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One of the great attributes of the router is its ability to cut in every direction, making it perfect for cutting curved arcs. Rockler has designed and manufactured a circle and oval jig for use with a router. It can let you create ellipses up to 44” x 52” or circles up to 52”. Made from phenolic resin the arm and base seem to be very strong and should last a long time. Printed right on the arm, the instructions are pretty simple. I was able to attach the 4 routers that I have without a problem, this is always a good sign. Once your router is in place it is a simple matter of adjusting the 2 sliding dovetail inserts and setting the depth of your cut. When cutting through a board of more then ½” you will want to ease into the cut a little bit at a time, something around ½” at a time. This may vary depending of the bit you are using, how sharp it is and the hardness of your wood. The jig movement is fairly smooth, however I did notice from time to time one of the sliding inserts would hang just a little as it passed one of the opening tacks for the other insert. But even if it hung a little I didn’t notice any bump in the cut I was making.
When making small ellipses or circles the long arm of the jig does make it so you have to move around it. But larger ones seem to balance out the distance that it sticks out. It is really hard to find fault with this jig and even those things I mentioned are actually minor inconveniences rather than defects in any way.
While testing the jig I cut several sizes and the jig performed very well and I was happy with its features. Now as with most jigs if you don’t need to use it very much then why not build your own right? Well to be honest building a jig that does ovals is a bit of a project in and of itself, so the cost of the ellipse and circle jig may be very worth the investment of $89.99. I also worked with the optional large base. The larger size increases the maximum difference between the major and minor axes from 8" to 14". In other words, the maximum length of the major axis remains 52", but the minor axis can be up to 14" shorter than with the standard base. The base also includes 2 extra dovetail keys with pivot pins. The large base retails for $37.99