Routing Cutting Board Handles

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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

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    BeachsideHank

    1 year ago

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

    1 reply
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    gilbequick

    1 year ago

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

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    BorkWoodgilbequick

    Reply 1 year ago

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

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    Yonatan24

    1 year ago

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

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    BorkWoodYonatan24

    Reply 1 year ago

    This board is made from Ambrosia Maple, thanks!

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    seamster

    1 year ago

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

    1 reply
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    BorkWoodseamster

    Reply 1 year ago

    This board is made from Ambrosia Maple, thanks!