Tray (a success!)

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Project by KnickKnack posted 12-13-2008 08:05 PM 2626 views 8 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

We’re spending Christmas with a group of friends, and the rule for presents is “one for a boy, one for a girl, not more than 5 euros” (at today’s exchange rate that’s 6 dollars and 69 cents). Presents will be picked at random. The “Stool, failure” I posted previously was also for this.
Thought I’d make a tray – the wife won’t let me make one for us, since we’ve already got several (like that’s relevant?).
So many things went wrong making this I was reminded of the (almost) Elizabeth Barrett Browning poem, “How have I screwed this up? Let me count the ways.”
And then it all started coming together – the box joints had a little tear out, but not too much, and they fitted (except the one that wasn’t quite straight). The base fitted into the slot I’d cut, except for one of them where some “persuasion” was necessary. At glue time it still fitted, and it was square, and the sides were vertical – I kept checking since that obviously couldn’t be right, but it was.
The 2 mahogany (found at a dump and therefore free, as was the base) “teeth” on each corner are a nice design touch made to hide the fact that I’d very cleverly (not) cut the slots the full length of the plank so I had holes at the joints. It was supposed to be a bit bigger, but I’d divided by 2 wrongly cutting the planks in two.
To date I’ve been happy with some of my designs, but never their implementation, and, whilst this is far far far from perfect when you look up close, I’m quite pleased with both the design and the implementation.
Riga pine and canadian red cedar stained whatever that “scraps from the floor and glued up into a panel like chipboard” stuff is called. Oil and varnish.
The wife’s comment – “It’s kinda heavy”.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

13 comments so far

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2659 posts in 4133 days

#1 posted 12-13-2008 08:58 PM

Very interesting use things at hand and clever, yes clever, chip board effect! Good job!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View MickeyD's profile


130 posts in 4133 days

#2 posted 12-13-2008 09:12 PM

I have been getting ready to make a tray, also with wood on hand. I have redwood to work with. I hope I manage all the mistakes I will probably make as well as you did.

-- -Willing to try

View Kerux's profile


812 posts in 4490 days

#3 posted 12-13-2008 10:36 PM

I agree very clever. I’d like to see you try that and dye the woods different colors.


View lightweightladylefty's profile


3471 posts in 4319 days

#4 posted 12-14-2008 05:43 AM

You might have kept your cost below 5 euros, but this tray would cost many times that much! I hope the recipient appreciates all the fine work!

Certainly a nice use of scrap. Here we call the chip board OSB (oriented strand board).

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View woodworm's profile


14476 posts in 4197 days

#5 posted 12-14-2008 03:52 PM

Yes! It’s a success.
Very beautiful tray and very prudent use of scraps.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Tomcat1066's profile


942 posts in 4402 days

#6 posted 12-14-2008 04:04 PM

Very nice tray! No project goes together perfectly, it’s how we manage the mistakes that matters.

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View MSRiverdog's profile


93 posts in 4342 days

#7 posted 12-15-2008 06:41 AM

I did a table a few year’s ago that was a mistake from the first cut to the last, I know your pain. Looks cool anyway.


View Stephen Fox's profile

Stephen Fox

110 posts in 4000 days

#8 posted 03-22-2009 04:01 PM

Sometime a mistake is fate stepping in to make our projects better, other times it is just expensive firewood. Nice tray.

-- Stephen NYS

View torge's profile


5 posts in 3972 days

#9 posted 03-25-2009 08:50 AM

looks nice, but try making one with ceder for the bottom

View falegniam's profile


335 posts in 3559 days

#10 posted 08-14-2010 04:51 AM

LOL like that’s relevant.

-- If you work you eat - If you don't work, you eat, drink, and sleep.

View nutmegger13's profile


19 posts in 870 days

#11 posted 10-11-2017 02:28 PM

Nice tray, I am making something similar. May I ask how you managed to cut out the hand holes?

-- nutmegger13, Connecticut

View KnickKnack's profile


1098 posts in 4173 days

#12 posted 10-11-2017 03:29 PM

Nice tray, I am making something similar. May I ask how you managed to cut out the hand holes?
- nutmegger13

I believe I first made the thing I wanted out of fairly thin MDF. Then “rough cut” the hole in the final wood. I attached the MDF template to the final wood in the areas at the top that would later be removed for the rounded shape – since it was going to be removed, I just screwed it. Then finished out the handle cut using a flush-trim bit against the template. Final roundover with a roundover bit.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3757 posts in 3715 days

#13 posted 10-12-2017 11:50 PM

I like it! Did you put enough finish on the base to give it some character? If that makes sense. I’ve seen particle board cabinets finished with a clear oil base finish, and the speckled character was pretty cool.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

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