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cutting circles

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  • cutting circles

    Recently I was involved in a Father/Son project..Before going any further I must say... we both started with ten fingers and left with ten fingers, no blood was let. We utilized safety glasses and used all tools safely.

    You ask why do I mention this? Well my son is now married with his own home. While growing up here he never touched any tools, and when he used a tool it broke! "Dad the weed trimmer is broken again!"

    This is the first time he has asked for help and the first time we did any wood work together.

    The good news too, is I never raised my voice and yelled and we did not argue. I used the three step method..I do one, we do one, and he does then he knows how to do the task correctly. Well I did raise my voice to tell him to push the wood faster, but that was just to get over the noise of the saw.

    ok, cutting circles.....
    We needed to cut 2 11 1/2" circles. There are many ways to accomplish this, but I decided to pull out the rotozip.
    We ended up with very nice holes and two very large coasters for holding a big cans of beer!

    I have read user reviews say on about the rotozip circle cutter. you have two camps..those that like it and it works fine, and those that hate it and get crap for results.

    I have noticed similar reviews and comments with a variety of tools.

    I realize using a tool correctly requires some level of learning..
    1. read the manual to understand the limits of the tool
    2. ensure the tool is set up correctly
    3. ensure the cutting parts are sharp and installed correctly and safely
    4. set up the cut to be made in a safe manner
    5. do a few test cuts to get familiar with the tool, its feel, etc
    6. ensure you are alert and are safe.
    7. etc.
    Now I'll probably get flamed here but I suspect those folks who seem to hate "their new tool" or "can't get it to do the task correctly" are at fault and it's not the tool. Just think about that for a fact, if all the tools reviewed as crap were no longer available, we'd be back to using a rock and straight slot screws!

    When my son cut his first circle he was upset because the inside of the cut was scorched..I told him he moved the tool too slowly and the friction of the cutting bit burned the wood. Then he was upset as he slipped at the end or when the circle cut is complete and left a small gouge. I told him to watch the cut and keep a firm yet easy grasp on the tool so it does the work and he does not force the cut. When he gets close to the meeting end of the cut slow down and hold the cutter steady.

    anyway after those simple instructions and a few test cuts he was making perfect circle holes that required minimal sanding.

    what is the point?
    Well, before you condemn the tool, learn the tool and if possible find someone with proper experience to teach you how to use the tool. You will end up with better results, safer results, less aggravation, and you will appreciate the tool and enjoy what you can make!

    The bottom line is to enjoy doing this stuff and the right tools make it easier only if used properly

    Cactus Man

  • #2
    Re: cutting circles

    What were you making? A speaker box?


    • #3
      Re: cutting circles

      yep! good call a really really big woofer box for a home theater system.
      It has one port and holds two 12" woofers 180 degree phase mounting and room for a 500 watt amplifier.

      Cactus Man


      • #4
        Re: cutting circles

        heh. Score!


        • #5
          Re: cutting circles

          I like a router with a trammel. I've cut many speaker holes that way. If I were doing production work I'd probably go with a template, collar and panel pilot bit.
          Only a surfer knows the feeling. Billabong ca. 1985 or so