How to Turn a Cylinder with a Router

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Master woodworker George Vondriska demonstrates the process of turning a cylinder for your woodworking projects by using a router. A WoodWorkers Guild of America (WWGOA) original video.

Discussion
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11 Responses to “How to Turn a Cylinder with a Router”
  1. bigjgoode

    How about using a battery operated drill instead of the hand crank?

    Reply
  2. don1cobb

    Would you make a smaller box for shorter pieces? It seems the size of the blank is limited by the length of the box and the length of the spindles.

    Reply
    • WWGOA Team

      I wouldn’t use a blank shorter than 27″ (9″ shorter than the jig) in this version of the jig. If you do, you’ll be asking the threaded rod to provide more support than it’s capable of. Shorter blanks call for a shorter jig.

      Reply
  3. David

    The stops on the sled allow it to move forward and back on top of the box. Why wouldn’t you want the sled to simply be centered over the box, in order to cut right down the middle of the workpiece? Wouldn’t that give you a more consistent diameter?
    Great jig. I’m really looking forward to trying this. Thanks

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, David. Having some lateral movement in the router’s travel path allows for some imperfections how you’ve centered the work piece. You will also be able to work more efficiently with this lateral movement, covering a wider path with each pass while you are in the early phases of rounding the work piece. As long as your jig is constructed in a square and level fashion, the lateral movement will not negatively affect the diameter consistency.

      Reply
  4. seure

    George, you have already answered the lateral movement issue that I had, but while you are moving the router, I noticed you were keeping it tight against the edge on your side. At that point, is the router bit centered on the workpiece?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Yep, the router bit needs to stay centered over the work piece, and that’s controlled by the router’s position on the box.

      Reply
  5. Bob

    This is a good idea, but it could be improved with some gears and a threaded rod. The idea being to make the router platform perform like the carriage on a metal lathe, which would provide for smoother, more uniform cuts. A slow speed motor could be an additional feature.

    Reply
  6. Joseph

    If you left the shaft protrude past the crank handle, you could chuck a variable speed drill on the shaft and have it turn the piece while you have two hands free to sand.

    Reply
  7. Woody's Workshop

    This is a fantastic Jig! I don’t know who came up with this, but they deserve a drink on me!
    How is it for making small diameter cylinders, such as dowel rods?
    Threaded T-Nuts at the Dead Center end with a jamb nut would make it a bit easier.
    Also, a removable crank so you can put the threaded rod into a drill would make sanding easier.

    Reply

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