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This may be obvious, but I have searched several times and have not hit on a clear answer.

A core box bit seems the closest with the flat bottom and rounded corners, but it would still leave the top of the groove at a sharp 90 vs a nice ogee from the bottom of the rail to the top. The lip could be sanded over i guess.

Would I need to create a full size template with a pattern bit or bushing to get a nice track all the way around?

Is there a better way?
 

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Hey afnid,

I would make a template with a guide bushing. That's a great idea. It will give you a uniform distance all the way around and a stable platform for your router to ride on. As for the bit there is the Core Box bit which would work or you could try the Dish Carving bit. It's much wider, flatter on the bottom and would make a nice groove you require. The picture shows a pretty deep groove but it would work really well if only 3/16" deep, or so.

http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=30171&cat=1,46168,46173
 

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Use a template - preferably one that catures the bit on both sides. A juice groove is one of hte last cuts you will make and you will have a lot of time invested by then.

Use a core box bit (with a guide bushing as mentioned above), but I would not go full depth. Maybe something like a 1" bit at half depth. The dish carving bit might work as well.

Make light passes. Do not try to cut full depth in one pass.
 
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