Dipping Board

  • Advertise with us
Project by Lenny posted 05-28-2011 02:06 AM 2986 views 5 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first attempt at a dipping board. I have seen several of these posted on LJ. I made mine from maple and walnut with padauk accent stripes. Some of these are made with a flat surface for the food but I like the idea of the dished out area. I have seen some with no handles and others with store bought handles. I got the idea to rout a finger hold area along the bottom edge of both ends and I like it. I think it will be convenient when one goes to lift this from a counter. The dimensions on this board are 7” wide by 22” long and 3/4” thick. I think I will make future boards 8”X24”x 7/8”. The finish is 5 coats of General Finishes’ Salad Bowl Finish sanding lightly with #0000 steel wool in between coats. I really like the shiny and smooth finish it provides once the final coat cures (72 hours before introducing food).

This is a gift for my daughter’s future in-laws, the Felix family. She has been living with them for close to a year now and they have been so kind and gracious to her. In April, the remainder of my family and I went to CA to visit my daughter. We spent a week there and went to the Felix’s home twice. They were so hospitable and welcoming to us.

I had used padauk on one other project so I was aware of the orange dust issue. What I didn’t know and came to learn was, padauk next to a light colored wood like maple can be a horror. It tends to bleed into the maple when sanding and applying finish. Ultimately I taped off areas and sanded and finished them separately. Once I had 2-3 coats of finish on, I was able to work the whole piece without concern. I won’t be using padauk next to a light colored wood again.

I made a jig from MDF for routing out the food and dip areas of these boards. I fashioned mine similar to the one closetguy made. The “bowl and tray bit” (see photo) is used for the food area and a straight bit for the bowl area.

I also want to share a mistake I made during the build of this project. We all experience mistakes and discuss them often. We comment on how covering them up can be an art in itself. As you can see in one of the pictures, the router and bit got away from me and I took out a big divot towards the center of the board. Except for the divot, I had routed 1/4” deep and planned to leave the area at that depth. My initial thought for a fix was to rout down to the depth of the divot but I thought that would be too deep. I made a patch and at first, was satisfied with it but each time I saw those barely perceptible lines of the patch, it ate at me. Ultimately I routed deeper and ended up at about 1/2” deep. My wife and others who have seen the board feel I should make future ones at the 1/2” depth. So, the mistake must have been serendipitous.

Absent the mistake, I enjoyed making this project and plan to make many more. Thanks for stopping by.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

19 comments so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4583 days

#1 posted 05-28-2011 02:26 AM

well i have to tell you lenny when i saw the post title, and it said dipping board…i was afraid to open it up…im glad it wasnt a skinny dipping board…as i think i would not have survived…lol…so glad i was wrong…LOL..its a great board…i to like the depth you ended up with..i think its a good depth and leave plenty of room for the extra splash and such…maybe good for crab and butter…with garlic french bread…oh there i go…just ate and im getting hungry again…lol…really nice boards..and yea watch that bleed over from the you say …now he tells me…lol…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View RONFINCH's profile


143 posts in 4204 days

#2 posted 05-28-2011 02:36 AM

Love it, Lenny!! Where can I order the bit from? Did you use a router, and if so, did the width create any difficulties with keeping the router level?

View ellen35's profile


2750 posts in 4712 days

#3 posted 05-28-2011 02:38 AM

Nice design, Lenny. I like the idea of routing out the area… gives it some definition.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Lenny's profile


1722 posts in 4807 days

#4 posted 05-28-2011 03:13 AM

Thanks Grizz. The extra depth allows more food to fit in/on the board. Something you would enjoy I’m sure. Hi Ron. I bought my bit from my local Woodcraft store. It’s a Whiteside but they also sell Freud ones too. I did use a hand held router to dish out the board. It was while attempting to rout out the area away from the edge that the error occurred…not enough support for the router. I either need to revamp my jig or do what I ended up doing which was to rout the inner portion at my router station using the fence as a guide. Thanks Ellen. The routed area is also quite functional.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4953 days

#5 posted 05-28-2011 03:42 AM

Nice project, Lenny.

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 5165 days

#6 posted 05-28-2011 04:16 AM

Nice job Lenny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View blackcherry's profile


3349 posts in 5103 days

#7 posted 05-28-2011 04:42 AM

Now I’m hungry Lenny, thanks…lol. I’ve had issue as well with the orange dust tinting up some tiger maple once or twice, taping off is one solution. Sound like your daughter has done well for herself, I’m sure it bring peace of mind. Take care my friend hope the warm weather bring out more projects…BC

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 4471 days

#8 posted 05-28-2011 04:08 PM

I agree with your wife and others…A server tray should be a minimum 1/2” deep.

The paduk accent lines are what push this piece over and make it exceptional.

I am not very good with wood colors (afraid of an expensive wood mistake).

So I really enjoy seeing these projects where you guys are employing a little

color and accent detail.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 4471 days

#9 posted 05-28-2011 04:22 PM

A little added note… I get lexan throw aways from work for free…so I have a lot of
clear router base jigs…For large open areas like this I just bolt a clear lexan piece to my
router base that is 3-4” wider on each side than the surface I’m routing out. So first
I use a template to rout the outer shape-then go back with the large plate and clean out
the center area. This may be a little expensive because the lexan plates I use are 3/8
to a 1/2 inch thick. But if you make a lot of trays for gifts, it is worth the expense. It is
a big time saver.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View Lenny's profile


1722 posts in 4807 days

#10 posted 05-28-2011 07:40 PM

Thanks forthe comments guys. Most appreciated. Thanks for the additional information Bob. I need to come up with something other than the jig I currently have. It only allows me to cut the outside edges, leaving the middle to still be routed. As mentioned above, I brought mine over to the router table and did it there but I would like to streamline the process such that I can do it all with the one jig.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 5172 days

#11 posted 05-28-2011 08:10 PM

Good job Lenny. I solved the router support issue by mounting a wide 1/2” plexiglass base to my router so that when the router is at the far side, the base still over hangs the opposite side. This way I can see what I am doing. You probably noticed that there is a large amount of shavings that get trapped under the router. I drilled a hole in the top of the router base that coincides with the router’s dust port. If your router doesn’t have a usable dust port, just make a hole in the secondary base and connect your shop vac.

I have used both Freud and CMT bowl bits. Any of the name brand ones will do just fine. Just stay away from the Eagle America ones. I bought one because it was cheap, but it exploded on me on the third board, slinging bearings flying all over my shop.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View moonls's profile


412 posts in 4266 days

#12 posted 05-28-2011 10:55 PM

Nicely done Lenny! I had to go find out the name of the bit you used to rout the tray because I’ve never seen one before. I’m thinking that 7/8” thickness might make the tray look a little “heavy”. Thanks for the tip about the padauk bleeding problem.

-- Lorna, Cape Cod

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5332 days

#13 posted 05-28-2011 11:35 PM

I think you’re ON to something good & useful.

We would want room for more dips… balanced areas for chips and dips.

Another possibility you might like is for Fondue.

Fondue, the way we like is:
A Central heated pot with peanut oil in it. Melted cheese is popular too with Bread for dipping.

Food in a Two Partition bowl, bite sized pieces of Beef steak and Chicken. This part can range from vegies, bread, fish, etc.

Everyone has a special plate where they can have various dips/sauces in separate places with a large partition for the food.

Each person has at least one special Fork/skewer to stab what they want (beef or chicken) and dump it in the pot to cook… when you think it’s done, you take it out, dunk it in the sauce(s) that you like & eat it… etc.
I always have at least two forks so I can keep something cooking & eating a little faster.

Sample Fondue Pot

Sample Fondue plates

Sample Forks

You could make the Fondue plates too! That would be FUN! Let your mind go where it wants!

Just another idea for you… It’s still like Dipping ... Yes? LOL

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View Lenny's profile


1722 posts in 4807 days

#14 posted 05-29-2011 02:50 AM

closetguy thanks for the comments. I might be sending a PM to you. My router does not have a dust collectioin port and I can’t picture how one would work on my router. There are chips and dust everywhere when I rout one of these. It would be great to capture some of it. Thanks for the comments Lorna and your input on the thickness issue. Joe, thank you for your kind words and for your wonderful suggestions. Much to consider.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 5579 days

#15 posted 05-29-2011 04:44 PM

Very nice Lenny!

I like the contrast of the woods you chose.

I’ve had the same problem with bleeding of two types of wood while turning.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

showing 1 through 15 of 19 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics