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.

Any ideas?

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.



2 Answers

Best Answer

Hi Ryan
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
Paul Sharpington

Answered 24th Apr 2012

Bellini Manufacturing

Member since 7 Apr 2011

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

Temple Carpentry

Member since 11 Apr 2012

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