How would you hand plow a groove in a cutting board?

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Forum topic by surrywood posted 12-01-2018 10:58 PM 1331 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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31 posts in 1155 days

12-01-2018 10:58 PM

Hello everyone,
So my wife wants a specific size cutting board (24×18x1) and I will likely do it in edge grain because she wants a juice groove all the way around about a half inch from the outside edges. Since this is going to be done with hand tools, my question is what is the best way to cut the groove? I could use my Stanley 45 but I am not sure about coming up to the stopping point at each corner. I suppose I could cut in the corners with a chisel and then plow up to that point. Is there a better way or do you folks have suggestions?

I have been lurking for a while here and have been totally impressed with the knowledge and the friendliness of everyone. Thank you.

10 replies so far

View Johnny7's profile


501 posts in 1970 days

#1 posted 12-01-2018 11:08 PM

A sharp router.

Preferably one with a fence.


View shipwright's profile


8594 posts in 3678 days

#2 posted 12-02-2018 04:21 AM

A scratch stock would get it done too.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View surrywood's profile


31 posts in 1155 days

#3 posted 12-02-2018 11:29 AM

Thanks guys. You know for some reason I did not even think of my Stanley 71 or the scratch stock. My wife and I moved into a rental recently because we are getting ready to build and a lot of my tools are in storage along with my bench. I have a small spare room upstairs to work in and have been getting a few things here and there out of storage. Haven’t done much in the last several months and I am going a little stir crazy without the shop so she has come up with a few things she wants lately.

I haven’t had my router all that long and I will have to verify whether I do have the fence. I only got to use it before we moved to clean up a few dados and small shoulders

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5986 posts in 1462 days

#4 posted 12-02-2018 03:50 PM

I would use a scratch stock, my combination plane, or a gouge. If using the plane, I would cut the groove full length and then put on breadboard ends to “stop” the groove. If using a scratch stock or gouge, I would use a gouge straight into the board to stop the end of the groove.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View waho6o9's profile


8946 posts in 3457 days

#5 posted 12-02-2018 04:28 PM

Locate your 4 corners and use a drill brace to drill your holes.

Looking forward to seeing your cutting board in the project section when time permits.

View Phil32's profile


1144 posts in 783 days

#6 posted 12-02-2018 04:54 PM

One consideration in planning and cutting the groove will be cleaning. Your wife wants it to catch juices or grease when the board is used for cutting. So it seems logical that it have rounded corners and no sharp crevices. First, layout the borders of the groove precisely. Then, with a very sharp bench knife and guide rule (straight edge), incise the borders paying special attention to the cross-grain portions. Finally, cut the groove – with your hand router or gouge.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

View LesB's profile


2620 posts in 4323 days

#7 posted 12-02-2018 06:50 PM

Waho609 had my very thoughts about the corners. I would use a Forstner bit.

-- Les B, Oregon

View surrywood's profile


31 posts in 1155 days

#8 posted 12-03-2018 10:32 AM

These are really great ideas, and I will most certainly post in the project section. I knew the creative minds here would help me figure this out. Thanks guys.

View Bill Berklich's profile

Bill Berklich

1173 posts in 1268 days

#9 posted 12-03-2018 11:27 AM

This is where I’d pull out my No. 45 and learn how to use it. Or a 10mm No.9 gouge. The gouge would take me less time – no setup (and no learning curve)

-- Bill - Rochester MI

View HokieKen's profile


15157 posts in 2018 days

#10 posted 12-03-2018 02:38 PM

I like Phil32’s idea of using a knife (although I’d use a marking gauge) and cutting the edges in first. Then a router plane would be the easiest way to clean it out for me. But, I imagine you’d want the groove rounded in the bottom rather than having sharp inside corners? So I like Bill’s suggestion of using a gouge.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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