Asian Inspired Picnic Trays

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Project by stinker posted 07-31-2012 07:33 PM 4450 views 8 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a picnic “basket” inspired by 19th Century Chinese meal carriers. My understanding is that each tray would hold a complete meal and each tray was unstacked and served. Long story short a pin that runs through the handle secures the top and subsequently each tray to the the base of the “basket”. Each tray is rabbited on the bottom so the trays interlock. I made a few adaptions including the cup holders (gotta be a little modern..hehe) and a change to the handle setup. All the ones I’ve seen had a handle that extended from the base over the top and connected to the the opposite side of the base. I like the idea of pulling the pin and lifting the lid straight up rather than trying to work it up a bit and then out. The construction is of some very old walnut (40-50 years old) given to me by a gentlemen that lives near by and maple. I will be replacing the wooden pin with a brass rod shortly. The carved the sides using a utility knife lol…I need to invest in some carving tools.

A special thanks to my daughter for taking all the pictures. She’s way better at it than I am.
Thanks for looking.

8 comments so far

View Kookaburra's profile


749 posts in 3308 days

#1 posted 07-31-2012 07:42 PM

Well, those trays certainly deserve the china dishes – even if it is for a picnic! What a lovely way to store and carry these sophisticated trays. I think one could carry the flatware and nappery right inthe trays – although perhaps transport fragile china more securely. Are the boxes set into each other? I can ot think how they would stay in the carrier otherwise. This would make a lovely wedding gift.

And your daughter did take great shots to demonstrate your project.

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View stinker's profile


107 posts in 4043 days

#2 posted 07-31-2012 08:45 PM

The bottom of each tray is inset (rabbited sp.?) so the interlock. My daughter thanks you. She’s really getting into the photography. I guess my wife and I need to invest in a good camera for her. I can already hear the money leaving my wallet.

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3888 days

#3 posted 07-31-2012 09:17 PM

This is really nice set for a family of 4. Nicely done. Good luck in the contest

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 3272 days

#4 posted 08-01-2012 03:36 AM

Good looking and interesting take on a picnic basket !

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View tnwood's profile


274 posts in 4170 days

#5 posted 08-01-2012 03:16 PM

Great job and ingenuity. Although you are fashioning them after Chinese boxes, they are similar to the Japanese bento box and with some interior separators could be used that way also. Really unique idea.

View stinker's profile


107 posts in 4043 days

#6 posted 08-02-2012 02:09 AM

Thanks for all the kind words folks.

View harry1's profile


534 posts in 3369 days

#7 posted 09-03-2012 08:33 AM

Looking through your projects Daniel I would suggest that you alter your profile, you’re under-selling yourself, isn’t there a law against false descriptions!

-- Harry, Western Australia

View stinker's profile


107 posts in 4043 days

#8 posted 09-03-2012 05:24 PM

harry, you’re too kind. If you saw half of what I’ve made you might have a different opinion, lol. But i do appreciate the kind words.

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