Carrying Tray

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Project by Jim Jakosh posted 09-01-2020 01:29 PM 1153 views 2 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this tray mainly for carrying jars of anything down to the freezer. It gave me a chance to try a bent wood project. I don’t have a steamer so a piece of PVC with cap on the end and filled with boiling water did the trick.

The tray is made from 3/8” Baltic Birch with the inlay of walnut and maple. I added the curved in sections on the ends for finger clearance for the handles.

it is 1” x 12 1/2” x 17” and finished with satin poly.

I added so process shots below.

Cheers, Jim
Designing the curve:

clamping the wet pieces to hold shape

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

24 comments so far

View doubleDD's profile


10805 posts in 3333 days

#1 posted 09-01-2020 02:17 PM

Very nice job on it Jim. Kiefer once said to add some fabric softener to the hot water, it helps. I have a big steamer I use . It gets so hot I can not get near the wood without some good gloves.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View lew's profile


13442 posts in 5045 days

#2 posted 09-01-2020 02:29 PM


I tried to make a steamer out of PVC. Epic fail. Who knew PVC got soft when hot!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Madmark2's profile


3171 posts in 1878 days

#3 posted 09-01-2020 02:37 PM

Very pretty.

Lew: You used cold line. You have to use hot water rated!

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View recycle1943's profile


5980 posts in 2912 days

#4 posted 09-01-2020 02:49 PM

nice tray Jim, I never tried bending wood but I have bent resin for the same effect

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View luv2learn's profile


3147 posts in 3593 days

#5 posted 09-01-2020 03:00 PM

nicely done Jim. I have thought about making a steamer from time to time.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View Ivan's profile


17063 posts in 4157 days

#6 posted 09-01-2020 03:21 PM

WOW! So elegant design! Realy beautiful!!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View RRog's profile


11 posts in 462 days

#7 posted 09-01-2020 03:21 PM

Nice job that looks great Jim.

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4549 posts in 3851 days

#8 posted 09-01-2020 03:42 PM

Nice job Jim!!

Hmmmm I seen that pretty cure somewhere but will not say. lol

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View John's profile


2110 posts in 2560 days

#9 posted 09-01-2020 03:42 PM

The glue lines look perfect Jim, and I like the handles, gorgeous tray!

-- John, Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.

View pottz's profile (online now)


21389 posts in 2274 days

#10 posted 09-01-2020 03:52 PM

nice tray jim ive done bent lamination but never tried steam bending.looks good.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1576 posts in 2582 days

#11 posted 09-01-2020 06:01 PM

Great job.

What type of PVC did you use?

-- James E McIntyre

View splintergroup's profile


6051 posts in 2512 days

#12 posted 09-01-2020 06:22 PM

Smooth and stylish Jim!

How thick are your inlays?

When I made some curvy inlay cutting boards with walnut and maple the strips were 1/8” thick and I could bend them with only clamp pressure on the two halves. Thicker could be useful but I’m thinking I’d need to steam.

If I was toting a tray full of jars down some stairs to the freezer (and couldn’t see my feet), I’d still be down there 8^)

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27012 posts in 4395 days

#13 posted 09-01-2020 07:11 PM

Thanks you all. I’m glad you like it. I was pleased with the way it turned out.

Hi James. I used schedule 40 1 1/2” PVC…..filled it up twice with boiling water and it was very flexible the second time. The short pieces were also in boiling water before bending. The guys in our shop is Arizona bake a big steamer out of 8” PVC and it works great., Gib bent 3/4” oak with it for some old wagon wheels.

HI Bruce. I used a 3/8” router bit for the groove and three 1/8’ x 3/8” strips for the inlay. I put them in the curve cold and felt they might crack but it is better to have them close to shape when gluing any how. That way they are not under tension when the glue sets up.

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View corelz125's profile


3899 posts in 2266 days

#14 posted 09-01-2020 11:17 PM

Nice smooth clean looking board Jim

View therealSteveN's profile


9267 posts in 1864 days

#15 posted 09-02-2020 02:38 AM

Jim, Nice tray.

Bending wood can be fun, or a Royal PIA, depends on species, and thickness. In general having a heat source you can somewhat control, but more importantly maintain is a step you may need to investigate.


Cold-bend hardwood is something different.

Thin enough you can just insert, and slam it closed, let the glue take over. Keep it in clamps a bit longer than a normal glue up, usually overnight is good, let the clamps off, and sand and plane to match thicknesses. Face grain cutting/Charcuterie boards with a squiggle through them of a contrasting wood thrill, and amaze the masses. Pretty easy work as Bruce describes, to get a huge bang from the buying public.

-- Think safe, be safe

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