Christmas Gifts #5: 2018: Oak & Laminate TV Trays

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Blog entry by HandyHousewife posted 01-25-2019 07:34 PM 699 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Picture frames are harder than I thought... Part 5 of Christmas Gifts series no next part

So the other project that we attempted at the last possible second for a Christmas gift was a pair of TV trays for my sister in law and her husband. Every year for my husband’s family we do a drawing for Christmas gifts using this online service called DrawNames and you can create a wish list or at least add your interests (nice for the new additions to the family!), and my son drew his uncle S. The gifts are usually supposed to be around $25 or less, and Uncle S requested TV trays.

Now, I’m not sure if you’ve seen the sad little things they call TV trays at the local big box store, but they aren’t very nice, and they are more than the allotted $25 for a pair…but this couple had also just purchased their very first home, so we figured it was OK to go ahead and spend extra and call it a housewarming gift too.

We had the plywood as scrap, but the we needed to purchase the dowels and 1×2s. Fortunately, the local lumberyard we actually like (as opposed to the overpriced one that carried the purple heart) carried everything we needed, they even had some scrap laminate that we used for the top—usually that’s special order only, but they had some in the shop from an old project and they gave it to us.

We followed the directions from this YouTube video/blog post, which, while he said it wasn’t a tutorial, it was thorough enough to muddle our way through to get a pretty end result. And yes, our 12 year old son did do a fair amount of helping. He was in charge of helping with the dust collection when I was rounding over the ends, he did some routing to round over edges, he did a lot of sanding, helped stain, and even did some of the assembly. /proud mama moment ;-)

This was our first project using a doweling jig. I bought a cheap one from Menard’s, and it was OK, but I don’t have anything to compare it to. Probably more accurate than what I would have done trying to eyeball it myself, but it was harder than expected trying to hold that thing tight against the wood, and we had two pairs of hands doing the job—not sure how one person would do it and hold the jig snugly.

I wish I could have figured out a way to use the router template to make those round ends all in one pass. I started to try and the router jerked the board nearly out of my hands and chipped the heck out of the ends—I’m probably lucky that’s all it did. I didn’t keep trying. Instead I used the blue tape and super glue method and flipped it over doing half of the round at a time. It was so.incredibly.tedious, but it got the job done safely, eventually.

I suppose I should share some pictures with you, eh? ;-)

-- Striving for function *and* form, but settling quite happily for function. ;-)

1 comment so far

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#1 posted 01-26-2019 06:41 AM

It looks like the trays came out very nice and should serve them well for years to come. It’s great that you got your son involved, too. Thanks for sharing.


-- Voltaire: “Those Who Can Make You Believe Absurdities, Can Make You Commit Atrocities” There are 112 genders (not including male and female)

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