A jigsaw is a great tool that can be used to cut boards in the shapes of your choice. If you have mastery of the tool, you can do what you want with it. But cutting a circle with one requires a hack. There quite a few ways you can do it. But in this guide, we will discover one of the methods of how to cut a circle with a jigsaw.
When we work on wood, we have tons of options to choose from. If you want to rip boards, you would want a table saw or a circular saw. If you want to cut across boards, then you would like a mitre saw. But when it comes to creating intricate shapes with wood, a jigsaw works out really well.
A Jigsaw and Its Uses
Jigsaw, not to be confused with the antagonist from the SAW franchise, is a versatile cutting tool. It uses the rapid and fast, reciprocating motion of a blade to cut through wood. But wood is not the only thing you can cut with a jigsaw. Depending on the type of blade you have attached to it, you can cut metals, plastics, and even glass.
Armed with a sole plate, a jigsaw can be guided to cut wood and materials in shapes other tools cannot. This makes it highly advantageous for cutting out stencils. People often use it for cutting wood in intricate designs.
While most jigsaws have similar functionalities, there are some makes and models that allow you to make mitres. The tilt functionality on the sole allows the blade to turn at a 45-degrees at maximum. This makes it easier to cut wood at a tilt to allow a bevel cut.
The material that you will cut depends on the type of blade you arm the tool with. Here are the types of blades and an explanation of the materials they can cut.
This kind of blade has a high carbon content just as the name indicates. This kind of steel is flexible and can cut wood, some plastics, and laminated boards. This is one of the more common blades and is easily found at any store.
This blade is made of stronger steel that can withstand high temperatures. This is specifically made for cutting of metals. The heat resistance allows for the blade to sustain high resistance when cutting metal objects.
If you take the qualities of both high-carbon steel and high-speed steel, you get bi-metal steel. This kind of blade has both flexibility, strength, and high heat resistance. This blade is for jobs where other blades end up failing. A bi-metal steel blade lasts longer than any other blade for the jigsaw.
Tungsten Carbide Blade
Tungsten, as everyone knows, has high conductivity and can withstand the heat of high proportions. A tungsten carbide blade is specifically designed to cut abrasive materials and metals. You can use this blade to easily cut away at cast-iron steel, reinforced plastics, stainless steel, brick, tiles, and more.
A diamond-grit blade is highly versatile and can be used to cut most materials with ease. They have a fine-milled tip and have great durability. The fine-milled tip allows it to be suitable for most jobs and they last much longer.
Hack to Cut a Circle in a Wood with a Jigsaw
So you plan to cut a really fine circle with the help of a jigsaw. But controlling a jigsaw with that much precision may be very difficult. Usually, when the circle is small enough, people use a hole saw bit with a drill for the job. But with this hack, you will not need anything else but a jigsaw for cutting circles in wood.
For the hack, all you need is a drill, a screw, a piece of wood or board, and a jigsaw of course.
Place the piece of wood or board on a flat surface and put the jigsaw over it without the blade attachment. Then outline an inch bigger than the sole of the jigsaw on the wood. Then use 4 narrow pieces of a board to make a frame on which you can place the jigsaw to hold it firmly in its place. You can then cut off the frame from the larger piece of the board.
Take another board that is not too wide and almost half the width of the frame you cut for the jigsaw. Also, make sure the board is not too long either. But make sure it is a foot long or at least the diameter of the circle you want to cut with the jigsaw.
Drill holes in the board with 1 inch long intervals. Make sure that there is a hole in the centre of the board as well but make sure the hole is not too wide. You can make the other holes wide enough to accommodate the blade of the jigsaw.
Place the frame of the jigsaw and use screws to fasten it to the board. You can drill pilot holes for the screws throughout the board you have designed. This will allow you to insert screws and take them out for placing the frame in a different position. Whenever you want to change the length of the circle you want to cut, just screw the frame above a different hole on the designed board.
Put the board on the wooden surface you want to cut out a circle from with the jigsaw. Screw the board that you have created in the centre of the piece of wood you want to cut the circle out of. Do not screw the board too tightly onto the piece of wood. You want it to be able to rotate with ease. By this step, you might understand the use of the whole designed board by now.
Drill a hole on the piece of wood you have to cut the circle out of for passage of the jigsaw’s blade. Once you drill out the hole slide the jigsaw blade through the holes in the board and the piece of wood you have to cut a circle out of.
Place the frame on the hole making sure the jigsaw blade passes through the hole on the designed board and the piece of wood. Power it on, then slowly and steadily push the jigsaw ahead. The designed board, which is screwed on to the piece of wood you want to cut will create a propeller-like motion to cut a circle in the wood.
This frame and the designed board can be used multiple times or at least till the frame can be screwed on to the designed board easily. Once the threads in the wood wear off and the screws become loose, it’s time to redesign the board and the frame again.
Some Important Things While Operating the Jigsaw
- A jigsaw is a powerful tool with a blade, and we always suggest wearing protective gear while operating any weapon with a blade to cut wood. You would need goggles to protect your eyes from sawdust and wooden splinters. You will also need a mask to protect your respiratory system from the same. If the blade is too loud wear earmuffs to protect your ears.
- Make sure to fasten the frame to the designed board so that you do not end up cutting through it. You only want to cut through the piece of wood that is why you screw these both together.
- This method uses a propellor like motion with the board using a screw so do not tighten the middle screw too tightly. Also, this will create a hole in the centre of the circle. So do account for that in the thickness of the board to plane it out later if you do not want the hole on it.