two questions

How do they create the groove around the end of a cutting board? I assume they use a router. If you do use a router, how would you keep the distance of the groove so constant from the edge?
I need to cut a slight circle in a piece of wood. It seem like me best bet would be to use scroll saw. I do not have one. I was going to buy one then someone suggested I get a band saw and use a thinner blade. Have anyone ever heard or used such a technique? Or would you recommend going this route?
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A router, yep. there are several ways to control where it cuts. I'll typically make a template and use a core box bit.

what is a slight circle?

either tool is going to require cleaning up the edge. think in term of sandpaper wrapped around a block of wood and lots of elbow grease.
bandsaws cost quite a bit more than scroll saws. I'll guess that you will be happier with a quality scroll saw than a cheap bandsaw.
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Lex:
Whenever I want a nice groove around something like a cutting board, I make a template from hardboard or thin plywood. That way, I have something to ride the router against, and a way to clamp things down. An alternate if you aren't going around corners is the router fence that "bolts" to the router and allows running a consistent distance from the edge, but due to the gap in most of them, the bit does not track true on corners, so I use a template instead.
By slight circle, I assume you mean a small circle. If you are only going to make one, a coping saw isn't too difficult to use and pretty inexpensive. A scroll saw can also be used, and if you need to use the slight circle as an excuse to buy one, that's ok in my book. A thin blade on a bandsaw can allow cutting a tight radius, but you can usually do ok with a wider blade if the goal is making a disk (disc) instead of a cutout in a larger hunk of wood. Just keep making relatively short cuts, then sand off the bumps. Another way, if you don't mind a hole in the middle is to use a holesaw. They come in various sizes from as small as 1/2" to several inches in diameter. Of course, in the interest of gaining more tools, buy the thinner bandsaw blade, a scroll saw, and some hole saws and try them all to determine the best one for your application. Of course, you'll have to keep the tools once the test is over! <grin>
Thanks --Rick
Lex wrote:

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I did three circle cuts (as a learner recently) on a bandsaw but you can do this same technique on a scroll saw as well.
Use a rectangular piece of 3/4" particle board or ply clamped to the tool's table. The long edge of it is against the blade as flush, and those long ends allow for clamping. Tightly. Use two clamps.
Figure from the size of your circle, 1/2 of which is the center as measured from the dege of your starting square piece. Perfectly square.
Use a thin nail, tap a starter hole at your center point into the base board, tap it in until it does not wobble and do the same with the cutting piece, only tap in a shallower hole.
Snip off the head, and flip the nail and tap it into that center point, then tap the cutting piece onto the nail using a mallet. This piece should be about 1/8" larger than your circle size...
It will push the blade slightly but then turn on the machine and start turning the piece in a circle slowly and it will "land" at your OD measurement, cut away.
The disc's edge can be evened on the same base board and nail, clamping it to the table of a disc sander, so you may want to make the circle 1/8" (1/4") larger OD all around as an initial cut. I had the clamp (12" wooden handscrew) ever so slightly loose on the sander's table, as I turned the disc against the sanding disc and the edge came closer to even, I tapped the base board in toward the sanding disc a little futher at a time until the disc reaches the desired, final OD.
Choosing which machine to buy actually is your choice to make based upon your research about what each machine is capable of, and features and qualities. I know not, but a scroll saw has a deeper throat distance at a lower price and can cut more intricate patterns more tightly, if that's what you want to do. Band saw can cut thicker wood and not as noisy unless the scroller has an outboard belted motor, but, I am by no means an expert.
Alex
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