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View Betsy's profile

Cutting board poll

by Betsy
posted 09-08-2016 03:55 AM

19 replies so far

View nightguy's profile


213 posts in 1549 days

#1 posted 09-08-2016 04:53 AM

Just my 2 cents, I do a lot of cooking and Prime Rib at least once a month, I dont want a meat slicing cutting board with out one. Other wise it just runs off and makes an uncontrolled mess on the counter. If I use it for slicing and dicing things I put a flexible cutting sheet on it anyway, pick that up, fold it up a bit and what ever I cut slides into the pot/pan. The groove makes no difference or interference at that point.

View ellen35's profile


2749 posts in 4319 days

#2 posted 09-08-2016 11:34 AM

I used to make a lot of lazy susans. If I made small ones, someone would want a large one. If I make large ones, someone would want a small one. I gave up!
I will make a board with a juice groove only on order. If someone wants a large board that I have with a juice groove, I charge them the price of the board and $10 to put in the groove. I don’t make it too deep…maybe 3/8 inch and use a half inch bit for width.
You can’t please all of the people all of the time!

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

View bondogaposis's profile


5875 posts in 3238 days

#3 posted 09-08-2016 12:48 PM

I only put them in if people ask for it.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Betsy's profile


3394 posts in 4783 days

#4 posted 09-08-2016 01:03 PM

Thanks for your input. Ellen – I have the same issue with handles on the boards; if I have 10 boards with a handle no one wants them, if I have 10 boards without handles people complain there are no handles. So now I take what I want to take and figure I can’t please everyone all of them time.

Nightguy – I have a “prime-rib guy” (his name for himself not mine) that says a board is not a good board without a juice groove. He basically told me he does what you do for anything other than the meat.

Thanks again for your input.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View splintergroup's profile


4060 posts in 2109 days

#5 posted 09-08-2016 01:35 PM

Same camp, people want whatever I don’t have!

I tend to avoid the grooves since sanding them clean is a real chore (especially end grain boards!)
For handles, I’ve moved from grooves to ledges for much the same reason.

As to actually cutting juice grooves, I’m with the consensus, 1/2” core box bit, 3/8 deep.

View lew's profile


13198 posts in 4642 days

#6 posted 09-08-2016 02:02 PM

Have the ones you made with grooves sold?

I think it really depends on your market. If you are getting requests for them, I’d make at least a few so that the customer can take it with them.

One guy I know doesn’t add feet to his boards. He adds the juice ring on one side and calls the boards “reversible”.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Bill7255's profile


428 posts in 3171 days

#7 posted 09-08-2016 02:13 PM

I don’t sell my boards, just gifts. So no juice grooves as I don’t want to mess one up putting a groove in. I do use grooves for lifting, that way both sides of the board can be used.

-- Bill R

View justgrif's profile


36 posts in 2520 days

#8 posted 09-08-2016 02:22 PM

The last big board I made (it’s in my projects) was for a friend who does a lot of barbecue. I made the board pretty massive and set a juice groove around the edge. Because I had plenty of real estate to spare, I also created a two inch well on one side of the board the same depth as the groove to capture excess liquid.

If I were making larger boards (something sized to cut a big juicy hunk of meat), I’d include the groove. I don’t think it’s even something most people who aren’t us notice most of the time, but it’s a nice feature to have.

View Mr M's Woodshop's profile

Mr M's Woodshop

426 posts in 3954 days

#9 posted 09-08-2016 02:39 PM

I typically make the majority of my BDBs (Big Damn Boards) with juice grooves; they are 16×20x1-1/2.

I sprinkle juice grooves on other boards made down to 12×16 … just got a special order for one that is 12×14.

I have quit making them by hand; I now hire them done by a local CNC guy. He gives me grooves that are 100% clean, no burning and no errors. I can’t do that by hand.

A 1/2” bit is used, though I have done wider grooves on request (3/4”, and even one meat lovers board that had one groove that was 1-1/4” wide to use as a reservoir).

Betsy, there are no wrong answers here. The customer is right. I will counsel them on the pros & cons of juice grooves (Mrs M is in the anti-groove camp), but if they want to pay for a groove, then I’ll deliver the board with one on it.

-- Henry Mowry, Santa Clarita, CA,

View ErichK's profile


89 posts in 1550 days

#10 posted 09-08-2016 06:04 PM

I’ve only made a few boards, but I do the following which ends up being pretty popular.

I rout a handle ‘groove’ in the center of the short side, which people tend to appreciate. Then, I cut the juice groove on 1 side, roughly an inch from the edge. I’ve done them ~3/8” deep with a 3/8” round-base bit that I have.

View Betsy's profile


3394 posts in 4783 days

#11 posted 09-08-2016 11:36 PM

Thanks all – Lew yes I’ve sold a a few with the groove but honestly I really don’t like the idea. I’ve got a customer that I getting ready to make a 24×24 flat grain broad with a juice groove for – she’s actually asked me to put in two grooves, one about an 1” in and the second about 4 inches in so a double whammy.

I agree Henry – the customer is king – if they want a groove they’ll get one.

One guy I know doesn t add feet to his boards. He adds the juice ring on one side and calls the boards “reversible”.

- lew

I like that thought – I do something similar although not with grooves. People tell me they love the boards, they are so pretty – too pretty to cut on. I tell them to consider one side the ugly duckling and the other the swan – sometimes it takes a minute for them to realize that the board does have two sides. :-)

Thanks again for all your constructive thoughts.


-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Paul Mayer's profile

Paul Mayer

1135 posts in 3952 days

#12 posted 09-08-2016 11:47 PM

We only do them when requested and I can’t talk them out of it, which is very rare.

-- Paul Mayer,

View Betsy's profile


3394 posts in 4783 days

#13 posted 09-09-2016 02:58 AM

Paul – I’ve never had much luck changing anyone’s mind on the style of boards – but I’m of the mind that I think I’ll start working on that skill.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View DirtyMike's profile


637 posts in 1789 days

#14 posted 09-09-2016 03:32 AM

Betsy, as an ex chef i can tell you i have used many different cutting boards over the years. To me the perfect cutting board is 1 inch thick end grain with no drip ring with indention’s routed out in the sides for handles. The drip ring is not needed and only makes a moat of nasty juices that should be on a tea towel soaking in bleach water. Stick to your guns , make what you want to make, compromise only if you have to.

View jmartel's profile


9079 posts in 3037 days

#15 posted 09-09-2016 03:33 AM

Why would you want to talk someone out of a juice groove? If you cut meat, you’re going to get juices. Without a groove for them to go to, it’s going to run out onto your counter.

Offer them as an additional item. For $10 or 15ish. That seems to satisfy most options.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Paul Mayer's profile

Paul Mayer

1135 posts in 3952 days

#16 posted 09-09-2016 04:17 AM

“Why would you want to talk someone out of a juice groove?”

Because we just don’t like routing them, cleaning up burns, etc. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t do it, I’m just saying that we don’t like to and we try to sell around it.

Betsy, let me know if you need a pep talk on saying ‘no’. I find that no matter what business I’m in, the better I am at saying no to projects that aren’t best for me or the business, the more successful the business is. I like to focus on what I do best and enjoy the most, and let someone else route the juice grooves, etc. Some people probably enjoy cutting them, or perhaps they are indifferent about it. That’s great for them.

-- Paul Mayer,

View bruc101's profile


1384 posts in 4429 days

#17 posted 09-09-2016 04:28 AM

Speaking of selling cutting boards.

Walnut boards $37.68 each, 1217 sold.

-- Bruce Free Plans

View Betsy's profile


3394 posts in 4783 days

#18 posted 09-09-2016 04:45 AM

Dirty Mike – I must admit that I thought a chef would really want the juice groove. Interesting take.

Routing is not my favorite sport but I do it when it just makes sense or like the 24×24 board I’ll be putting in a groove for a very good customer.

Paul – one of my biggest weaknesses is not being able to say no. I have gotten pretty good at “No I don’t bargin, my prices are set”; “no, I can’t hold that board until the end of the day – unless you pay for it now”; “no, I won’t repair your board that you bought from someone else”. People who I have a hard time saying no to are the repeat customers – but I am getting better at that. My booth buddy helps me a lot with the “no” situations – she’s been an international flight attendant for 40+ years so she can handle people much better than me.

At the end of the day, I really much prefer making boards that I enjoy making and have a lot of fun making. The making people happy can be hard sometimes but considering how many boards I sell every month I must be doing okay with what I have.

Paul – I may PM you with a couple of questions.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Puzzleman's profile


417 posts in 3831 days

#19 posted 09-09-2016 07:18 PM

I make personalized items for my customers. When someone wants something that I do not have on hand and is extra work, I charge for it. I may not like doing it but then I think about the amount of extra money and I smile again.

For Example: I make personalized step stools with a clear lacquer finish. I don’t like painting them but I charge an extra $20 plus shipping. Takes me about 15 to 20 minutes to paint one, so I smile while making $80 to $60 per hour. I have found that if they really want it, they will pay for it.

MY brother used to have a roofing company. When he got a referral from someone and he was booked solid for a couple of months, he didn’t want to tell the person no as he might need more referrals later. So what he would do is bid the job and add 20% or 25% to the normal price. That way he figured they would go away to someone cheaper. He told me that about 50% of the time he would get the job. Since he would make so much more on that job, he would do it even though he didn’t really want the job. He smiled all the way to the bank.

-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler,

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