I wanted to make a pair of serving trays for my wife, although knowing her, she’ll want to give them away because she’s generous and loves to show off my work (often to my utter dismay, a lot of my work is highly flawed). I went for a very simple design. 4 Sides, 2 handles, and a bottom floating panel of veneered plywood. I figured I could handle the 4 dovetails per tray without too much error.
I went for the sides first. I had some shorts of Padauk from Highland Hardwoods that I bought on a whim, and after a after some stock prep, I gave myself some delicate 5/8th thick material for the sides, nice and square.
While preparing the stock, I created some hardboard templates so that I can put curves into the work, and to make the manufacture of more trays (after she gives these away) much easier.
A forstner bit started the ends of the holes in the hardboard for the handles.
A rough cut and a cleanup on the router table finished the handle holes.
I laid out the slope on the tray handle ends, roughed it on the bandsaw, and smoothed it with rasp and sandpaper.
After resawing all the side stock, I knew I’d have to leave the shop for a few days, so I stickered the small stack and let my holddown keep it straight. It worked well.
Next week, joinery time!