Issue with making a wood circle

I am making some wood circles out of hardwood. They are 3 inches width/length and I am cutting all the way through the board ( which is 1 inch ) . I am using them to make wheels for a project that I am working on. I am having some issues and I am wondering if anyone can offer any advice. I am using a 1/4 straight double flute bit at 65/15 and a .08 .

The first issue is that the router is not making a true circle. Where the router makes it’s plunge is off. It’s making a point and rubbing against the end grain of the wood. It’s about a mm difference and is noticeable. We have to sand it quite a bit after the fact and it makes the circle more of an oval shape. Two of the sides are perfect. The side where the router bit plunges is the worse and then the side opposite where the router plunges is also off.

The second issue is the cut is not very nice at all. There is a lot of what I call stepping where you can see the layers of where the router bit went by.

I have been using new bits all the time. I would say there is an improvement if I use 1/8 inch bit but the same issues are still there.

Here is a link to my project : Easel - Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Untitled

Thank you

I think you should check the machines v wheels and belt tension, these being loose can be the casue of this, IF it’s all the way around… now if the layer lines are only on 1 or 2 of the 4 sides (think of it as left, right, front and back of the machine. . .) if only 2 of the 4 sides are showing these lines, then that would indicate that the spindle Tram is off, but if its on all 4 sides, then that’s an indication that the whole machine is loose…

You might want to model this up as cutting two circles; one within another. The first would be slightly over sized and the second would do a finish pass on the first circle by cutting it slightly smaller. As the second cut is made, the router is not having to remove so much material so there would likely be less deflection and the finish cuts should be smoother.


Hi Harry,

Thank you for your response. I will give this a try and see how it goes !

HI Seth,

I wanted to thank you for taking the time to post all this information. It was very helpful. After I read your response I went around the machine and checked all the wheels and tighten all the belts. The circles are cutting much better. I am going to keep an eye on it and track how it’s cutting.

I guess I am still figuring the machine out a bit and hopefully will continue to improve.

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