Circle Project How to?

Hello Everyone,
Since purchasing my shapeoko 5 pro with the VFD, my progress with it has come along nicely thanks to your advice I have received. Now, Im venturing into “round” projects such as “bar stool tops”.

My question is, once everything is mapped out in “carbide create” how do I start the cutting process. My rectangular signs all zeroed on the bottom left corner for the x,y and z axis. How do I do this on a Circular project? so that the VFD stays on the project?

hope I explained that clear enough… Thanks in advanced.


There are a couple of possible approaches:

  • use a circle finder to mark the center and then use a pointy tool to manually set zero at that point — while not done for a circular piece of stock, this is shown in:
  • get the positions of the edge along each axis and do the math to get the center — this is fraught with the possibility of error, and I wouldn’t recommend it unless you then verify the math carefully

  • secure a sacrificial blank and machine a pocket just a bit larger than the circle which has the origin set at the center, then secure the circular stock in the center of the machined feature — this is probably the best option

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In Job Setup in Carbide Create set toolpath zero to “center”. In Carbide Motion, X Y zero your bit to the center of your bar stool. To easily find the center of the circle of your bar stool top go here . All it takes is a carpenters square.


If you have already cut your blanks round then above posts tell you how to pick the center. If your rounds are over size then just mark approximately the center. That is if you have enough room to cut out the outside.

I use the center of material more than another method because your project is definitely centered on the material. For through cuts I use bottom of material and my spoilboard is almost pristine. Using top of material certainly works but many times I would cut through to the spoilboard or leave an onion skin and have to remove it. The change of work flow is simple but usually when I start a job I will go into jog and use the rapid positions to check my X and Y and the Z+6MM will ram your bit into your material if the bit is over the material. Just jog off the material before checking the Z+6MM.

I use painters tape and super glue a lot and by zeroing on the spoilboard (bottom of material) away from the tape I get a clean cut through the tape and not the spoilboard.

thank you, it worked out well…

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