I'm starting a project where I need to cut a 114mm diameter, 33mm deep hole into a piece of wood. My plan is to keep the circular piece, then to sand it. My question is, what would be the best piece of equipment to use in order to make a clean. straight cut?

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    A hole saw – mbeckish Mar 6 '15 at 20:14
  • Is the piece of wood fixed in place, or is it a loose board that you could take to a set of sawhorses or workbench? – TX Turner Mar 6 '15 at 20:49
  • Where do you find a 114mm diameter hole saw? – mkeith Mar 7 '15 at 7:21
  • Do you need both the hole and the piece? If just the piece, then this would ideally be done on a lathe. – aaron Mar 8 '15 at 3:01

This can probably be done with 4.5" hole saw which is pretty close to your dimensions.

I assume what you want is the disk, not the hole.

A circular disk can also be cut with a scroll saw.

Another tool is an adjustable circle cutter or fly cutter of which there are few different types.

A circle can also be cut using a mill (or lathe) with a milling cutter in combination with a rotary table (or divider).

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    I second the use of an adjustable circle cutter, however for that depth it may be tricky. – BrownRedHawk Mar 6 '15 at 21:31
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    4.5 inch refers to the size of the hole cut, not the blank remaining, so you'd do better with 4 5/8. If you go with the hole saw, you need a beefy drill. Remove the hole saw regularly and brush the wood fibers off the teeth. And if you don't want the pilot hole, drill a full hole through 3/4 plywood, then remove the pilot bit, and use the plywood as the guide for the saw in your main stock. Sometimes running the hole saw in reverse helps you get started without having your arm yanked off by the saw catching. – Aloysius Defenestrate Mar 7 '15 at 14:58
  • @AloysiusDefenestrate How many 4 5/8 hole saws have you seen? – Tyler Durden Mar 7 '15 at 15:54
  • @AloysiusDefenestrate Hmmm, I guess they exist, although it costs $20 more than the 4.5" hole saw. – Tyler Durden Mar 7 '15 at 23:33

While a 4 1/2 inch hole saw will do the trick it would be an expensive investment if this is a one time project. The hole saw will leave a center hole from the pilot drill. You may be able to limit this to one side of the disk if you removed the pilot drill just prior to finishing the cut. You will also need a hefty drill with a 1/2 inch chuck. I would suggest either using 2 thinner boards and gluing them together prior to sanding that way you can use an relatively inexpensive jigsaw or try it with a quality jigsaw going slowly with a long blade. If you must use a single full thickness board then as @Tyler Durden suggested a scroll saw.

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    And if you can live with a small pivot hole in one side of the circle, you can make a circle cutting trammel attached to your scroll saw out of scrap. :) – TX Turner Mar 6 '15 at 22:32
  • I would not expect good results with a jigsaw on such thick stock. The blade will deflect, and the sides of the circle will not be vertical. – mkeith Mar 7 '15 at 7:23

I think you can do this with a router. Create a template in some thin material using one of the methods above. Hole saw, circle cutter, jigsaw, even a hand saw, etc. Sand it until it is as perfect as you can get it. Then somehow tack it down to your 33mm stock (nails or screws), and use a flush cutting router bit with pilot bearing to cut the thick stock. Here are some router bits: http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/smarthtml/pages/bt_flush.html See number 7805, for example.

  • The problem with routers is that you would need a guide or template of some kind and in the time that it takes you to make the guide you could have already cut the circle by some other method. – Tyler Durden Mar 7 '15 at 23:31
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    Agreed, but I humbly submit that it would be MUCH easier to cut a nice guide in plastic or thin stock or whatever material than it would be to cut a good finished piece in 33mm stock. Also, if you use the hole saw to make the guide, the hole in the middle for the pilot bit will not be a problem. And if you are going to make more than one, then the router method will really pay off. – mkeith Mar 8 '15 at 3:30

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