Incra Double Dovetail Project #5: The Tray Bottom

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Blog entry by SPHinTampa posted 10-16-2011 10:11 PM 3418 reads 2 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Cutting the Pins Part 5 of Incra Double Dovetail Project series Part 6: Putting it together »

In my last post, I finished cutting the double dovetails … sorry for the passive aggressive parting line. It was late and I was tired.

Now I will put the finishing details on the tray.

The only 1/4” plywood that I have in the shop is a piece 13”x72”. My tray is 14 1/4” wide. So this is an opportunity to create a composite panel as a tray bottom. It will look like this:

First I cut the center panel on the table saw.

Then I cut the outer border strips

I then remove my excalibur splitter so I can use the thin ripping set up on my GRR Ripers. I have another zero clearance insert with the MJ Splitter in it that I use with the GRR Riper because its short height will allow the GRR Riper to pass over. I dont use the small splitter all the time because it does not have anti kick back pawls.

For those of you that don’t have a GRR Riper system, they are just an expensive pushblock that lets you keep great pressure downward and towards the fence while keeping your hand safe. And they will never wreck a saw blade (sorry, mini sawstop rant).

I use this set up to cut 1/4” by 1/4” trim pieces.

Lower the blade and take second pass.

Time to glue the trim strips to the border strips.

I use tape to clamp them on

Then I cut 45 deg on the RAS. I find it helpful to attach a sacrificial fence to the table top:

Cut the ends to size

Check with a square:

True up with a block plane

I then temporarily clamp the long sides in place. With the long sides in place, I can play with the end pieces to much sure everything is square. Then I glue the long side in place.

With long side in place and clamped and I glue the short sides and put them in place. Once they are clamped, I can check for square and the loosen and re tighten clamps as needed to adjust the final assembly to square. If you over tighten, you will bow the assembly (which is ++ bad). Just bring it together enough to get a fine, even line of glue squeeze out.

Although I wipe away the initial squeeze out on the top, the assembly can not be lift so I will need scrape the glue squeeze out off the bottom to get my final panel. I then cycle through sand paper 120, 150, 180 to get the final surface. I don’t start at 80, 100 because they are a little too aggressive for the plywood.

Next blog entry …. cutting the panel grooves and finger slots.

Thank you for reading.

-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn

4 comments so far

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 4400 days

#1 posted 10-17-2011 02:05 AM

Super series Shawn, I saved the set as my favorites.
Especially many thanks for making this very informative series, which must have taken you time to plan and execute. Bravo

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 4752 days

#2 posted 10-24-2011 03:06 PM

I am going to have to try this one. Thanks.

View AugieCoe's profile


44 posts in 3655 days

#3 posted 09-02-2012 02:41 AM

First off, thank you for a great blog. I just bought my incra system and will be attempting double dovetails over my vacation this week. Second, what is that wood in the background with so much figure? Love it. Thanks again!!

-- There is a lesson in every project. Play safe!

View SPHinTampa's profile


567 posts in 4650 days

#4 posted 09-03-2012 03:39 PM

Thank you for the kind comments. The figured wood is rotary cut bubinga. That piece is the start of a sofa table that you can see on another blog entry – click on this link- if you want to see how it finishes.

-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn

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