Routed Out Serving Tray

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Blog entry by ~Julie~ posted 11-26-2012 03:25 PM 3507 reads 21 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I decided to use some of my wood stock to make some trays. I started with a piece of wood that I needed help identifying and had help from fellow lumberjocks to do that. It turned out it was birch which I planed down and cut to the size of 25” long x 7 1/2” wide x 13/16” thick:

For 3” at each end, on the underside of the piece, I routed out a depth of 5/16” using a bowl bit:

(This was cleaned up afterwards with a sander.)

Here you can see the profile of the tray from the side:

I then drew out a rectangle 17 1/4” x 6 1/2” that I would route out inside the tray on the top side:

I proceeded to route out 3/8” deep

Once it was routed out I sanded, sanded and sanded some more:

I coated the whole board with mineral oil, let that soak in and then coated it again:

Hope you like it!

-- ~Julie~

15 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29576 posts in 2394 days

#1 posted 11-26-2012 03:33 PM

Nice job cutting and routing. Nice clean work. Good tutorial.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3359 days

#2 posted 11-26-2012 03:54 PM

i really like this Julie, good job on the routing, did you free hand it or use a guide for the sides and ends, to me its very contemporary and it would look very nice on anyone’s table, i might do one like this except with walnut.thanks

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

View ~Julie~'s profile


607 posts in 3090 days

#3 posted 11-26-2012 04:30 PM

Grizz – I learned a lesson making this, which would be to have the wood piece larger than the final piece and to screw a template onto the wood. I clamped border pieces around the “rectangle” for the router bit to ride against, and, because I kept running into the clamps, had to keep changing the placement of them. This did not give me a perfectly smooth edge, I had to keep going back to clean up the side lines.

-- ~Julie~

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 3491 days

#4 posted 11-26-2012 04:34 PM

That turned out really good Julie, I like the clean lines and grain, it’s very functional and something I may like to try to make. Well done.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View LelandStone's profile


90 posts in 2569 days

#5 posted 11-26-2012 06:55 PM

Julie, I like the clean lines and clear functionality of this piece. The wood grain is really highlighted and thanks for offering this bit of inspiration and help. :)


-- Leland, OC California

View prattman's profile


445 posts in 2174 days

#6 posted 11-26-2012 07:04 PM

I really like this, you have inspired me to try something like this. thank you for posting this Julie

-- Everyone calls me Ed or Eddie , mom still calls me Edward if she is mad at me.

View degoose's profile


7237 posts in 3411 days

#7 posted 11-26-2012 07:22 PM

I dreamt of making a routed tray last night…....I am going to make the template in acrylic on my laser and use a bowl bit with bearing… how bizarre that you post this now… and btw … nice job…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View ~Julie~'s profile


607 posts in 3090 days

#8 posted 11-26-2012 09:39 PM

Larry, perhaps I sent brainwaves across the globe? Yes, do make a template, it will make things much easier and neater. Be sure to post your creation!

-- ~Julie~

View Douglas's profile


424 posts in 2616 days

#9 posted 11-26-2012 10:17 PM

very nice. I want to start making some router bowls and such myself—thanks for the inspiration. I just need a bowl bit.

-- Douglas in Chicago -

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 3970 days

#10 posted 11-26-2012 10:38 PM

Nice work Julie. You made an excellent choice on how to use this pretty piece of BIRCH.
It’s a wonderfully simply looking design, though we all know that it takes work and effort to make it look simple.

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View Grumpymike's profile


2272 posts in 2371 days

#11 posted 11-26-2012 10:53 PM

What a wonderful little tray! I’ll bet that hundreds of copies are under alot of Christmas trees this year.
I started my template this afternoon.
Thanks for your post Julie, you have inspired many … and me.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View EWJSMITH's profile


156 posts in 3882 days

#12 posted 11-27-2012 01:56 AM

beautiful tray indeed. I too will be borrowing the design. I may combine what you have done with the small dish holders I did to make a larger serving tray with the dishes on the side.

i don’t have a bowl bit for my router. can the same be accomplished with a corebox bit? with regards to finish, i know mineral oil is the usually the standard for trays, bowls, boards, etc…. how does that hold up to stains? the small bowls i would incorporate would hold condiments and my concern would be the tray being stained up. my dish holders were finished with shellac but there isn’t any food contact with these as they just hold the dishes and the spoons.


View harry1's profile


525 posts in 2341 days

#13 posted 11-27-2012 03:50 AM

A truly amazing job Julie and the method used was fine for a one off even though heaps of sanding was required. All it takes to produce multiple identical ones with minimal sanding is two very simple templates, similar to the ones shown in my thread on making a marble solitaire game.

-- Harry, Western Australia

View hjt's profile (online now)


881 posts in 3194 days

#14 posted 11-27-2012 12:36 PM

Ditto!!! Julie you do beautiful work, be it rough or fine, you are very talented! Are you planning to make a bunch to sell? If so, what means might you sell thel – art/fair settings? Consignments? Wholesale???

-- Harold

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4133 days

#15 posted 11-27-2012 04:28 PM

very nice…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

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