Simple Circles


This simple tip seemed so obvious to me when I stumbled on it, that I immediately wanted to build one of those self-kicking machines from 1950s cartoons.

I often cut “finger pulls” in drawer faces or other projects – they are essentially half circles or some form of arc. And usually I do this with either a jigsaw or band saw after having drawn a radius. Then I’d sand the circle or arc until I reached as perfect an edge as I could.

Then it occurred to me – I should use a hole saw or Forstner bit to achieve a perfect half circle.

There’s a bit of setup involved and you can do a couple of things. First, you could use the Forstner on the stock, then rip the stock on the table saw to cut the circle in half. Second, you could take an existing piece, butt it up against a sacrificial board, clamp both, then mark the center point for the Forstner bit – either near the edge of the sacrificial board or the stock – then drill.

 I prefer Forstner bits because they tend to provide a cleaner cut with less tearout. I have several sizes, from 1/4-inch up to 1 1/2-inch. Invaluable.

The picture below is of a test-build of an upcoming project – the Forstner bit is on the left, and the nice, clean and perfect half circle is on the right.

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Published in: on February 25, 2010 at 2:57 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. good if you have a drill press… these bits work well with cordless drills ? i never used them before

    • Yep – like any other hole you drill freehand, keep it as straight as you can.


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