how to Groove a Soap Dish? Please Help

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Forum topic by somewoodwork12 posted 03-02-2010 09:58 AM 7103 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9 posts in 3006 days

03-02-2010 09:58 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question carving modern oak maple arts and crafts soap dish grooving surface routing sanding

I have a question, im going to link two picture below of a soap dish and I want to know how is the soap dish surface groove made on it, what tool was used to make it, I would appreciate your insight. If the link doesn’t open the question is just about an oval surface groove on top of any soap dish, so the soap stays inside the dish. Thanks

19 replies so far

View kodiak's profile


55 posts in 3020 days

#1 posted 03-02-2010 11:10 AM

I’ve never done this before but I’m thinking :

cut out a template with your scroll saw and use a template guide (p 193 in the lee valley catalog top of page) on your router with a dish carving bit ( p 184 lee valley catalog bottom of page)

I’m watching this to see if I’m right or if there is a better (easier way) to do this
hope this helps or gives you a idea in the right direction

-- Simple advice is the best advice

View Jeison's profile


968 posts in 3106 days

#2 posted 03-02-2010 11:32 AM

I second the template/router method, thats how people make the chip n dip trays, which is pretty much the same thing just on a different scale

-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.

View somewoodwork12's profile


9 posts in 3006 days

#3 posted 03-02-2010 11:32 AM

Kodiak and Jei’son I know that method, and that way will only give you a straight bottom, the pictures show a curved bottom with the middle part being the most shallow portion and the edges less shallow, but thanks for the try guys :)

View woodworm's profile


14468 posts in 3589 days

#4 posted 03-02-2010 11:41 AM

I guess it can be done either on lathe or with a router using a template with dish cutter bit & also crown molding bit.

Template :

Dish cutter bit
Crown molding bit

I’m sure other fellow LJs have better idea.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View somewoodwork12's profile


9 posts in 3006 days

#5 posted 03-02-2010 11:44 AM

woodwormthe the crown molding bit is not the right tool for it because the biggest bit comes in 2.75 or 3 inches, I need a wider cut, and plus I don’t think thats the correct way, there must be another way they do this, because I’ve seen huge soap dishes that have this cut, Please try again

View woodworm's profile


14468 posts in 3589 days

#6 posted 03-02-2010 11:48 AM

I think for the round shape one is easy to be done on lathe, but the oblong shape one surely cannot.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View somewoodwork12's profile


9 posts in 3006 days

#7 posted 03-02-2010 11:57 AM

woodworm yes the round shape one would be easy on a lathe, but what I’m trying to figure out is how they did the oval one, and when we figure that out we can do any shape we want basically. Im sure the correct way to do this is not on a lathe, there must be an easier and a more simpler way. Thanks

View Skalizar's profile


6 posts in 3064 days

#8 posted 03-02-2010 02:15 PM

CNC? Or is it specifically handmade?

-- Ron -- Bear, DE

View Tony_S's profile


867 posts in 3081 days

#9 posted 03-02-2010 02:26 PM

In a production type setting, the oval dishes (and round for that matter) would have been done on a CNC Router with a cutter similar to the crown molding bit.
If you look closely, the dish does have a flat bottom.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

View dryhter's profile


74 posts in 3602 days

#10 posted 03-02-2010 02:56 PM

If you are only making one or even a couple, I would think using a router to hog out most of the waste and then a carving gouge to refine the shape should make short work of this project.

Here is a link to a spoon carving site which is similar to what you would be doing HERE

-- Chips and Shavings/ see you at

View MrHudon's profile


114 posts in 3208 days

#11 posted 03-02-2010 03:19 PM

I think a core box router bit and a template may be better then a dish carving bit because of the greater radius dimensions available. Maybe a core box for the inside edges and a dish carving for the bottom?

-- Mark,

View millmgr's profile


27 posts in 3110 days

#12 posted 03-02-2010 04:29 PM

Thinking WAY outside the box- imagine cutting the soap dish in half across the dish. The profile revealed is a big scoop with a flat on each side. If you made a knife in that profile and put it in a cutterhead- a plunge cut would make the round soap dish while advancing the piece or the cutterhead while in the cut would make the oval shape. I would think this would be extremely dangerous for kickback unless you could use a long board and put a series of plunge cuts in the length while antikickback fingers and feed rolls held the piece tight. Kind of thinking a moulder running an S4S with a seperate adjustable head doing the plunge as the feed was periodically stopped. Or a cutterhead for rosettes could be made in the same shape and put in a drill press or overhead router and plunge cut for the round and moved sideways for the oval. Also potentially very dangerous. Not recommending either option, just putting the concept out there.

View KayBee's profile


1083 posts in 3244 days

#13 posted 03-02-2010 07:00 PM

Try making a router sled. Use curved side rails to match the curve of the inside of the dish. Try this link

much smaller scale , of course.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

View somewoodwork12's profile


9 posts in 3006 days

#14 posted 03-02-2010 09:44 PM

Thanks for all the input guys, but after some thought and prior condemnation of woodworms theory I think woodworm got it right, it was a method mentioned here by him but with a twist, get it “a twist” :D (clears throat) ok moving on…. with a little emphasize on the horizontal crown molding bit, you would have to make a template in this case an oval one, but instead of using a bowl bit which would have given you a flat bottom, you use a crown molding bit :) which will give you that curved bottom, problem solved im going to make one soon and will post my pictures up. Thanks for all the help guys God Bless and visit my website Jesus Christ’s return is close at hand, repent and give yourself to Christ before its too late

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9 posts in 3006 days

#15 posted 03-03-2010 01:51 AM

If people know of any other ways please post them. Thanks

showing 1 through 15 of 19 replies

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