carving large depressions in wood

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Forum topic by trsnider posted 01-12-2019 02:07 PM 556 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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243 posts in 2974 days

01-12-2019 02:07 PM

Topic tags/keywords: depressions large scoops question

I’d like to make some serving boards with large shallow depressions in them like 7” wide x 15” long x 1/4-1/2” deep for a 9×17” board. I don’t have any cnc machine. Do I get an angle grinder to do this or is there a better way? I need to gain some knowledge. Thx

6 replies so far

View ChefHDAN's profile


1790 posts in 3813 days

#1 posted 01-12-2019 02:19 PM

Use a router and a bowl bit You can set edge guides or use a full pattern allowing the top bearing to follow the pattern. If your router base is smaller than the opening you want to make then attach an auxiliary base that will stay on top of the pattern.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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243 posts in 2974 days

#2 posted 01-12-2019 02:53 PM

Who’d a thunk it? There’s a tool for everything :) I knew there were bowl bits but had forgotten about them. :) I’ll have to tell my wife there’s another tool I need to buy.

View BFamous's profile


344 posts in 1085 days

#3 posted 01-12-2019 02:54 PM

If you’re making the depression rounded, look up the Arbortech ball gouge attachment for an angle grinder. Haven’t used it myself, but looks useful (and fun).

If I were making it a flat cut out, I’d use a router and a straight cut bit. (which is something I’m doing for a different project)

-- Brian Famous :: Charlotte, NC ::

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John Smith

2817 posts in 1127 days

#4 posted 01-12-2019 03:07 PM

Harbor Freight has a number of abrasive wheels for the angle grinder for $10.
depending on the hardness of the wood, they will work fine for your project.
if you intend to do many, you may want to invest in the more expensive models
such as Kutzall or King Arthur for $50+ each.
all depends on how you want to profile the depression: flat bottom with angled sides
or the massive rounded out depression with gentle sides.
with any of the designs you choose, you can make jigs to make them all consistent
in size, shape and style.

and there is also the “Cordless” model if you want to go the Old School route.


-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View Mike_D_S's profile


616 posts in 3179 days

#5 posted 01-12-2019 04:30 PM

Look at the way people make sleds for routers to create the scoops in chair seats. They require a bit of setup, but can give you a very repeatable smoothly sloping depression without the freehand grinder work.

I’ve used one more or less like this one at this link

You can use any bit with a rounded end with it. It takes a few hours to make the jig and it more or less only does only one shape with some limited range of increase/decreased size as you raise or lower the bit. But it makes scooping a regular depression easy and repeatable.

-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

View steve104c's profile


52 posts in 2202 days

#6 posted 01-13-2019 09:21 PM

Make a frame to slide router on. Make the frame with a radius and when you slide the router back and forth you will route out a concave. Make another frame to slide the frame you made for the router and as you route out, slide a little at a time down the length of the board while you route across the board. I made one of these to route out a concave on a piece of mdf for making guitar backs. Steve.

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