Metal circle template

Tim from WindFired Designs writes,

We designed this specialized circle tool. We originally made it for ourselves as kite makers, but it was quickly clear that it should be available to everyone that likes to make things by hand.

There aren't any good metal circle templates out there. People that use heat for cutting synthetics often need to cut circles, but existing circle templates are plastic. We decided to design and make our own. At first it was for our own use, but as we went through prototypes, the object started to seem more and more seductive. We really needed this around our own studio, and we knew from working as designers for over 20 years, that there weren't any good commercial solutions. The tool shape we came up with has a number of innovative features. It's great for serious makers, but it's also really fun to hand them to children who love to draw.

WindFire Designs Circle Tool (Thanks, Tim!)


    1. Clearly you’ve never used a sail maker’s hot knife to cut synthetic fabrics. Also, you can save money on a compass with a couple of pencils and a piece of line. But that doesn’t help with the hot cutting either.

    2. A compass is not a cutting guide. Nor is a compass particularly useful for hand drafting since you can’t manipulate your ink or lead like you can when using a drawing tool through a template.

      1. You can easily mod a compass to use a Sharpie marker or an Exacto blade. I’ve also seen a wicked one with a superstrong magnet & ball/joint socket where the point would normally be and a metal scribe where the pencil would be for drawing circles on metal. The dude who made that one was a little bit of a mad scientist type, though. :)

        1. When you’re doing fine drawing or drafting with pencil or ink, you frequently need to rotate your pen/pencil to maintain consistency of line weight.  When you’re cutting with an Exacto blade, you may need to make pressure adjustments as you cut because the blade will be getting duller as you go.  You can’t do that if it’s strapped to a compass arm.

    1. Hi Marky,Thanks for the feedback.  As you can imagine, we looked at a lot of possibilities.  We found that actually putting cross marks on each circle makes the design cluttered, and more difficult to read.  Centering is actually quite simple, as seen about halfway down the About page.  Hope this helps.

  1. Really? 20 years in the business and they had never seen one of these?

    1. The circular OD for each circle simplifies alignment with other concentric circles.  Aluminum would draw the heat away from the hot cutter.  This is more than just a series of circles cut into metal.  

  2. If people are looking for metal patterns, the theatrical industry uses a product called a gobo, which is just a stainless steel or aluminum pattern that’s inserted into a theatrical light to make a pattern onstage. Not a lot of variation in terms of sizes (there are industry standards) but huge number of shapes and patterns.

    Apollo, Rosco, and Great American Market (GAM) are the main manufacturers. 

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