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A polyethylene cutting board won't dull your knives and will float if dropped overboard.. Dan Saelinger

There’s nothing terribly wrong with standard, store-bought wooden fillet boards-but there’s nothing special about them, either. They’re not quite large enough for serious duty, and they tend to turn moldy and nasty fast. Sleek and colorful, this easy-to-make board works better-and looks better-than anything you can buy at the mall.

The board is sized to fit across either a big sink or a smaller trash can, with a half-moon cutout that allows you to scrape heads, skins, and entrails into the container below. Knife slots keep sharp, slime-covered blades from skidding around countertops, and scored channels are easy to clean, help grip fish, and drain slime, scales, and blood toward the cutout.

What You Need:
Band saw
Router and bits
Cutting board ($22)
Fillet Clamp ($7)
Cost: $29
Time: 1 Hour

Step 1: shape With a band saw, cut a half-moon from one long edge of an 18x24x1/2-inch polyethylene cutting board ( Round the edges with a router fitted with a 1/4-inch radius bit.

Step 2: slots To cut knife slots, you’ll need guide rails (the router must be pressed against a firm edge). Mark a 2 1/2-inch line at the desired slot location. Clamp two short lengths of 1×2 for guides, then cut with the router using a 1/2-inch straight blade set for a complete cut.

Step 3: Grooves Use a roundnose 1/8-inch bit set for a 1/8-inch cut to score 20 channels 1/2 inch apart. Begin 2 inches from the edge opposite the half moon and run all the way to the cutout.

Step 4: Clamp Attach the fillet clamp ( with the screws provided.