How to Make an Adjustable Table Saw Circle Jig (with pictures)

There are a few ways how to cut a circle in wood. One of these methods is to use a table saw in combination with a table saw circle jig. Learn how to make a DIY table saw circle cutting jig and cut perfect circles with this step-by-step guide and video.

Cutting a circle in wood can be done in several ways. You can use a trim router, a bandsaw, a jigsaw or even a table saw. There are a few disadvantages to cutting a circle on a table saw and it is understandable one can be nervous about it, but when using a table saw circle jig and following all safety precautions, it is quite easy to cut a perfect circle in wood.

The great thing is that this table saw circle jig can be used in combination with circle cutting jigs designed for other power tools. The diameter of the pivoting pin is the same for all the circle jigs which makes it easy to switch from one to another. You can cut a rough circle shape on a table saw and then switch to a router circle cutting jig and finish the edges.

Table saw sled used as a table saw circle jig for cutting circles in wood.

A table saw is a powerful tool. When cutting a circle on it follow all safety precautions and use additional safety devices like push pads, push blocks, magswitches, t-track stoppers, and other, which will facilitate the work and ensure greater safety when working with a table saw.

This adjustable table saw circle jig allows you to cut circles with a diameter from 8 cm to 56 cm. The cut wooden piece rotates on a pivoting pin which is attached to a t-track runner and adjusted with a tightening nut.

How to cut a circle on a table saw on a table saw circle cutting jig.

Setting the right position between the jig and the table saw blade might take a while, but once set, you’ll be able to quickly cut a perfect circle.

You can easily build the circle jig in a few hours. The material does not cost much and is easily available in local stores. This method may seem cumbersome at first, but cutting a circle on a table saw is quick and the result is very good.

Adjustable Table Saw Circle Jig Video

If you want to see how it is done, watch the video below for a step-by-step guide on how to make an adjustable table saw circle cutting jig.

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Table of Contents

  1. The Material you will need
  2. FAQ – General Questions
    1. Is it safe to cut circles on a table saw?
    2. Is it possible to cut a perfect circle with a table saw?
    3. What are the drawbacks of cutting a circle on a table saw?
  3. How to Make a Table Saw Circle Jig
    1. Step 1: Build the Circle Jig Base
    2. Step 2: Cut a T-track Slot in the Base
    3. Step 3: Make a T-track Bolt
    4. Step 4: Attach a Table saw Slot Runner
  4. How to Use a Table Saw Circle Jig

*Safety is your responsibility. Make sure you know what you’re doing and take all necessary safety precautions while working with power tools. Safety comes first!

Always be cautious and careful when using any power tool.

What you'll need to make an Adjustable Table Saw Circle Cutter

Material – Birch Plywood, Oak

Circle jig
Plywood – 35cm x 23,5cm x 1,2cm

T-track bolt
Plywood – 5cm x 2cm x 0,5cm

Runner – Oak
Strip – 30cm – fits the table slot

Other:
6mm, 4mm Drill Bit
M6 Bolt, M6 Washer, M6 nut
Wood screws, Wood Glue, Epoxy
Sandpaper, 4mm brass bar

Tools:
Table Saw
Mini Table Saw
Hand Drill
Trim Router – (Dewalt D26203)
Chisel

Is it safe to cut circles on a table saw?

Cutting a circle on a table saw is safe. However, to achieve the best results, it is necessary to use a table saw circle cutting jig and follow all safety precautions.

Keep your hands as far away from the blade as possible and use protective equipment such as push pads and push blocks to cut a rough circle. To fine-tune the circle, lock the circle jig in position by using a track stopper or a magswitch. Then, slowly rotate the workpiece against the blade until you get a perfect circle.

It is not recommended to use a table saw circle jig for cutting small circles. For this, it is advisable to use a trim router in combination with a router circle cutting jig.

Is it possible to cut a perfect circle with a table saw?

You can cut a perfect circle on a table saw by using a table saw circle jig. A circle jig allows you to cut circles of different diameters by adjusting the pivoting pin and locking it in position with a locking screw.

To cut a circle on a table saw, drill a hole in the workpiece and mount it on the pivot pin of the circle jig. Use the circle jig as a sled and make several passes to cut a rough circle shape.

Then, lock the circle jig in position by using a magswitch or a track stopper and slowly rotate the workpiece against the table saw blade until you get a perfect circle.

What are the drawbacks of cutting a circle on a table saw?

Cutting a circle on a table saw is quick and can achieve great results. Nevertheless, there are a few drawbacks when cutting a circle on a table saw. Here are a few cases when it is better to use a different tool than a table saw for cutting a circle:

  1. Cutting small circles. It is better to use a router or a bandsaw for cutting small circles. Cutting small circles on a different tool is more convenient and safer.
  2. Cutting thick circles. A router or a bandsaw is more suitable for that.
  3. Burnt edges from table saw blade. If the table saw jig is not well positioned against the blade, or you are using an inappropriate blade, you might end up with burned edges. That leads to extra sanding or trimming of the circle edges which leads to a reduction in the diameter of the circle.

Let's start building!

The table saw circle jig base is made of birch plywood and the t-track runner is from oak. Oakwood does not change much due to ambient temperatures and keeps its shape well (other hardwoods can also be used as a suitable material for t-track runners).

Building the circle jig is easy. The material is readily available and for tools, you will need a trim router and a hand drill.

How to Make a Table Saw Circle Jig

Step 1: Build the Circle Jig Base

Cut the plywood piece for the circle base (35cm x 23,5cm x 1,2cm).

I am using a 1,2cm thick plywood sheet. It is enough to accommodate 2 slots on each side of the desk with a t-track bolt that is completely flush with the surface.

Table saw circle cutting jig for cutting circles. Perfect circles in wood.

NOTE: I wouldn’t use a desk that would be less than 1,2cm thick. The thickness is just enough to fit 2 slots, a running t-track bolt, and still have enough wood between slots to fix the t-track bolt with the pivoting pin in place tightly. I wouldn’t recommend using an MDF desk.

Step 2: Cut a T-track Slot in the Base

Mark the center line on the plywood desk.

Cut a 6mm wide slot through the desk along the center line. Leave 3cm on each side.

How to cut a perfect circle in wood using a table saw.

Cut a 2cm wide slot along the center line on both sides of the desk.

  • The depth of the cut on the upper side is 4mm (enough for a tightening nut)
  • The depth of the cut on the bottom side is 5mm (enough for a t-track bolt)

That leaves 3mm for attaching the slider in the slot. Just enough for a tight fix.

Table saw sled used as a table saw circle jig for cutting circles in wood.

NOTE: Use an adjustable router dado cutter if you want to get a perfect slot.

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Step 3: Make a T-track Bolt

Cut a plywood strip (5cm x 2cm x 0,5cm) and sand the edges and the corners. Make sure the strip nicely fits the slot and is flush with the surface of the circle jig base.

Pivoting pin for cutting a circle in wood using a table saw.

Add a Screw Bolt

Drill a 6mm hole in the center of the strip and carve a hexagon around the drilled hole. The depth of the cut should be around 3mm. (Use a drill press with drill bits for metal to drill a precise hole)

Cut the bolt to size and grind the bolt’s head so it is flush with the strip.

Table saw circle cutting jig for cutting circles. Perfect circles in wood.
Table saw sled used as a table saw circle jig for cutting circles in wood. Homemade DIY T-track bolts for a table saw circle jig.

Add a Pivoting Pin

Glue a small plywood strip on the t-track runner. It serves as a guide in the track and at the same time, the greater thickness provides more space for the epoxy.

Drill a 4mm hole along the centerline. Apply epoxy in the holes and glue both the pivoting pin as well as the bolt.

Pivoting pin for cutting a circle in wood using a table saw.
Pivoting pin for cutting a circle in wood using a table saw.

NOTE: The pivoting pin needs to be longer than the length of the bolt. The length of the pin is around 1,7cm and the length of the bolt is 1,1cm.

This is what the finished t-track bolt with a pivoting pin and a screwing bolt included looks like. When inserted in the slot, the bolt does not protrude above the circle jig base plate.

Table saw sled used as a table saw circle jig for cutting circles in wood.
Pivoting pin for cutting a circle in wood using a table saw.

Step 4: Attach a Table Saw Slot Runner

Cut a wooden strip that nicely fits the table saw slot (30 cm in length). It is better to start wider and slowly sneak up on the cut until the width of the strip is perfect.

Glue the runner to the circle jig base and leave overlaps on both sides. Additionally, secure the runner with screws. It is good to use the table saw fence as a reference.

NOTE: find the right position for the runner. When inserted in the slot the circle jig base should be overlapping the table saw blade

How to cut a perfect circle in wood using a table saw.
Table saw sled used as a table saw circle jig for cutting circles in wood.

Mount the circle jig on the table saw and cut off the wood excess. At this moment your base should be perpendicular to the blade.

How to cut a perfect circle in wood using a table saw.

The picture below shows what the finished table saw circle cutting jig looks like. It is an easy jig for a table saw and definitely pays off to have one in the workshop.

Table saw circle cutting jig for cutting circles. Perfect circles in wood.
How to cut a circle on a table saw with a table saw circle cutting jig.

Possible Enhancements

With small enhancements, this table saw circle jig can also serve as a tapering jig/ straight edge jig/ jointer jig.

Adding 2 extra t-track slots with t-track bolts and hold-down clamps can easily hold a small workpiece in position while making a cut.

How to Cut a Circle with a Table Saw

The steps below describe how to set up and how to use a Table Saw Circle Jig. Take all safety precautions while working with a table saw.

How to Cut a Circle Using a Table Saw Circle Jig

  1. Set the diameter on the circle jig by adjusting the t-track bolt and the pivoting pin
  2. Fix the t-track bolt in position with a locking screw
  3. Drill a small hole in the workpiece and place it on the pivoting pin
  4. Make several passes with the circle jig and cut a rough circle
  5. Move the centerline of the jig slightly behind the blade’s teeth (depends on the thickness of the workpiece)
  6. Lock the jig in position by using a magswitch or a t-track stopper
  7. Slowly rotate the workpiece against the blade until you get a perfect circle.

Adjust the position of the circle jig against the blade as necessary. You might need to repeat that a few times until you get the right setting.

How to cut a circle on a table saw with a table saw circle cutting jig.
How to cut a circle on a table saw on a table saw circle cutting jig.

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How to cut a circle on a table saw with a table saw circle cutting jig.

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