Routing Cutting Board Handles

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Introduction: Routing Cutting Board Handles

About: Husband, Father, Woodworker based in Wilmington, NC

There are about as many ways to route handles into a cutting board or butcher block as there are species of wood available to make a cutting board. I am going to share my method with you below. This is not the only method, probably not the best or quickest method, but this is what I have found to work well for me and my work flow with cutting board construction.

VIEW FULL TUTORIAL AND VIDEO HERE:

https://www.borkwoodblog.com/routing-cutting-board...

Step 1: Make a Simple Jig

I use one simple piece of wood with a notch cut out of it as my jig.

VIEW FULL TUTORIAL AND VIDEO HERE:
https://www.borkwoodblog.com/routing-cutting-board...

Step 2: Pick Your Handle Size

With this one simple jig I can cut two different size handles by simply using different router bits. A bowl bit with no bearing is used with the router inside of the jig “bouncing” off the walls. A bowl bit with a top bearing is used for a larger handle with the bearing riding the wall of the jig. If I ever found the need (which I haven’t), I could make a different size jig to give me another two handle size options with the same two router bits.

VIEW FULL TUTORIAL AND VIDEO HERE:
https://www.borkwoodblog.com/routing-cutting-board...

Step 3: Clamp the Jig to the Board

To use the jig, I center it on the board and clamp it down to secure both the jig to the board and the board to the bench.

VIEW FULL TUTORIAL AND VIDEO HERE:
https://www.borkwoodblog.com/routing-cutting-board...

Step 4: Route the Handles in Steps (counterclockwise)

I then begin routing the handles in a count clockwise direction. I typically take around 4-6 different cuts to arrive at my final depth.

You will get some router burn, I don’t care what bit you’re using or how sharp it is. The best way to minimize this is to take a shallow final cut and then get to sanding!

VIEW FULL TUTORIAL AND VIDEO HERE:
https://www.borkwoodblog.com/routing-cutting-board...

Step 5: Finish at Desired Depth of Handle

The depth of cut is a function of personal preference, proportions to the board, and function. This one ended up being around 5/8″

VIEW FULL TUTORIAL AND VIDEO HERE:
https://www.borkwoodblog.com/routing-cutting-board...

Step 6: Sand Sand Oil

There you go, these handles are quick, easy, and look pretty good if I do say so myself!

VIEW FULL TUTORIAL AND VIDEO HERE:
https://www.borkwoodblog.com/routing-cutting-board...

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    8 Discussions

    I like that no hardware is used, much more hygienic than other approaches. ☺

    1 reply

    Simple and effective. Looks good!
    Do you use a roundover bit or do you hand sand all of that??

    1 reply

    Definitely use a roundover bit on all of the edges then go back for sanding.

    What's that beautiful piece of wood that you used? It looks like Maple, but burnt or something like that!

    1 reply

    This board is made from Ambrosia Maple, thanks!

    Nicely done! What kind of wood is this? That's some deeply contrasting grain; I like it!

    1 reply

    This board is made from Ambrosia Maple, thanks!