Cutting board poll

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Forum topic by Betsy posted 09-08-2016 03:55 AM 1604 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Betsy's profile


3392 posts in 4459 days

09-08-2016 03:55 AM

Topic tags/keywords: cutting board juice groove

As many of you know I make and sale my cutting boards at local farmer’s markets. I don’t make many boards with a juice groove. I’ve really never had much call for it. This year though, I’m getting a lot of requests for the grooves.

How many of you routinely cut juice grooves in your boards?

Do you take boards with and without the groove to shows? If so, what percentage predominates?

If you take both variations what sales the best for you?

What depth do you prefer to cut the groove? The few I’ve done I’ve used a 3/8” groove – not sure if that’s too shallow or too deep – but it looked okay.

Any other thoughts or opinions on the grooves.

Thanks for your opinions.

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

19 replies so far

View nightguy's profile


213 posts in 1226 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


2746 posts in 3996 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


5570 posts in 2914 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


3392 posts in 4459 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


3067 posts in 1786 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


12900 posts in 4319 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 2848 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 2197 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

422 posts in 3630 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 1227 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


3392 posts in 4459 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

1082 posts in 3628 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


3392 posts in 4459 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 1465 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 (online now)


8634 posts in 2713 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.

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