First serving tray

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Project by DaleMaley posted 12-17-2020 04:16 PM 753 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I saw this Squirrel pattern in a woodworking catalog and I liked the contrasting colors of walnut and maple, so I bought the kit.

Now I usually don’t read the Instructions on anything, unless I get stuck and run into problems. There were no instructions available on how to make this squirrel serving tray. I ended up spending more time learning how to make this item, than actually making the pieces !! I tried calling the company, but they had 1 guy sick and the other guy was too swamped to answer all the phone calls.

The first challenge I had was that the 1/4” thick plastic pattern comes in 1 piece. If you want to use 2 contrasting woods, then you must scroll saw the pattern into 2 pieces.

The 2nd challenge was leaving a lip of wood at the top of the inside of the pattern. Turns out there is a gap between the guide bearing and the cutter on the round nosed router bit, which leaves the lip. I ended up removing the lip with a 1/2” drum sander on my Dremel on the squirrel body. On the tail of the squirrel, I scroll sawed out the inside of the top layer, used a flush trim bit to make the inside flush to the pattern, then glued the top level to the bottom level.

I forgot that hard maple likes to tear out chunks if you leave too much stock for the flush trim router bit, and I ripped out a chunk. On future projects, I need to minimize the amount of excess stock before I use the flush trim router bit.

If I make more of these as gifts, it should go a lot quicker now that I sort of know what I am doing :)

For more info about this project, see my woodworking web site using this link.


-- Dale, Illinois,

3 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26784 posts in 4347 days

#1 posted 12-17-2020 04:46 PM

Very cool tray!

Cheers, Jim

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

View DaleMaley's profile


587 posts in 3478 days

#2 posted 12-18-2020 02:58 PM

Very cool tray!

Cheers, Jim

- Jim Jakosh

Thanks !

I have had several people say they would prefer to hang in on the wall versus using it as a serving tray :)

-- Dale, Illinois,

View splintergroup's profile


5855 posts in 2464 days

#3 posted 12-18-2020 03:07 PM

Appropriate place to store the Christmas chestnuts! Love the look Dale, perfect for the table or the wall!

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