Indiana Jones' Giant Juice Groove Cutting Board

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Project by newTim posted 12-30-2009 07:06 AM 3936 views 2 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Archeologist, Essayist, Father, Son, Friend, and all around good guy. And oh yeah, a cook too.

For over a decade our best friends have had us over for Christmas Eve to share with their family. This year my friend asked if I could make him a board for his son large enough to cut a turkey. Could I?

But first some back story. Last year I made twenty-one boards for friends and family. On some of these I cut grooves and other shapes to hold the juice. It seems I never cut them large enough to hold all the juice so this time around I wanted to really experiment. This board is about 18” x 22”x 1 1/8”. The juice groove was cut with a 1” diameter round router bit. I used an edge guide with two contact points and the operation fought me all the way. I ended up doing a bunch of planing, shaping, carving, and the hated sanding. In the end it came out okay and I learned some good lessons. Penance I call it. I’ve already begun making a template for future boards but that is prologue. The board is made out of purple and yellow heart and has four 1 1/2” x 1/4” rubber feet. It is finished with a few coats of GF’s Salad Bowl Finish blended according to TWW’s cutting board video. And now for the rest of the story.

Turns out my friend’s son has recorded a number of essays for Public Radio. His latest one, published just last week, can be heard on KQED, San Francisco or by clicking this link. His topics cover a wide range; the latest titled The Act of Cooking. As the byline of the essay says, “Mike Newland was a cook before he became an archeologist but he’s always believed that preparing a meal for others is about so much more than the food”. I didn’t know he was a cook although it is no real surprise considering his parent’s are both very talented around the kitchen and BBQ. I did know he was and is a good guy which is also no surprise knowing his parents as I do. And now he’ll have another good tool to use in the kitchen.


P.S. all this talk of BBQ reminds me of a funny quote.

“If God had not intended for us to eat animals, how come He made them out of meat?”
The Honorable Sarah Palin

-- tim hill

15 comments so far

View ChunkyC's profile


856 posts in 3224 days

#1 posted 12-30-2009 07:11 AM

Very nice!

I think they make a router bit to do what you trying to do there. Something like a “bowl” gouge. Not really certain of the name but it’s a bowl I just saw it the other day too. Wish I remembered where, sorry.

But a nice board it is!

-- Chunk's Workshop pictures:

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3547 days

#2 posted 12-30-2009 07:15 AM

wonderful board

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View ChunkyC's profile


856 posts in 3224 days

#3 posted 12-30-2009 07:20 AM

Freud Dish Carving Router Bit This is what I was talking about, not the one that I remember but it does the same thing.


-- Chunk's Workshop pictures:

View newTim's profile


607 posts in 3576 days

#4 posted 12-30-2009 07:46 AM

Thanks. I used this bit. The bit worked fine. It was hard to keep the two points of the edge guide against the edge of the board. Next time I’ll use a template and guide bushing. Unless anyone has another idea?

-- tim hill

View Rj's profile


1047 posts in 3601 days

#5 posted 12-30-2009 08:21 AM

Great cutting board Tim ! Now thats what I call a juice trough… he should have no problem carving the juiciest of meats….

-- Rj's Woodworks,San Jose & Weed Ca,

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 3265 days

#6 posted 12-30-2009 12:24 PM

These are beautiful !!
Love the juice groove, template and guide is the way to go.


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View woodworm's profile


14465 posts in 3560 days

#7 posted 12-30-2009 12:42 PM


-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View WoodSparky's profile


200 posts in 3072 days

#8 posted 12-30-2009 12:52 PM

Eagle America has some some sign router bits with bushing.

-- So Many tools, So little time

View sras's profile


4791 posts in 3099 days

#9 posted 12-30-2009 04:26 PM

Looks great! You’re right what good is a juice groove if it can’t hold the juice! I went through the same learning curve and have arrived at the same conclusion. The next juice grooves will be made with a template!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3304 days

#10 posted 12-30-2009 05:08 PM

Beautiful board Tim. I really like the purple heart and the contrast with the lighter wood.

I haven’t made any cutting boards yet, but I bought one a few years ago for turkey dinners. It was just flat so I routed a groove around it and then I also routed pockets in the corners the same depth as the groove. The pockets hold a lot of juice so I didn’t have to rout the groove around the perimeter very wide or deep. I’m not saying you should do this, as your board is just fine the way it is, but just mentioning it in case you haven’t thought of it and might want to try it on a future board.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Digbum's profile


2 posts in 3039 days

#11 posted 12-30-2009 08:22 PM

The board is beautiful Tim, I can’t wait to carve up some prime rib on this bad boy. You can bet this thing is gonna get used to feed armies of students, tribal elders, and volunteers. And little Caitie Belle to boot. Heck, I might even let my dad use it! You do man!

View Andy's profile


1691 posts in 3878 days

#12 posted 12-30-2009 08:50 PM

This is a great looking board. That groove is substantial and should do the job nicely.
Well done, thanks for sharing.

-- If I can do it, so can you.

View newTim's profile


607 posts in 3576 days

#13 posted 12-31-2009 06:52 AM

Thanks folks. Digbum… welcome to Lumberjocks. No, however, don’t let your dad use it. He’s got plenty of cutting boards.

-- tim hill

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3323 days

#14 posted 12-31-2009 08:45 PM

Very nice, I like the coloring the purpleheart adds.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View Digbum's profile


2 posts in 3039 days

#15 posted 04-21-2010 06:48 PM

Thought I would chime in here again on the travels of the Cutting Board of the Gods: Took it up to Ukiah last week where the brother of one of my friends from the Kashaya Pomo tribe was having a bone-marrow drive for his 3-y.o. son who has leukemia. BBQ’d two massive tri-tips and grilled onions in the veggie basket, wrapped it all up and hauled it up there with the cutting board. Got there and their spaghetti dinner was about wrapped up but they were nearly out of food and the family hadn’t eaten yet. Tri-tip went to feed three generations of family gathered together to try to save their boy, and that massive trough made sure everyone got the good juices off that meat. I even got a hug outta grandma on that one. Thanks again for your skill and artisan chops, Tim, more postings on this board to come I’m sure.

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