entry #1 line of serving tray projects, from scrap stock

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Blog entry by hobby1 posted 06-09-2013 01:38 AM 1443 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m in between waiting for commision work projects, from a few clients, so in the meanwhile, I’m looking for ideas to keep some kind of income coming, even if it is only a few dollars or so, therefore I gathered a bunch more 7/8” x 7/8” walnut cutoff sticks, and resawed them down to a nominal 3/4” square stock, so that all my design work is built around this size, which is the common size for boards, sold in local box stores.

With these sticks, as well as some scrap pine and popular 1”x4” leftover scrap, I set out to start a line of “serving trays”

Here is the first one I came up with, just to see how doweling and resawing and just plain old joinery and glueups work, for this kind of project constructions.

The planks in the tray still need to be stained a dark color, then I will glue and if needed use wire brads to hold them in place, the walnut stock I will probably keep natural, and just polyurethane everything for the finishing.

Here is the scrap I found, already been resawed to final 3/4” square.

the frame final assembled doweled and glued:

3/4” pine board 3-1/2” wide resawed around 3/16” thick on my table saw, then split apart, and handplaned the rough middle spline left from the splitting process, and a final finish sanding of 220 grit, with R.O.S..both sides.

the initial layout

the placements

and the dryfitting of the planks.

Next I’ll stain the planks and glue them in, then put a finish on this project.

I have several ideas, on making these trays, I think the next one I build is going to be a octogon shape, with 4 handles 2 sets adjacent to eachother, and maybe round cutouts in each octogon side for drink cans, I have a lot of ideas running around, but here is whats nice about this venture, since all is scrap material, then I could sell these at farmers markets, ect…, for a ridiculously reasonable price for the buyer, yet all the money made goes to me for my labor, and nothing lost to material costs.

AND, these are quick and easy to build, so I can make varieties of these, which lessens the scrap bins and increases my wallet at the same time.

As I build new ones, I’ll put them in my collection of blogs, these blogs will be my line of serving trays.

Have fun in the shop.

9 comments so far

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3361 days

#1 posted 06-09-2013 04:05 PM

It looks like you are on top of things. It’s a clever and creative way to use scrap and the tray looks great too. I can imagine that these will sell extremely well.

I’m not planning to make one, but I am curious how you connected the handles to the base, especially since these would have to be strong enough to bear some weight.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View hobby1's profile


335 posts in 2324 days

#2 posted 06-09-2013 05:15 PM

Hi Mike, thanks,

The 2 long rabbeted rails that hold the planks in, have there ends mitered at 45*, and the bottom rail of each handle, attaches to these long rails, using a glue dowel joint.

The “Titebond” glue really holds well, so even with small glue surfaces as this, surprisingly, the joint holds real strong, plus the added strength of the dowel connection.

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3361 days

#3 posted 06-09-2013 06:28 PM

Sounds great. A lot of thin backed chairs are made the same way and they tend to last almost forever. I just used some TBIII today to glue a broken mortise on an outdoor table I made about 10 years ago. I agree, it is a great glue and also waterproof. I have switched to hot hide glue for my indoor projects, it’s even stronger than TBIII believe it or not!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View hobby1's profile


335 posts in 2324 days

#4 posted 06-10-2013 01:03 AM

Borrowing a quote from one of the TV woodworkers, (norm abram or scott philips),

“The modern day glues of today, actually weld the wood together”,

That is a true statement, on a lot of my projects, where strength is not an issue with the joints, I can just put a thin layer on both parts of the joint, push it together, pull it apart, then push it back together again for a final bond, with no clamping, and let it stand for about 10 min. then start sanding away and the joint holds strong.

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3361 days

#5 posted 06-10-2013 08:53 AM

I have used a lot of rub joints myself and they seem bond really well. Here is a test I did with hot hide glue

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Buckethead's profile


3194 posts in 1895 days

#6 posted 06-10-2013 10:21 AM

Love the tray. Dark and light woods look so good together.

Really nice thing to do with scraps. Here’s hoping you do quite well with them at the market!

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View hobby1's profile


335 posts in 2324 days

#7 posted 06-10-2013 12:40 PM

Mike, that’s an amazing strength test, no wonder the shipwrights used that stuff, it does the job above and beyond expectations.

Buckethead, thanks for the nice complement.

View helluvawreck's profile


31393 posts in 2893 days

#8 posted 06-10-2013 12:56 PM

This tray looks very nice and has an unusual design.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View hobby1's profile


335 posts in 2324 days

#9 posted 06-11-2013 10:49 PM

Thankyou, Charles,

If it shows a unusual design, hopefully it will help it be more appealing to the customers.

I have started yesterday, on making an octagon tray, I’m in the process of taking pictures of the build process, I’m going to blog it when I get done with this post.

Have a great day.

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