Creating juice groove in end grain cutting board

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Forum topic by janerik posted 05-30-2009 01:33 PM 3865 views 1 time favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 2705 days

05-30-2009 01:33 PM

Topic tags/keywords: end grain cutting board hand tool question

I’m a newbie so bear with me on this one.

I’m making a few end-grain cutting boards, and I wanted to have a rounded juice groove in one of them.
However, I don’t own a router, and I was wondering how you guys might create such a groove with hand tools. (I have this personal rule that I learn any technique by hand before buying a power tool)

I do have a nice router plane and a fairly wide variety of chisels, but I’m unsure how to use that to get a consistent round edge. I may break down and buy a router, but it left me curious:

How would one have created a rounded groove efficiently before routers were around. How would you do this if the power went out?


9 replies so far

View CanadaJeff's profile


207 posts in 3031 days

#1 posted 05-30-2009 02:04 PM

Hmmm, that’s tough. My only thought would be with carving tools, perhaps a U gouge and a straight edge or steady hand. Although my feeling is that making it straight will be pretty tough.

If you do pick up a router, that would likely be the best way to go using a core box bit and a straight edge guide would almost certainly get the job done.

Good luck with whatever you decided and post some pictures of the results

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3094 days

#2 posted 05-30-2009 05:01 PM

The guys who handtool dado’s typically use a saw to create the left and right hand sides then use the router plane to gouge out the waste (in the few examples I’ve seen someone doing that)

Router planes suffer from a similar issue to power routers. Hard to guide them. Routers can have custom bases and template rings put on them which helps.

View RBWoodworker's profile


432 posts in 2773 days

#3 posted 05-30-2009 05:10 PM

While I have never attempted to do it solely by hand..I would think using a scraper made to the profile you want would also work..would take a lot of elbow grease,and a straight edge too, but I would think it would at least be straight and clean..

-- Randall Child

View a1Jim's profile


115177 posts in 2998 days

#4 posted 05-30-2009 05:19 PM

I would use a combination of tools already suggested #1 scribe with a knife #2 use your router plane to groove it out and chisels at the corner. #3 cut a scraper to scrape out the bottom round.

-- Custom furniture

View janerik's profile


2 posts in 2705 days

#5 posted 05-30-2009 06:46 PM

I like the profiled scraper idea a lot. I think if I got the groove started straight with a router plane (with a fence) and then rounded it out with the scraper it might work.

Earlier today I started thinking that I could finish off the curve (after outlining it) with a rounded rasp. I would just have to come up with some way of making a handle that is on top rather than horizontal. These two look like they might work: (I hope it’s ok to link externally here)

Or maybe I can get some speciatly handle for something like this:

Call me a masochist, but I like knowing how to do this stuff old-school first. Something about the problem-solving appeals to me.

Thanks for the help,

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


17577 posts in 3097 days

#6 posted 05-30-2009 10:27 PM

I would rough it out with chisels and gouges, then scrap it with a scraper attached to a fence type guide to hold it consistent.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


17577 posts in 3097 days

#7 posted 05-30-2009 10:28 PM

OOps, you can make a scraper out of an old knife or saw blade in the profile you want.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View hairy's profile


2377 posts in 2953 days

#8 posted 05-31-2009 01:49 AM

I know it’s not a hand tool, but you could do most of it on a drill press. The ends would need to be done by hand.

-- stay thirsty my friends...

View orbit308's profile


7 posts in 2704 days

#9 posted 07-12-2009 05:28 AM

Look at the Woodwright’s site.. You may even ask him a question about it. He works strictly with handtools. I’m sure you’ve heard of him though.. Very cool guy.

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