Circle cutter

This is a circle cutter I built based on one I saw described the MWTCA Gristmill (their newsletter). It went to Dutchy in the 2024 spring surprise swap.

Just a few pieces of wood, an auger bit someone had sharpened the outsides of the spurs on so it wouldn’t drill correctly, plus a piece of HSS scavenged from a worn-out DeWalt 735 planer blade.

The first test-circle, cut in a piece of 3/4 inch pine. I wouldn’t try to cut all the way through using this tool, but it’ll scribe nicely, or cut cleanly through 1/8” stock.

Also note, working HSS with hand tools is… a mite slow.

May you have the day you deserve!


interesting and looks good.


a very nice item GR8 JOB 😍😎👍


Love hand made hand tools. Nicely done…even if it’s slow. 

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

My favorite swap items in the past have all been tools.  I like it.  

--Nathan, TX. Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

Interesting creation, since you really don't want to chuck that design up in a DP, the hand drill auger is perfect!
Excellent project 

-- There is nothing like the sound of a well tuned hand plane. - and

Now I understand the hand drill shank. 😊

Oh this is so cool! Good job, Dave:)

No name noobie here

Thanks! It was fun to make, and I’ve used mine a couple times already to score wood I’m turning. For example, on a bowl I’m working on now, I scored the diameter of the bit of lid that fits into the bowl with it. Like a marking gauge on steroids.

May you have the day you deserve!

Nifty hand made tool, should come in pretty useful.
Thanks! I’m wondering how long of a beam I can get away with… the current rock-maple beam seems to get pretty flexible at its full 8 inch radius extension, so I don’t think I’ll go bigger than that. 

May you have the day you deserve!

Cool idea Dave!  I have an old MF hand vise with a brace shank on the bottom that works the same way for cutting gaskets.  This one’s on steroids though.   Would work well for carving round stuff too😎
Yeah. I get a couple ideas per year from old tools in the Gristmill, Kenny. Figure that’s worth the cost of the subscription. 

May you have the day you deserve!

That can be very useful. Its not easy to cut a perfectly round circle. 
Good idea for using with hand tools.

Metal circle cutters of a similar design that can be used on a drill press are only $12 to $16. I use one and it makes quick clean cuts, inside or outside circles.
Good job, I seem to destroy more than I get good with these on my drill press.
It's the tool you didn't know you needed! Nicely done.
At first I thought it was for making a cut line but as I read thru your write up I realized it was another hand powered tool.  Nice work. Makes me realize how much work goes into making hand tools by hand.
Cool circle marking gauge, definite step up from leather washer cutters.

For a longer beam I'd have thought weighting the stabby end might help, just heavy enough to score the line without trying to put side pressure from the brace should stop the flex?
Mike, that might do it. But I probably need to tweak my cutter too, so it puts less drag on the arm and doesn’t torque it too much.

I suspect I have at least one more to make before I’m completely happy with it.

May you have the day you deserve!