Trying to model router grooves

Greetings. Complete newb here, trying to learn how to use Sketchup as part of my woodworking workflow. I’m currently trying to create a model of a cutting board, which I think should be simple enough but is giving me a headache. What I’m hung up on is reproducing the “juice groove” around the perimeter of the board. In real life, I use a 1/2" diameter rounded router bit to carve out the groove, and for the life of me I can’t figure out how to model this in SketchUp. I thought at first to create a 1/2" diameter cylinder of the required length, topped on each end with a half-inch hemisphere, which I could then group together as a single object, place into the edges of the board and then remove using the trim or subtract solids tools to leave the groove. But I can’t figure out how to get the cylinder and hemisphere to “bond” together as a single solid object. Now I’m on Plan B, which is to place and trim (or subtract) a 1/2" solid cylinder along the edges, up to the corners (which need to be rounded as a router bit would do), and then to insert and trim (or subtract) a 1/2" diameter solid sphere into each corner. But when I place and then trim or subtract the sphere, nothing happens; the remaining material in the corner where the sphere was placed is not removed. I’m pulling my hair out here; this should be a simple thing, right?? Help! See below pic for an idea of what I’m looking at…

Follow Me would be a good way to go to start with. Draw the profile of the router bit in place on the cutting board. Then use the perimeter of the board as the path to follow.

Here I’ve hidden the bottom face of the board and drawn a half circle for the profile of, say, a corebox bit. would run. Select the top face of the board, get the Follow Me tool, click on the semicircle profile face and done. Ignore the warning.

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Do you mean like a rolled bead in sheet metal? A smoothly rounded groove or notch?

If so, you can create it with the Follow Me tool.

Dave, thank you! This is precisely what I needed to do!

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Thanks, Saul; that’s not exactly what I was looking for, but yes, as it turns out, the follow me tool was the answer. Thanks for taking the time to help!

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You’re quite welcome. When I first started working with the Follow Me tool I found it useful to think of it like a router in many cases. Model the profile of the cutter and sweep it around the path. In that way it is subtractive. This table top was done that way, for example.

Follow Me can also be additive so for things like turnings you’d do on the lathe, draw the cross section profile and and use Follow Me with a circular path. The column on this table was done that way. The piecrust edge on the table top was also done with Follow Me as an additive thing.

Another way to approach these things is to model the volume of space the cutter would pass through and then subtract that from the object using either the native Solid Tools, Eneroth Solid Tools, or Bool Tools 2. The stopped chamfers onthe stretchers for this hayrake table were done that way.


Very impressive…both the furniture and the modeling!