I am really new to woodworking and I'm out of ideas on how to accomplish this.

I am making a magnetic knife block. The stock is 11" long x 3" wide x 1 12/16" deep. I need to cut a 1 1/4" wide by 1 11/16" deep groove.

I have a router with plunge and fixed base and a router table. My router only goes 1" deep (bit depth).

Does anyone have any good ideas? I've considered a drill bit and chisel, but I don't have a drill press and this has to be accurate(ish).

  • This sort of thing was routinely done long before modern routers, in fact long before electricity! It was often/usually done by drilling the bulk away and then chisel work, then completed using a hand router if a very flat bottom of a fixed depth was required. You can still do it this way, q.v. modern guides to making oilstone boxes. " I don't have a drill press and this has to be accurate(ish)" There are a great many ways to drill holes to a uniform depth, the simplest possibly being a wooden depth stop around the bit itself (just a block of wood with a hole drilled through it).
    – Graphus
    Commented May 26, 2019 at 16:45
  • If you go ahead and do this using your router by purchasing a suitable bit for the depth required, be aware this may be safest to do with the router on top, i.e. not on the router table. But there are guides to doing this type of milling operation on the router table which you should look at carefully before you attempt it. Might also be an idea to run one/some test pieces beforehand, rather than the first attempt being on your final workpiece.
    – Graphus
    Commented May 26, 2019 at 16:52

1 Answer 1


The depth that a router can cut depends on the router as well as the bit. Look for a long router bit and you should be able to cut to the depth you need. You don't need a large bit - use a small (3/8 or 1/2" diameter) bit and multiple passes to cut the groove.

  • 3
    ^^^ this, with double emphasis on taking multiple light passes. (And parenthetically, you might want to get accustomed to spending a small fortune on router bits...) Commented May 26, 2019 at 19:50
  • 1
    Also worth noting that it is well worth removing the bulk of the wood with a drill bit and a chisel, and then using router to finish off the groove. Commented May 27, 2019 at 12:39

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