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Tray Table Tutorial #2: My Brother's Tray Table - measured drawings and instructions for construction

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Blog entry by lightweightladylefty posted 07-04-2011 05:19 AM 2091 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: My Brother's Tray Table - measured drawings and instructions for construction Part 2 of Tray Table Tutorial series no next part

We left off at a point where it would be a good idea to now do a dry-fit of the top to the apron.

Dry-fit the top to the apron. Before going further, now is a good time to dry-fit the slant top to the apron so that you can get the exact location of the dado which stores the metal stand when the desktop is closed.

With the metal stand flat against the back of the top, place the top on the right side of the apron, allowing a 1/2” overhang on front, left, and back. Carefully mark where the metal touches the stand holder to cut the dado so the metal stand will drop into holder.

Remove the top from the apron and cut the dado on the tablesaw or router, being careful not to cut too far and damage the end apron. Note: If the location isn’t absolutely perfect, you can fine tune it when you attach the top with hinges.
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Legs with dowel. I used a 3/8” dowel. You could mortise in a piece about 1/4 – 3/8” thick by 1/2 – 3/4” high—anything to stabilize the legs. See hole location for pivot (below). Drill pivot holes in legs before assembling. Note: You can make the legs longer or shorter depending on the size of the person using the tray table. However, be certain to leave more than 5” from top of leg to cross-piece (dowel, etc.) so it will clear the drawer when closed.
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Close-up of leg pivot detail. I cut a nail into about 3/8” pieces, then drilled an appropriately sized hole in the outside of the top of the legs.
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Leg-to-apron assembly. When glue on leg assembly is thoroughly dry, hammer the pivot pin into the hole of each leg, then slide the leg assembly between the apron and into the appropriate hole. (You will need to carefully squeeze the legs slightly to get the pins to seat.) If the pins do not immediately seat themselves, use a clamp to squeeze them tight. Warning: Do not install the right end of the apron/drawer slide assembly until after the legs are installed.
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Drawer slide. Make two drawer slide assemblies, making certain they are mirror-image to each other. Glue the mitered ends to the dovetailed portion, leaving the dovetail exposed.
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Drawer slide detail. Add a piece to the drawer slide about 3/8” thick as shown. This will stabilize the assembly to the apron. Drill an elongated hole to attach the right tabletop to the apron.
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Drawer slide assembly. Glue edges shown in red and assemble to main apron as shown.
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Overall size of drawer. Double-check the drawer opening measurements to make the drawer fit into opening. You can use glue, brads and glue, or dovetails, depending on the time you wish to invest. You can purchase expensive jewelry box drawer slides, use a sliding dovetail, or just a dado and tongue.
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Drawer bottom. Cut your dadoes for the drawer bottom the appropriate thickness for your piece of plywood (~1/4”).

Finishing. This is the point when I did my finishing. I felt it was easier before having the tops attached. Since the tops are not glued, you don’t have to worry about keeping finish off any parts of the assembly.

Assembling the top to the apron. It is easiest to first line up and install the hinges on the left tabletop. Once the left installation is complete, simply turn the table over, and screw in the two screws to hold the right tabletop in place, making certain that it lines up appropriately with the hinged tabletop. (You might want to slip a dime—or something of similar thickness—on each end of the joint between the two tops so they will not rub when opened and closed.) The elongated holes for the screws will allow for any expansion that may occur.

If you complete a tray table, we’ll enjoy seeing it in the projects section. If you have trouble following the instructions, please let me know so I can clarify them.

L/W

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.



8 comments so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14753 posts in 2333 days


#1 posted 07-04-2011 08:11 AM

Nice work you do in sketch up. Your drawer slide caught my eye. I have thought about making a wooden full extension drawer slide, but haven’t done it yet. Just another one of those million things I’d like to try ;-)) No progress on the list as we have Grand-kids here this weekend. We went to the zoo yesterday, worked in the shop on a “hospital truck” and shot bottle rockets today (alka seltzer powered for 5 & 7 yr olds )

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

568 posts in 2924 days


#2 posted 07-04-2011 03:25 PM

LWLL- you make it look easy, so I will be tempted to try it someday. It is on the ‘list’. Thanks for posting it with such good drawings and the photos of the finished product.

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!" www.woodworks-by-donna.com

View lightweightladylefty's profile

lightweightladylefty

2651 posts in 2370 days


#3 posted 07-04-2011 04:58 PM

T-Max, The dovetail drawer slides work especially well on small, shallow drawers. With my lack of accuracy, I don’t think I’d want to try them on a large drawer. They probably wouldn’t slide too well. I like to use Briwax on them to make them slide easier.

Donna, we all have those “lists” and it seems they keep getting longer—more things get added than get finished! LOL

BTW, Donna, when are you going to post your harp to the projects section? We’re looking forward to it!

L/W

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

568 posts in 2924 days


#4 posted 07-04-2011 05:08 PM

http://lumberjocks.com/DonnaMenke/blog/23913
This was the final entry for the Dragonfly Harp Blog. The only addition to the final photos there are the ebony plugs hiding the screw holes in the front. It is tuned now and it has a big, full sound, so I’m a happy camper.

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!" www.woodworks-by-donna.com

View lightweightladylefty's profile

lightweightladylefty

2651 posts in 2370 days


#5 posted 07-04-2011 05:12 PM

Donna,

You should add the harp to your projects. I think a lot of LJs look at projects when they don’t necessarily have time to read blogs so they may have missed it. Thanks for sharing.

L/W

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12290 posts in 2755 days


#6 posted 07-04-2011 05:20 PM

Any chance of a video or audio of the harp playing?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

568 posts in 2924 days


#7 posted 07-04-2011 05:39 PM

LWLL- Hmm- I hadn’t thought of that. Guess I’ll have to figure that one out now. Thanks for the reminder.
Wayne- it is in the works as soon as the harp and I get our skill levels up. Soon- I’ll post here when it is up.

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!" www.woodworks-by-donna.com

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

568 posts in 2924 days


#8 posted 07-04-2011 06:03 PM

Done!

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!" www.woodworks-by-donna.com

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