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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It was time to build a juice groove jig to finish a series of cutting boards I’d made, so I looked around and came up with the idea of making one that would do a variety of tasks, mostly by adding adjustable guides for varying the edge spacing. It will also allow me to route a ‘tray’ area into a piece and use a surfacing bit to clean it out, etc.

The build list included a set of plans from King Woodworking($7), a 4X4 sheet of sanded plywood ($26), a 2X2 sheet of MDF ($8), a 10-pack of T-bolts ($11), two packages of Woodpecker star knobs ($22) and some glue and screws.

Spent about a day and a half figuring out what to do and the final version was actually simpler than I imagined - the adjustment guides are held down with the same t-bolts as the chocking guides for holding the workpiece. Overall size is 30” X 30” - maximum routing depth from an edge is around 3”. This jig will handle a piece as big as 19” X 19”, so plenty of room for cutting boards and similar projects. Finished it with some Varathane Sanding Sealer I had on the shelf. The 2X6 pieces on the corners were added as clamping ‘tabs’.
 

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Nicely done, Brian...I too am a big fan of "multi-tasking" tools/jigs...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
This one was relatively easy once I got it figured out. Had to recut three of the four MDF guides but that just cleaned up the whole piece nicely. Want to make Many different cutting boards going forward and include various groove configurations for those and other ideas.
 

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That's pretty cool. Looks like it has enough play in it that you could try offsetting opposing corners in the third plane in order to carve a shallow--> deep groove so all the juice flows to the one corner.......with a spigot or funnel and an attached container hanging off the edge; while the board is flat on the work surface.
Saw a pre-made unit with that clever feature -would be a perfect food prep board when drying freshly washed chicken, steak or draining anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That's pretty cool. Looks like it has enough play in it that you could try offsetting opposing corners in the third plane in order to carve a shallow--> deep groove so all the juice flows to the one corner.......with a spigot or funnel and an attached container hanging off the edge; while the board is flat on the work surface.
Saw a pre-made unit with that clever feature -would be a perfect food prep board when drying freshly washed chicken, steak or draining anything.
I think I follow you on this - I'm going to shim one side on a very shallow pitched top surface for my newest design to get an even groove depth overall. The pitch aids the runoff of liquids kinda like you're describing. Guess I could shim one side UP to create a deeper grove --> shallow one like you are saying. Not a big fan of hanging anything over the edge of the board but a sink inset design would be pretty sweet. Good idea!
 

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Nice design Brian. I've used a similar jig but mine was fixed sides and I used spacers between the cutting board and the sides. One thing I learned, and you may want to incorporate it, was that I should have drilled a finger hole through the backing panel so that I could stick my finger in and lift either the cutting board or one of the spacers out. With everything jammed into the frame there was no way to get pieces out without turning it upside down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Nice design Brian. I've used a similar jig but mine was fixed sides and I used spacers between the cutting board and the sides. One thing I learned, and you may want to incorporate it, was that I should have drilled a finger hole through the backing panel so that I could stick my finger in and lift either the cutting board or one of the spacers out. With everything jammed into the frame there was no way to get pieces out without turning it upside down.
The original design used fixed sides. On mine, both the board ‘chock’ pieces on the bottom and depth guides on top are movable - know it doesn’t look that way since one set of knobs snugs both sets of guides down. So getting into the cavity is easy. I almost went the route you did but decided to make the adjustment more infinite within its available range. The final design was much simpler than I expected. (Only had to recut the upper guides once!)
 

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I thought about adding adjustment but as you say it still has limited range and I was doing a one off at the time and not sure if I would ever make another one or another one the same size so I went the quick/easy route.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I thought about adding adjustment but as you say it still has limited range and I was doing a one off at the time and not sure if I would ever make another one or another one the same size so I went the quick/easy route.
I hear ya - watched a video where a guy just screwed down the appropriate spacer/guide pieces and routed a groove lickety-split. Whatever gets the job done...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That's been my go-to approach, but I like your jig much better.
I finally got around to using it this week - had a few mods to make in the process. Overall, setup is pretty quick and feels very secure once it’s ready. Did three boards...and a cheese board from a highly figured piece of Maple.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Looks good. Where I first saw the jig was in a mantle factory I worked at for a short while. They were using a long narrow version of it to make stopped flutes in the faces of columns that the mantles sat on. One pass against either side and then added another spacer that sat on top and against the fence on either side and that put a groove down the center. By adding a spacer at the ends we made the two outside grooves shorter than the center one. I liked the looks of that so much I did it on my own mantle at home. Just saying that that design of jig has other applications too.
Interesting - I’ll keep that approach in mind if I need to flute. Thanks for the industrial grade insight, Chuck.
 
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