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Ideas for cutting a hole in a wooden table

mrjwhitmrjwhit Posts: 83
edited June 2012 in EGG Table Forum
Scored a great wooden work table. However I need to cut the hole for the bge. Any suggestions before I just go at it with a jig saw and a router? Plan to measure a 22 inch circle then drill a pilot hole. From there use my jig and a steady hand to make it happen. Besides taping the inside circle so it doesn't fall through, anything else I need to do?
Large BGE as of Father's day '12

http://www.jwhit.com
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Comments

  • LitLit Posts: 2,681
    Take the lid off and trace it and then cut like an 1/4 of an inch bigger. Perfect hole.
  • I measured, found center point. Tied string and pencil to from center point to edge and used as a compass. Used a jigsaw to cut out the hole. Egg arrived today. Like a glove!
  • Mike8itMike8it Posts: 468
    I measured, found center point. Tied string and pencil to from center point to edge and used as a compass. Used a jigsaw to cut out the hole. Egg arrived today. Like a glove!
    +1. That's what I did and worked perfectly
  • brentseebrentsee Posts: 99
    I measured, found center point. Tied string and pencil to from center point to edge and used as a compass. Used a jigsaw to cut out the hole. Egg arrived today. Like a glove!

    +1. That's what I did and worked perfectly
    +1 Me too
  • I used a cheap black and decker saw with a new blade,took my time and it worked great
  • GadflyGadfly Posts: 114
    I didn't have a jigsaw. So I used a router with a straight bit (plus a string to tie it to the center) and went deeper and deeper in every run. Getting the last piece was the fun part (when there was nothing to hold the "center"). I had to temporary screw another board at the bottom to hold the one I was about to cut.
  • AirwolfAirwolf Posts: 76
    I have found that training termites to chew on a pencil line also works very well.
  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,261
    edited June 2012

    Smoothest, cleanest cut would be with a router, using a 1/2 or 1/4 straight bit.

    Drive a nail ( significant size), or lag bolt at the center point.   Use picture frame wire, big loop around the nail, secure to your base of the router.   Make sure you account for the stretch factor when your pulling against the center point with your router.   Take a light cut each pass.   First pass should be no more than an 1/8 inch, since it defines the groove, most important.

    Round and round she goes - little deeper each cut.

    Cookin in Texas
  • BigGreenJonBigGreenJon Posts: 45
    edited June 2012
    Smoothest, cleanest cut would be with a router, using a 1/2 or 1/4 straight bit.
    Drive a nail ( significant size), or lag bolt at the center point.   Use picture frame wire, big loop around the nail, secure to your base of the router.   Make sure you account for the stretch factor when your pulling against the center point with your router.   Take a light cut each pass.   First pass should be no more than an 1/8 inch, since it defines the groove, most important.
    Round and round she goes - little deeper each cut.


    I used the same method except instead of metal wire I used a 1x4.  
    Secure the board to the center point with a bolt, some washers and a nut.  Mount the router to the 1x4 with some screws and have at it.  No unexpected movement, it made a perfect circle.  The nice thing about using a 1x4 that is longer than the diameter of the circle is that it held the piece from falling through after I made my final pass with the router.  I guess I watched the New Yankee Workshop too many times. Here's a visual.  
    jig.jpg
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    Lucky to have a LG Egg
    My Blog: http://manvsgrill.blogspot.com/
  • tazcrashtazcrash Posts: 1,764
    @
    BigGreenJon: thanks for that visual. 
    When i have to do this, that's the route I'm going.

    Bx - > NJ ->TX!!! 
    All to get cheaper brisket! 
  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 1,986
    Use a plunge router with an upcut spiral bit. Make a jig as pictured above. Go deeper with each cut.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 1,986
    @BigGreenJon I don't think you can watch the New Yankee Workshop too many times. I think I've seen every episode multiple times. Norm has taught me many techniques and inspired me to become a woodworker. When this show went off the air, it was truly a loss for future woodworkers.

    Sorry. I loved that show as much as I love my Big Green Egg. I watched every Saturday morning with my dad growing up.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • @cortguitarman I miss that show too.  He made everything look so easy.  Then when I would try to replicate what he was doing I would end up cursing Norm's name.  Especially those episodes when he would build a table and he would start with saying "...and for this project we are only going to use some biscuits and glue to hold it all together."  
    Screw you Norm!!!!
    Lucky to have a LG Egg
    My Blog: http://manvsgrill.blogspot.com/
  • Personally I opt for templates made from 1/2" thick PVC sheets, and a Porter Cable 7539 Plunge Router with a 4" L x 1/2" shank, 1/2" cutting diameter three flute, solid carbide spiral downcut* bit from Whiteside Machine Co. (Part #RD5200T) and template guide. Smooth as silk, but only cost effective if you're averaging 5-10 per day. ;)

    *Upcut bits pull chips up, so if you're plunging in the material with the face up, use downcut bits, or your lovely top will get chipped mercilessly.  
    http://choiceofga.com
    1000+ Tables & Counting… Direct From Fayetteville, GA
    "It is a poor carpenter who blames his tools."
  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,261

    1x4 - or a pice of 1/4 plywood would be a much better approach than my idea of using wire.

    Cookin in Texas
  • tgklemantgkleman Posts: 194
    I enjoyed the New Yankee Workshop too, although I think Norm was a little biased to power tools.  Made me think that you need to buy a power tool to do everything.  I really enjoy using hand tools as much as I can not that I have some experience in the craft.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,326
    I used a router on a board with an 11" radius from center to outside of bit.  I used a dado bit, wish I had the upcut bit, have to blow out the sawdust after each pass.
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    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,326
    Used a hitch pin for a pivot point, perfect 3/8" od with a 3/8" bit.  Must be perfectly perpendicular to the top.  Important that there's no play.  And a plunge router is important...the twist bases aren't perfectly centered, so you can change the "distance" from the center when lowering the bit with each pass, which gives you an irregular cut.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,261
  • mrjwhitmrjwhit Posts: 83
    Scored a great wooden work table. However I need to cut the hole for the bge. Any suggestions before I just go at it with a jig saw and a router? Plan to measure a 22 inch circle then drill a pilot hole. From there use my jig and a steady hand to make it happen. Besides taping the inside circle so it doesn't fall through, anything else I need to do?
    Thanks you all. However the table wasn't as "great" as I thought. It's a great size,but it's ply-wood. Not sure it will stand up to rain and weather on my deck. Thinking I'll just wait, take my time and get a next table for Christmas or something. 
    Large BGE as of Father's day '12

    http://www.jwhit.com
  • brentseebrentsee Posts: 99

    You know, the way I look at it... is if the circle isn't perfect .... who really cares.  You will, because you did it, but, most other people that see it will think it looks perfect.  And after a while you will too. 

     

  • QDudeQDude Posts: 525
    If you use a router, be sure to go counter-clockwise during the cutting process.  Take your time and watch your electrical cord - it will get wrapped up and can pull the router out of the path.

    You can also laminate the plywood if it isn't in  too lousy condition.

    A northern Colorado Egghead since 2012!

    XL and a Small BGE.

  • cajunrphcajunrph Posts: 44
    I have found that training termites to chew on a pencil line also works very well.
    Gonna have to give that at try.  ;)
    LBGE, 
    Redneck Country Club
    Columbia Lakes
    West Columbia, Tx
  • Jai-BoJai-Bo Posts: 334
    edited June 2012
     I have a table I built from cedar planks and I drilled a starter hole then used a jig saw....Felt awful cutting into a beautiful table but it had to be done!!!
    Hunting-Fishing-Cookin' on my EGG! Nothing else compares!
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 5,780
    Router with a straight bit and solid (1X4) as noted in many posts above. I made my table out of 5/4 cypress with 1/4" between the planks. Screwed a support under the center point to hold everything together. Once the hole was cut I left the support and a top spacer in place and fitted the router with a 1/2 round over bit - gave the hole a nice smooth look. (Because of the plank spacing, pilot does not work so well)
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • Hey guys,
    many posts here say the diameter of the hole should be 22".  the plans I have from the BGE website say 21".  Any advice would be really appreciated !!!!!!
    David B
  • KennyLeeKennyLee Posts: 547

     

    dlb27104 said:
    Hey guys,
    many posts here say the diameter of the hole should be 22".  the plans I have from the BGE website say 21".  Any advice would be really appreciated !!!!!!
    David B
    21" is the minimum, but some like to make it slightly bigger to allow a little wiggle room and make it easier to get the Egg in and out.

    LBGE

    Cedar table w/granite top

    Ceramic Grillworks two-tier swing rack

    Perpetual cooler of ice-cold beer

  • I have built a few tables for myself and friends. I have always used a galvanized trash can lid from lowes. It's a perfect 22". I then use a jig saw and a palm sander to smooth out the edges. It's not a magical formula but has worked great in the 5 tables I have built. Good luck!!
  • KeeferKeefer Posts: 116
    edited December 2013
    I found 21" a nice fit for a large. I used a strip of hardwood and a fine wood cutting blade in the jigsaw. image Of course everything had to be taken apart to have the finish applied. It turned out to be a good fit. image Finished Table image
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  • I personally used a router with a spiral up-cut bit with a custom circle cutting jig.  The up-cut bit was great because I did not need to clear the chips out when making the cut.  I used the same setup for the rounded ends on my table as well.
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