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Project by closetguy posted 01-12-2009 12:37 AM 7327 views 57 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Even though I am pleased with the number of cutting boards I sold in a short amount of time last year, I am expanding my product line this year to include some non-cutting board items. I feel it is necessary to have a wider variety of choices that would appeal to a larger percentage of customers, both online and at crafts shows. In keeping with my interest in functional items for the home, the first new items are a soup and mug tray, along with a wine glass and snack tray. Both trays are 8 ½” x 11 ¼”.

I designed the jig so I could make both styles of trays using one jig. It just depends on whether I cut a circular well for the mug, or a through hole and slot for the wine glass. The jig is made exactly like my dipping board jig using MDF and toggle clamps on both ends to secure the blank in the jig. The facing end in the picture has a removable block that is held in place with two screw knobs. You can see the two screws in the slots that the knobs are screwed onto. I just loosen the knobs underneath (not shown in picture) and slide the end block out, slide the board blank into the jig until it stops, clamp the front down, slide the block back in place, screw the knobs down to hold the block in place, and close the clamp on that end. Now the blank is ready to cut. I use a Freud bowl bit and a ½” straight bit with a brass PC template to follow the circle for the mug well. I use a 1 ¼” forstner bit to cut the wine glass hole and cut the ½” wide slot on the table saw.

The third picture is a revised tray based on TedM’s suggestion. Good call!

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

15 comments so far

View BarryW's profile


1015 posts in 4147 days

#1 posted 01-12-2009 12:52 AM

That’s a great idea…the mother of necessity…invention that is…

-- /\/\/\ BarryW /\/\/\ Stay so busy you don't have time to die.

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 4039 days

#2 posted 01-12-2009 12:57 AM

looks great and efficient.. congrats

-- making sawdust....

View Vince's profile


1172 posts in 3670 days

#3 posted 01-12-2009 02:12 AM

Those look great. What kind of wood is that? Also are they lap tray’s?


-- Vince

View woodworm's profile


14470 posts in 3831 days

#4 posted 01-12-2009 02:22 AM

Good jig and the end products churned out are great!
Great effort and wish you good luck.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4203 days

#5 posted 01-12-2009 03:09 AM

Great idea and jig. The finished product looks very professional not to mention very pretty.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 4133 days

#6 posted 01-12-2009 03:57 AM

These were the first prototypes and the wood is walnut. You could set them in your lap. I had some 9” wide scrap pieces that I used for the prototype boards. There are a couple cracks on the back of both those boards. I am trying to decide on the wood and/or combination of woods that I will use for the production run. The soup tray is 3/4”, but the wine tray is 5/8” because I want the weight low since it would be held most of the time.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View John Stegall's profile

John Stegall

514 posts in 3757 days

#7 posted 01-12-2009 03:02 PM

Your projects look great. I love the jig. I used to make and sell hand mirrors but got away from it. Now that I have a “little” free time, I think I will make a similar jig for the hand mirrors. I used an oval mirror so I always had to really take my time to sneak up on the edges (using a router freehand). This would really speed up the process. Thanks for posting it.

-- jstegall

View TedM's profile


2002 posts in 3973 days

#8 posted 01-12-2009 04:44 PM

Great idea! I plan on making a set of tray tables at some point (to replace those wood-grained Formica panelliing ones that we’ve been using for over 30 years :)) and these trays are a great idea for the top. Thanks for sharing!

One question, do you know of any reason why just one style of tray with both the mug well and the wine glass slot incorporated together wouldn’t work? It seems that the slot and hole for the wine glass doesn’t have to be all that big and could conveniently sit at the bottom of the well. Sized appropriately it should’nt interfere with a mug or glass.


-- I'm a wood magician... I can turn fine lumber into firewood before your very eyes! - Please visit and sign up for my project updates!

View PurpLev's profile


8548 posts in 3889 days

#9 posted 01-12-2009 05:14 PM

nice jig!!! and good looking trays!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 4133 days

#10 posted 01-12-2009 10:04 PM

TedM, that is a good question. Maybe it’s that can’t see the forest for the trees thing. I made the change you suggested and I think it will work. It will certainly make an impact on inventory.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View TedM's profile


2002 posts in 3973 days

#11 posted 01-12-2009 10:22 PM

I have my moments. ;)

An impact on inventory as well as versatilty. I know in my home when we have the folks over there is a wide range of drinks, like wine, pop, beer, coffee, water and tea.

Again, a great idea, thanks for sharing.

-- I'm a wood magician... I can turn fine lumber into firewood before your very eyes! - Please visit and sign up for my project updates!

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 4164 days

#12 posted 01-12-2009 11:46 PM

I am doing a tray very much like yours only I am making them 9”X14” with a divider for chips in the corner. I guess great minds think alike. I am going to try my hand at selling on line starting the next week or two. I have a small inventory of candle holders, cutting boards & wall dressings in a arts and crafts theme. I hope I do as well as you seem to be doing.

View Karson's profile


35154 posts in 4641 days

#13 posted 01-13-2009 01:24 AM

Great looking trays. The modification looks like a great step forward.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View Dusty56's profile


11830 posts in 3929 days

#14 posted 07-17-2009 06:48 AM

Great set up ….thanks for sharing : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4220 days

#15 posted 07-17-2009 04:54 PM

Hi Closet Guy;

Nice jig and projects!

Great workmanship.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

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