serving tray #3 cosmos cup holder

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Blog entry by hobby1 posted 06-18-2013 11:26 PM 1779 reads 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Theres a tourist attraction in South Dakota, called the “Cosmos” (mystery spot).
This serving tray I just built I’ll call it the “cosmos cup holder”
The pictures that follow show the build process, after the frame is built and the frst layer of planking has been applied.

A board is placed underneath to hold the cups.

and a quick look at the progress at this point.

In order to use the largest holesaw I have, 2-1/2” to cut the cup holder holes, I needed to reinforce the planking deck, to make sure it all stays together, so I resawed some pine boards, and thickness planed it to as thin as possible, and applied it in the opposite direction of the first layer of planking, but before that, I wanted a continuous membrane over this first layer, to make a solid surface, so I glued on paper as this membrane.

When the paper is glued on, I applied the pine strip planks.

And finally the finish planking strips to give a plywood strength to this deck, so I could holesaw out the cup holes.

kerfed in the last plank

Now the plank deck is strong enough to be holesawed.

And finally the handles were freeformed shaped, and placed on the tray at there respective angles to follow the side piece angles.
The doweling process using my favorite doweling jig, the “dowel centers”.

And applied the finish, which is a “colonial maple stain”

Have fun in the shop…

11 comments so far

View NaFianna's profile


523 posts in 3055 days

#1 posted 06-19-2013 12:12 AM

I think I get it

-- Cad a dheanfaimid feasta gan adhmad.......?

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3363 days

#2 posted 06-19-2013 09:03 AM

Very original and fun project. I wish we could see it with some cups in it to see the full effect.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Toolz's profile


1004 posts in 3771 days

#3 posted 06-19-2013 01:39 PM

Very clever. I like it!

-- Larry "Work like a Captain but Play like a Pirate!"

View hobby1's profile


335 posts in 2326 days

#4 posted 06-19-2013 01:45 PM

Thankyou guys,

Here are some pictures with tall cups in them, the effect would probably be better if I had small cups like styrofoam cups used for picnics, but all I have are these, to take the pictures with.

View SebLolo's profile


65 posts in 2245 days

#5 posted 06-23-2013 10:19 AM

Very nice project, congratulation for the idea and the result !

May you explain how you build the frame and apply the first layer of planking? I would like to make one.



View hobby1's profile


335 posts in 2326 days

#6 posted 06-23-2013 06:12 PM

Hi Seb, thankyou for the complement.

I will try to explain the framework in some detail using the dimensions I worked with for my project.

I started out by cutting 4 pieces 1-3/8” wide, from 3/4” stock, and cut to length, 2 end pieces at 6” and front and back (sides) at 18”.

I layed out the 2 end pieces and the front and back pieces, to form a box.

Layout the box shape in front of you where the 2 (6” length) end pieces are to your left and right.

I’m going to explain the layout of the inclines of these pieces, the pieces may not stay in position when you do this, so later I will explain the method I used to layout the incline, for making layout marks, where the pieces stayed in position.

But first the objective layout of the inclines.

With the box shape in front of you, take the left side of the front piece, and lay it up ontop of the left end piece, that is your first incline, then keep alternating, clockwise, by putting the other end of the left end piece, ontop of the left side of the back piece, then alternate again by putting the other side of the back piece, on top the end of the right end piece, this will then leave the other end of the right end piece to need to be on top of the front piece.

You should then have a alternating pattern at each corner, this will give a incline from right to left, from all 4 sides, whichever is facing you.

Now to keep the pieces in position so you can mark the parts to be notched, for joining purposes, is another thing, maybe the pieces will have enough friction to stay in position, mine kept sliding off eachother, to remedy this, I took the left end piece, and knowing that I’ll be inclining the back side of it, I put a board the rough height of the back piece width, to keep it at the proper height of incline, while I placed the front piece ontop of the other end, to mark for a notch I opted to notch the end pieces only to fit the front and back pieces.

Now once this notch is marked out on the front piece to mate with the left end piece, I cut it out and test fitted it to see how well it fits, however there will bwe some need for tweaking this cut, because even though the end piece has been elevated, on its back side for the front angle, when you remove the temporary height block used to support this end piece, and place the actual back piece into position, remember that the other end of the same back piece will be elevated to mate with the other end piece, so it may change the angle of incline to a small degree, so when test fitteng you will need to do some recutting and sanding of this notch to get it to fit acurately, once it fits acurately, then all the notches can be duplicated on the end pieces, where a notch would be on the top of one end of the (end piece), and the opposite end of the same (end piece), will have the notch on the bottom, and so on with the other (end piece).

When all the notches are cut and fitted, then the assembgly should stay in position without any support, from there, I drilled holes for dowels, and assembled the entire frame structure with one 1/4” dowel at each corner.

When this is done, I dryfitted the planks, these are 1/8” thick pieces of lumber, mine were around a 1-3/4” in width, when assembling them to the top of the frame, I used my dremel to sand the inside edge of the long rails where needed to allow the planks to fitt more flat.

When you lay out the planks youll have a steep slope from the side as you move towerds the middle the planks will reach a somewhat level spot, then the slope will change in the other direction, as you approach the other end of the frame.

In summary, when laying out the frame, place one end of a side piece ontop of one end of an (end piece), to form one corner, then alternate that pattern as you go from corner to corner.

Hope this helps.

If you would like, I could do a video of the procedures, and build another project like this and put it on this same blog.

Please feel free to ask any questions about this, and please let us know how it works out for you when you build one.

Thanks again

have fun in the shop…

View SebLolo's profile


65 posts in 2245 days

#7 posted 06-23-2013 07:14 PM

Thx hobby1 for all this explanation!
I think I’ve understand everything, but if you have time to make a video this will be mostly explicit for me.

Thx again for your answer and your explanations, and have fun in the shop too!


View hobby1's profile


335 posts in 2326 days

#8 posted 06-24-2013 08:27 PM

Hi Seb,

My video camera isn’t working properly, but from your reply, it sounds like you have a good understanding, of the process, to get the frame to have the inclines,

here are some closeup pics, of the notches, in one of the end pieces.

this shows the notch on the bottom of one of the end pieces,

on the other end of this same piece the notch is on the top, as shown here.
I had to clear the side of the notch on the inside, because the front piece slopes down and needs to have that extra material taken out to fit snugly in the notch.

This is the incline it produces.

Any questions, please feel free to ask.

View SebLolo's profile


65 posts in 2245 days

#9 posted 06-25-2013 05:11 AM

Hi hobby1, and thx again.

Everything is ok for me, if necessary I’ll adapt myself.

I’ll do one as soon as possible, when I’ll have time.

Have a good day!


View hobby1's profile


335 posts in 2326 days

#10 posted 06-25-2013 10:31 AM

Your welcome Seb,

I sometimes don’t visit any forums for weeks on end, and I would never know when you built one.

So, when you do build one, (and you post it in the forum) please let me know, by posting a quick reply in “this” blog thread, because any replies to my blogs, I am able to get notified in my e-mail and I can check in to see the replies.

looking forward to your progress in this.

Have a good day.

View SebLolo's profile


65 posts in 2245 days

#11 posted 06-25-2013 11:51 AM

Ok, I’ll do that!

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