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Carpentry & Joinery Question
How can i cut perfect disks out of wood?
I'm trying to do a bit of inlay work on a coffee table that I'm making. The table is made of maple and the inlay will be rosewood (yes, like a guitar!). I need to cut and inlay 6 circular pieces of Rosewood of 80mm diameter. I just bought the rosewood, and it is about 6mm thick.
I'm borrowing a router with a guide bearing, so I know how to do that part of it. I'll probably just buy a big circle cutter, put it on my drill and cut an 80mm hole in a piece of plywood and use that for the router guide / template for routing the table.
It's the cutting of the rosewood into perfect circles / disks that stumps me. A Jigsaw will make a pigs ear of it and even cutting by hand will be a problem. If the circles aren't perfect, the table will look like amateur night. Obviously the hole cutter for the drill will also drill a hole in the middle, which we can't have (plus it will be too small). I thought of using a lathe, but the rosewood might be so thin that the cutting tool would destroy it. Plus, I don't have a lathe. But in theory, spinning a square of rosewood and putting a sander to it will do the job. Just can't think of how I will spin it. can't exactly fix it to the end of a drill without damaging it.
If it's not feasible for me to do it myself, I'd be happy to drop it off somewhere in SW London if anyone knows of a woodworking shop with the appropriate technology.
Cut a circle out of MDF using a hole cutter, then cut a square slightly larger than the circle also out of MDF.
Cramp the rosewood between the two and use the bearing cutter to follow the circle.
I am suggesting you sandwich the rosewood as this will help prevent it from breaking out.
All the best
Answered 24th Apr 2012
I would use a protractor/string to mark out your rosewood circle and mark it using a scalpal or stanley blade. Then cut outside of the line on a bandsaw with a fine blade, and leave about 0.5mm to the line. Then use a sander or sandpaper depending on your ability, and slowly sand back the ccut to the line you have scored. Usuallly inlays are not so thick, but this is how i could do it.
Most important is to have patience. The trick to a good inlay is to see no glueline or gaps. The more time you spend perfecting the circle, the better it will look. Take little bits off at a time, remember you cant ever put wood back on, but you can always take a little more off.
Answered 25th Apr 2012