape. I tried to sand it down to a circle and the moon just kept getting smaller and smaller but was still misshapen only smaller.

    Anyone have any suggestions? I even turned down the speed and that helped but still no circle.

    any suggestions will be welcome.

  • #2
    Sorry to say, but practice, practice & practice.

    I also had a hard time cutting a circle. To this day, I need to really concentrate on staying on the line. One day, I realized that I don't have a hard time cutting a curve, so why can't I cut a circle. I just starting thinking about the circle as one curve followed by another until I finally cut the circle. Of course it still needed some sanding

    I think that you're on the right track... slow down the speed & stay on the line. Then the circle should appear - Good Luck


    • #3
      cpowell, welcome to the club. I'd echo Tango and also when you start a circle put in a new blade, good tension ...

      Good Luck
      Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.


      • #4
        Steve Good has a video (#7) that helped me somewhat.

        Scroll Saw School Index

        Good tension on blade and practice, practice, practice is still the answer.

        Don McFarland ​Member - Durham Woodworking Club


        • #5
          If it an outside circle i cut just outside of the line and then use the belt sander to sand to the line. Take your time an don't stop cutting once you start.


          • #6
            Trackman's suggestion works well. If you have a vertical belt sander, with a little practice you can rotate the circle to get it perfect. The important thing is to have your line clear and to keep that wood moving, with light pressure.

            As I had mentioned in an earlier post about cutting straight lines, if you get the right "head set" of moving in one continuous motion it really makes a difference. But it does take practice--no way around that!

            Follow me on my blog:


            • #7
              Thanks for the replies and I'll just keep on cutting. I can see much improvement in my cutting since I began and have plenty of scraps to show for it. I am also experimenting with a couple of different blades for different jobs. I know it's a process of learning and practice but like everyone else I suppose I was hoping for a "magic circle tip". ha ha ha
              Back to practicing.
              By the way, I enjoy this forum very much and have learned lots here already and appreciate the info.


              • #8
                Look Ahead

                Also remember to look ahead of where your blade is presently cutting, do not look where it is cutting. This prepares your thought process for your next move(s). This is something i seem to forget now and then


                • #9
                  As stated above Practice is the best tool.
                  Also wood grain comes into play. Cutting a circle in plywood is much easier than in say spruce. The blade will want to track along the softer parts.
                  RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
                  Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
                  Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
                  And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association


                  • #10
                    Remember that most blades have a burr on the right side, this makes them cut to the right. To stay on the line you have to move your wood some degree to the right, to stay on the line. Cutting a circle or straight line, is just like driving a car, you constantley have to go right and left because of the different hardness in the wood.
                    Have good tension, the blade should not move sideways more than 1/8". Have good speed and slow feed rate. Let the blade do the cutting, they say.
                    FD Mike
                    SD Mike


                    • #11
                      I find that the speed i feed the wood into the blade has to remain very constant. too fast and i cut outside, too slow i cut inside. All part of that Practice, practice thing


                      • #12
                        Some thing that helps me with circles is first off working with a piece of wood that is not really oversized (if your cutting a 6" circle cut it from a piece of wood that is 7"x7" instead of a piece 10"x15") I also try to put my second finger of my right hand on the center of the circle and keep it there and more or less rotate the wood from that "stationary" point during the cutting.
                        Douglas Fraser
                        Eagle River, Alaska

                        My Gallery - Aurora Wood Crafts


                        • #13
                          Trackman; I took your advice and cut outside the line then sanded to the line. Takes a bit more sanding but well worth it as I learn. Today this helped a lot! It turned out a LOT better this time.
                          Being a teacher I am accustomed to the "stay within the lines" philosophy.
                          I have been trying to cut on the line and have gotten some really weird lines but this time it got better.
                          Thanks all for the suggestions and as always...I'm still practicing.


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