October 4, 2023
The bandsaw is perfect for freehand cutting. Yet, it will help if you keep it steady and slow while you cut closely through your cutline. You can clean up the results by sanding the excess afterward. Of course, cutting even the most straightforward curves can be daunting for the first time. Yet, if you use the right bandsaw jig for cutting circles and curves, you can make quick work of your curved cuts.
Almost every piece of furniture that you would make in woodworking features some curves on it. So, you got to use a tool for cutting curves like a bandsaw to cut very close to your pencil lines. In this way, you can spare yourself from spending a lot of your time and effort hand planing and scraping down to the actual shape you would like to achieve. Using a narrow bandsaw blade, you can cut smooth curves and non-symmetrical shapes comprising multiple curves with ease.
The Most Recommended Bandsaw Curves & Circles Cutting Jig
Jigs that you can use for cutting curves may not be that plenty. In fact, you can count these jig options on your finger. Hence, you will not find it hard to select the best jig for cutting curves. Below is the most recommended jig for cutting curves:
AccuRight Circle Jig for Bandsaws
The AccuRight Circle Jig allows you to accurate cuts whenever you want to cut curves. This jig easily attaches itself with ease to any bandsaw to enable you to cut repeatable and precise curved cuts. With this system, you can cut circles up to 48 inches in diameter.
The AccuRight Circle Jig for Bandsaws comes with highly visible radius measurements to ensure accurate circle cuts. Besides, you can utilize the universal attachment bracket that comes with it when securing the jigs on the bandsaw. With this jig, you can make clock faces, toy wheels, coasters, and many other curved items.
Alternative Jigs for Cutting Curves
Aside from relying on the most recommended aftermarket jig for cutting curves, you can also make your jig for cutting curves. Below are the tips on how to make a jig for cutting curves:
Using Wood Board Jig along with Auxiliary Fence
The bandsaw is perfect for cutting circles. Yet, you should have a jig for cutting circles. You can build your jig, and it is pretty easy to make. When cutting circles using a jig, your only limit is the distance between the saw blade and the fence.
You can use a 3/4″ plywood for this DIY jig. You can attach to the underside a runner. Furthermore, this runner should fit in the miter gauge slot of the bandsaw. This runner will hold steady the workpiece as you turn the stock through your bandsaw blade.
Afterward, you can build an auxiliary fence using another 3/4″ plywood. You can pass this jig through the saw blade to make a saw kerf. Turn off the saw once the saw blade hits the centerline. Lock the fence from the jig about 1/8″ away.
You can then clamp your auxiliary fence to your bandsaw fence with its stop going against the jig’s edge. Hold the auxiliary fence a bit over the jig, allowing the jig to slide underneath easily. The auxiliary fence will stop the jig precisely at the desired spot when turning circles. Moreover, it keeps your jig from easily tipping over from the tabletop.
The cutting process is simple with this improvised jig. You only need to select a narrow blade for cutting small circles. Then, with the cutting blank mounted, push your jig until it reaches the stop. Afterward, twist the blank when it reaches the blade. Then, you can do the clean-up.
Wood Board Jig and Dowel
This second type of DIY jig for cutting curves consists of a sheet stock piece with a width co-terminus with your bandsaw table. If you want to make a circle, 16-inch in diameter, you can make a 10-inch to 12-inch jig.
You can use laminated material like melamine for making this jig. This laminated material will let your workpiece slide with ease while you cut. Nevertheless, you can also use other sheet stock like plywood for this purpose.
You can center the jig on the bandsaw table. The jig’s edges should be flushed with the table’s edges. Slide the jig until it touches the saw blade. Mark the jig’s front edge even with the tips of blade’s teeth.
From your mark, utilize a square to extend the line across the jig’s surface. You can drill holes onto the edges of the jig’s side. These holes will hold two fence clamps to secure onto the bandsaw your jig. Then, mark from the front edge, one inch apart along the line. Using a 1/4″ drill, you can bore holes on each mark and stop drilling just before hitting the other side of the jig.
You can use this improvised jig by pivoting the workpiece on a dowel you’ve inserted into any of the holes. Each mark indicates the precise center point of your circle. If you want to make a two-inch circle in diameter, you can use the first hole you’ve drilled at a one-inch mark.
For your dowel, you should use a short 1/4″ dowel (hardwood) as your pivot. It should be short so that it can fit with ease onto the hole on the workpiece’s underside.
When using a bandsaw, having the proper setup is very important. First, you need to ensure that the blade is tracking on the crown’s top of the wheel. You should also ensure that the saw blade’s tension is at the proper tension. Moreover, it will help if you use the appropriate saw blade for cutting circles. You should also set the blade guide in the right manner.
When you get the setup correctly, you can then cut accurately using the aftermarket jig you’ve purchased or the improvised jig you have made for cutting curves and circles. With the proper jig, you can breeze through the cutting process without compromising your safety.
Jason is a 40-year-old woodworker, carpenter and author who have been involved in the woodworking and woodcraft industry with 17 years of experience. He is expertise in technical aspects, woodcraft and furniture building projects.