Oval Tray Jig

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Project by shipwright posted 11-23-2012 11:04 PM 7373 views 25 times favorited 38 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made an oval tray a while back and lots of people liked it, myself included. I am now planning to make several more and needed to come up with a better way to deal with the installation of a floating bottom in an oval frame.

This simple jig, based on one of those HF trim routers I like so much, works perfectly and only took a couple of hours to design / build. You can still adjust the depth of cut and the height above base is somewhat adjustable. For my purposes I wanted 3/4” deep tray walls so it is set for that. My tray bases will be 1/4” material, veneered on both sides so it will take one cut as-is and one cut with a 1/16” shim. It has a web on the bottom to clamp in any vice.

The curved piece on the face of the router is attached with double sided tape but I may buy another trim router to dedicate to this (~$18 this week) and epoxy it on if I really like the jig.

Nothing special or new here I suspect, maybe just a cheap solution to a tricky problem.

Thanks for looking



When I first made this jig I was envisioning sharp corners inside the tray. Each side would be done separately so I didn’t have to get into the corners. However I design as I go and came up with a way to use radius corners which led to this modification.

The router base assembly is too wide for this application so it is removed and the guide becomes merely a “pin”. Without the thick curved piece on the base, this one doesn’t need to be extended as far as it is but rather than rebuild the jig, I used it as-is and it was fine. If I did it again I would make the clamp closer and the extended part of the bit shorter. Beyond that the photos speak for themselves.

You’ll have to wait to see the bottoms that are going in these trays. What you do see is a 1/8” template that will be used to cut the bottom panels.

Thanks for looking again


-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

38 comments so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3605 days

#1 posted 11-23-2012 11:09 PM

hot diggity dog, at least i know your not golfing your brains out, great jig paul…nice to see your busy in arizona…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View a1Jim's profile


117534 posts in 3879 days

#2 posted 11-23-2012 11:10 PM

That is way cool Paul ,great innovative thinking.

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2490 days

#3 posted 11-23-2012 11:16 PM

Hmm. Thinking inside the box. Good idea, even if they keep telling us to do the opposite !

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

View Sodabowski's profile


2388 posts in 3134 days

#4 posted 11-23-2012 11:29 PM

Definitely a clever solution to an otherwise tricky problem!

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

View Boxguy's profile


2789 posts in 2569 days

#5 posted 11-23-2012 11:34 PM

Paul, great design on the jig. However, I think you have erred in the link to your projects page. When I clicked on “oval tray” I got your storage unit project instead. Your great tray is just below it. You may want to edit the post to correct this. It is difficult to follow how the jig works without the finished product in mind. I do like the jig. Thanks for sharing it with us.

-- Big Al in IN

View shipwright's profile


8251 posts in 3099 days

#6 posted 11-23-2012 11:48 PM

Oops!.... all fixed.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View LittlePaw's profile


1571 posts in 3380 days

#7 posted 11-24-2012 12:10 AM

That’s thinking outside the box – errrr – bowl, I mean. Kool. as usual, Paul!

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View Druid's profile


2007 posts in 3097 days

#8 posted 11-24-2012 12:11 AM

Great solution to an interesting problem. You should be able to market this one.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View sedcokid's profile


2735 posts in 3900 days

#9 posted 11-24-2012 12:26 AM

Paul, great jig here….. I love to see the jigs LJ’s use!

Thanks for sharing

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View Roger's profile


20980 posts in 3106 days

#10 posted 11-24-2012 01:16 AM

Looks very interesting Paul.

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

View SPalm's profile


5332 posts in 4184 days

#11 posted 11-24-2012 01:40 AM

Looks good Paul.
Even your jigs got class.

And Man, I gotta check out HF and that router.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10490 posts in 4354 days

#12 posted 11-24-2012 01:47 AM

Looks good… NICE tray… really very COOL…
... will be interesting to see how it works on your next batch of trays…

Thank you.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

22149 posts in 3407 days

#13 posted 11-24-2012 01:51 AM

Neat one. Paul…great idea!

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

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

715 posts in 4131 days

#14 posted 11-24-2012 01:55 AM

Thanks Paul…I suspect I will be needing one of these soon. I already have the router per your recomendation…this will be a good use!

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3320 posts in 4014 days

#15 posted 11-24-2012 03:27 AM


You never cease to amaze us with your unending creativity in problem-solving. Thanks for another great idea!


P.S. I’ve had the HF trim router for several years now (mine’s orange) but can’t say that I like it. The clear plastic base is so flimsy on mine that I have a hard time getting it tight enough to hold the depth of cut. Is yours newer and maybe improved?

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

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