Serving Tray Challenge #1: Project Interruptus

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Blog entry by SPalm posted 07-28-2008 03:15 PM 1984 reads 3 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I wanted to enter a serving tray into the 2008 summer contest. I had always wanted to try a ‘stained glass with wood’ kind of technique and thought this would be a good place to try it. Being a Frank Lloyd Wright fan, I thought I would try a take off on one of his windows. But as luck would have it, the motor in my table saw decided to commit suicide. I spent hours taking the motor apart, cleaned the bearings and centrifugal starting switch, but it seems to keep frying starting capacitors. I guess the start winding must be partially fried, as it refuses to start, but instead just lurches and trips the breaker. The good news is after this (and summer vacation), I plan to get a new table saw. Yea! My old 1954 Craftsman has finally served it’s time.

I still like the idea, and thought I would share what I did so far. To maybe be completed at a later date. First, here is a pic of the inspiration from FLW.

I sliced and sanded several species to a thickness to about an eighth of an inch. The gridwork is out of strips of walnut. Other woods are maple, Spanish cedar, purple heart, wenge, and cherry. The concept was to glue all the pieces to a sheet of Baltic birch and thickness sand it smooth. Then cut the female circles with a router into the glue-up and turn the male circle inlays on the lathe faceplate. Glue it again, surface sand again, and add the sides.


Oh well, things happen, and dreams get placed on hold. At least I finally get the excuse to get a new saw.

Good luck to all the other entries,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

11 comments so far

View Kevin's profile


293 posts in 3380 days

#1 posted 07-28-2008 03:33 PM

Steve, I am disappointed in your saw. I wish it could have held out just a little longer. This looks like it will be a great project. I love the different colors of wood.

Good excuse for a new saw though.

-- Kevin, Wichita, Kansas

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 3582 days

#2 posted 07-28-2008 03:35 PM

oh my goodness…
1. stunning
2. very detailed work in this
3. stunning
4. that’s too bad that you can’t enter it in the contest
5. that’s great that you get a new toy.. I mean saw!!

I’m looking forward to seeing the finished project

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View blackcherry's profile


3292 posts in 3245 days

#3 posted 07-28-2008 04:07 PM

This project will remind you of an old friend you can always pick-up where you left off…thanks for posting….Blkcherry

View TedM's profile


2002 posts in 3154 days

#4 posted 07-28-2008 04:51 PM

Sorry to hear about the TS. Looking forward to seeing this when completed. It already looks great!

-- I'm a wood magician... I can turn fine lumber into firewood before your very eyes! - Please visit and sign up for my project updates!

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6819 posts in 3401 days

#5 posted 07-28-2008 05:27 PM

Hi Steve;


It’s reassuring to see other “crazy’s” at work. Like I always say, if it’s not impossible, why bother trying”.

I happy your saw killed it’s damn self. Sometimes we need a push to spoil ourselves.

Your work deserves a new saw!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3410 days

#6 posted 07-28-2008 06:01 PM

Well, there are two sides to every coin. No tray (yet) but it looks like you have a new saw in your future.
What kind of saw do you currently have and what kind are you looking to get?

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View SPalm's profile


5249 posts in 3304 days

#7 posted 07-28-2008 09:02 PM

Hey people,
Thanks for the encouragement.

Gary, my table saw was given to me by my Dad on the day I was born in 1954. He used it until I was ‘of age’. It is a Craftsman 1hp contractor’s type. I have used it a lot and installed a 42 inch Biesemeyer fence quite a few years back. It has been a good saw.

I have the wife unit’s OK to proceed. At this point, I am planning on staying in the 110 volt arena(?), so that limits the choices a bit. I guess my choice today is a Steel City 35670. 1-3/4 hp (steel top, no riving knife). Seems like a good middle of the road saw. I am giving my self a couple of weeks to think about it. This is worse than trying to decide which car to buy.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3410 days

#8 posted 07-28-2008 09:14 PM

The Steel City looks like a good saw. Left tilt, 13/16 length arbor for full size dados, dust port, nice cast iron wings and a good power switch you can shut off with your leg. I have the same switch on my Bandsaw and it’s a good one. I don’t think you can go wrong.

My father had a Craftsman table saw with a jointer built into one side.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Karson's profile


35032 posts in 3822 days

#9 posted 07-29-2008 05:29 AM

Steve: Great design. But, I’d push for a 220 saw. Many of them can be hooked up as 110 and when you get the 220 feed go to it.

Lots more power.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3410 days

#10 posted 07-29-2008 06:31 AM

Karson – That saw can go either 110 or 220. Not a bad deal.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View SawdustWrangler's profile


91 posts in 2820 days

#11 posted 03-19-2009 06:51 AM

Might just be capacitor in old motor. Maybe worth taking to a local electric motor guy to check out. Of course after you get a new one.

-- Chris, South Carolina

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