Self Serving - Art Deco inspired serving tray

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Project by DeepWater posted 11-17-2015 03:51 PM 589 views 2 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I recently re-connected with an old lunchtime college friend from 27 years ago and discovered her and her husband now live near me so I planned a little reunion by designing and building a sturdy serving tray so her husband can serve her breakfast in bed.

I’m still a woodworking newbie, but learning a lot about the use, sharpening, and techniques needed in a variety of hand tools, including a recently refurbished wooden Stanley hand plane.

I built a basic oak frame with single large handout dovetails that include poplar “inlays” in the long edges and handle “keys”, carrying the notion of angles through the poplar insets including a removable flower bud vase (anytime I serve my wife breakfast in bed, the flower vase is always the first to tip over!). Finished with Daly’s Benite Wood Conditioner (which I can’t say enough about!) and CrystalFin Acrylic Polyurethane to make it tough.

It was a great reunion and will “serve” my friends for many years. They’re delighted too!

4 comments so far

View UncleStumpy's profile


707 posts in 1734 days

#1 posted 11-17-2015 05:58 PM

My wife and I are big fans of Art Deco and we both love this tray!

I personally love details and the bud vase is brilliant especially with the inlay… a super touch.

This is the first I have heard of Benite Wood Conditioner. How is it different than, say Danish Oil or Tung Oil?

-- "They don't want it perfect - they want it SPECIAL"

View UncleStumpy's profile


707 posts in 1734 days

#2 posted 11-17-2015 05:59 PM

forgot to mention that I really like the way you do your signature!

-- "They don't want it perfect - they want it SPECIAL"

View ChickenChaser's profile


102 posts in 501 days

#3 posted 11-17-2015 06:17 PM

Nice looking tray. Also really like what you did to the handle on that old plane. I might give that have to give that a try on one of my old broken handles. Thanks for the idea

View DeepWater's profile


7 posts in 662 days

#4 posted 11-18-2015 12:48 AM

@UncleStumpy: Thanks, I appreciate the compliments! I had thought about some kind of legs, but my wife voted that it was fine as is since it was very sturdy and light. The bud vase was something I was unsure of, but again my wife thought better since she was obviously on the receiving side of a spilled vase in the past. In full disclosure I’ll admit I failed to drill the vase straight and as I enlarged my pilot hole, I broke through the side, ARGH! The inlay was a repair, but it I found it added a nice touch that a plain oak piece would not have. Here’s to mistakes!

I’m new to Benite. A woodworking instructor turned me on to it last winter and have heard nothing but praises for it. Folks out here in the Pacific NW use it on decks, etc. to toughen the wood and I’m told it’s very good on the soft woods that grow out here in such proliferation. I’ve used it on some cherry boxes before finishing with oil with success. I would recommend it.

I’ve been experimenting with my signature using a cheap wood burning/soldering iron. I need a better iron to control the heat to get a cleaner look.

@ChickenChaser: I’ll post photos of my plane refurb. That handle notch was already there, I really just did clean-up and refinishing/sharpening.

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