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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some advice on the best way to route a "juice catching" channel in an end grain cutting board. I've never tried to route end grain before, so that is a consideration. On top of that, I want the channel to track the shape of the cutting board, which is rectangular with rounded corners. If you've ever seen an aerial view of the Indy speedway, that is what the cutting board looks like. What is the best way to route a channel that tracks the shape of the cutting board but prevents the router from drifting in the corners? I assume I should do this with several shallow passes, so repeatability is important.
 

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Use a guide bushing and some hardboard to make a template. Cut a rectangle in the middle of the template and choose the right size bushing to give you the radius you need on the corners. If you can't get a large enough radius that way, you will have to round the corners of the rectangle. To hold the template in place, attach wood strips to the template around the outside of the cutting board so that it centers the cutout on the cutting board. Use a piece of hardboard in the center to help keep the router stable. You can attach with double sided tape to the cutting board or router base.
 

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I would first make a full size template out of plywood. Or whatever. Then using a scribe (or compass) trace around the edge of the template marking a line where you want the juice channel to be in relation to the edge of the board. If you hold the scribe straight as you make your mark, it will accurately follow the contour of your board. Carefully cut away the excess (outside of the line) and stick the center down at the desired reveal with double sided carpet tape. Use a guide bushing that will ride along the outside edge of the template. And yes, take several light passes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the inputs. I was thinking a template might be the best solution, but since I've never worked with one before I wondered if there was a different solution.
 

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BZawat said:
I would first make a full size template out of plywood. Or whatever. Then using a scribe (or compass) trace around the edge of the template marking a line where you want the juice channel to be in relation to the edge of the board. If you hold the scribe straight as you make your mark, it will accurately follow the contour of your board. Carefully cut away the excess (outside of the line) and stick the center down at the desired reveal with double sided carpet tape. Use a guide bushing that will ride along the outside edge of the template. And yes, take several light passes.
You will have more control rounding the corners if you cut a hole in the middle. It will be easier to verify your template is properly centered if you go around the outside of the rectangle. Either way, make sure the non- template side of the router is supported.
 

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While some will suggest making a half template, route one side then flip it over, for something like a cutting board, I think is less troublesome to make a full template. I think is a lot easer to get the template in the correct location when you are seeing the whole template and the cutting board underneath. I use double faced tape to secure the template to the board.
 
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