Bathroom Trays With Inlay

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Project by Mean_Dean posted 09-27-2014 01:10 AM 1374 views 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These trays are built to hold various bathroom items such as lotion dispensers, toothbrush holders, and etc.

The first tray is made out of Luan mahogany, with black walnut inlay. The second tray is made out of Peruvian walnut, with white oak inlay. They are finished with home-brewed wiping varnish, using oil-based semi-gloss polyurethane thinned by half with mineral spirits. They are lined with dark brown faux suede fabric.

The trays measure: 11 1/2”L x 9 1/4”W x 2 1/4”H.

And now for the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly….....

The Good: The finish! I love wiping varnish! Just brush it on, let it sit for 3-4 minutes, then wipe the excess off. It’s a little slower build, but there are no runs, sags, or dust nibs. After it’s fully cured, lightly rub it with a brown paper bag, and it’s smooth as silk!

Also, I really love my Wixey digital angle gauge! 45-degree miters are dead-on first time, every time—no fooling around!

The Bad: I used splines to reinforce the miter joints, and in one of the joints in the walnut tray, there is a slight gap where I think the spline is just a hair narrower that it should have been. Naturally, I didn’t notice this until it was glued up….......

The Ugly: The inlays…...

I’ve never done inlays, and wanted to give them a try. And they’re not absolutely perfect. When routing out the groove for the inlays on a couple of the work pieces, the piece must have slipped a little on the router table, leaving small imperfections in the grooves. One of the grooves went a hair longer that it should have. In my defense however, the work pieces were on the smaller side, and I was routing them on the router table by hand, not using push pads, and wanted to be very sure not to get my fingers anywhere near the router bit! So, my being careful may have caused the imperfect grooves. Also, cutting the inlay pieces to exact length was a lot of trial and error, error being the operative word! I have a much greater respect for all of you who do inlays and marquetry so well!

As always, comments and questions are always appreciated!

-- Dean

9 comments so far

View Jim Sellers's profile

Jim Sellers

397 posts in 1801 days

#1 posted 09-27-2014 01:44 AM

Looks good to me. You’re probably the only one to notice the imperfections.

-- J.C.Sellers, Norcross, Ga. Just cut it right the first time. The best carpenters make the fewest chips.

View CFrye's profile


8758 posts in 1306 days

#2 posted 09-27-2014 10:41 PM

These look really nice, Dean! How will they stand up up the wet environment in the bathroom? Intact fingers mean you can work on improving! Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View Mean_Dean's profile


5061 posts in 2614 days

#3 posted 09-28-2014 02:03 AM

Jim: Thanks for the compliment—and yeah, I probably am my own worst critic!

Candy: Thank you also! As far as bathroom use, they are basically encased in polyurethane, and should be exposed only to some steam, so they should hold up. As far as intact fingers—you’re an emergency room nurse, right? You guys can just sew those puppies back on, and they’re good as new, right?!

-- Dean

View CFrye's profile


8758 posts in 1306 days

#4 posted 09-28-2014 02:02 PM

”You guys can just sew those puppies back on, and they’re good as new, right?!”
Sure thing, Dean! You don’t mind if they get a little mixed up in the process, do you? After all, a finger is a finger, right?

-- God bless, Candy

View helluvawreck's profile


23199 posts in 2333 days

#5 posted 09-28-2014 02:14 PM

These are very attractive.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Mean_Dean's profile


5061 posts in 2614 days

#6 posted 09-28-2014 10:11 PM

Candy: Yeah, OK, I promise not to saw off any digits….....!

Charles: Thank you very much! They look even better in the bathrooms!

-- Dean

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 1759 days

#7 posted 09-29-2014 04:19 PM

Very attractive and nicely done.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Mahini's profile


20 posts in 809 days

#8 posted 10-27-2014 09:21 PM

Wow, wow, wow. I love the inlays. Gotta try them.

View Chris McDowell's profile

Chris McDowell

641 posts in 1619 days

#9 posted 12-24-2014 02:08 AM

Very sharp. I love the Peruvian walnut! I think you did an exceptional job on the inlay regardless of how you feel about it.

I love my digital angle gauge, too!

-- Chris, , FACEBOOK: , Proverbs 16:9

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