Simple Serving Tray

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Project by lew posted 11-27-2009 11:02 PM 2652 views 3 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, the serving tray for my nephew is finished.

It measures about 14” x 21” and is made from 3/8” Cherry. The bottom is 3/16” and sits in a dado. The sides angle out at about 10 degrees. The sides and ends are dovetailed together- hand cut. The finish is several applications of wipe on poly.

The dovetails didn’t turn out as nice as I would have liked. The compound angle between the sides and ends made cutting them a real challenge. I really like the Japanese pull saw for cutting the dovetails. I seem to get a little better control of the saw. And, I would have liked the pins to close up more at the narrow ends but I guess that will come with practice.

At least now, I understand why the Shakers often nailed their tray/box bottoms instead of setting them in dados- the Shakers were not permitted to use Official Navy language during the assembly of their work.

Thanks for looking. Comments and criticisms are always welcome.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

16 comments so far

View mmh's profile


3676 posts in 3720 days

#1 posted 11-27-2009 11:05 PM

I’m sure it’s much nicer than the one I bought at the store (shame on me!).

- the Shakers were not permitted to use Official Navy language during the assembly of their work.

I haven’t been enlisted in the Navy, but I think I can understand ONL.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 3379 days

#2 posted 11-27-2009 11:10 PM

Solid and professional! Those are some pretty perfect looking dovetails.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4244 days

#3 posted 11-27-2009 11:19 PM

Beautiful corners Lew, just love everything about the tray.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View woodworm's profile


14468 posts in 3588 days

#4 posted 11-27-2009 11:41 PM

Nice looking tray and I’m sure it’ll last longer than factory made ones!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3670 days

#5 posted 11-27-2009 11:45 PM

Beautiful serving tray!

View sedcokid's profile


2732 posts in 3596 days

#6 posted 11-27-2009 11:49 PM

I like it!! The corners are perfect, The finish is outstanding!! Just a beautiful Job!!

‘The SedcoKid’

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View pommy's profile


1697 posts in 3689 days

#7 posted 11-27-2009 11:53 PM

I think this is a nice job for honing your hand skills Lew with saw and your joints look great but we all know your your worst critic LOL…......

-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View cmckerliesr's profile


82 posts in 3443 days

#8 posted 11-27-2009 11:56 PM

That is a great looking tray and those dovetails are awesome. You have nothing to be concerned about. While I do not know Official Navy Language, I am more than familiar with Official Army and Marine Corps Language. I am also sure there is some overlap. LMAO!!!!!!!

-- The Man in the Can, Craig M. North Carolina

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 3443 days

#9 posted 11-28-2009 12:05 AM

Nice looking tray. Well done.

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14172 posts in 3980 days

#10 posted 11-28-2009 12:36 AM

beautiful color shapes,,, very well done

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View woodcrafter47's profile


352 posts in 3103 days

#11 posted 11-28-2009 01:30 AM

Great looking tray,Better than any store bought,because you made and with pride !!
Keep up the good work.

-- In His service ,Richard

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 3432 days

#12 posted 11-28-2009 02:55 AM

This is a great tray, love the color. Very well done.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View Woodwrecker's profile


4148 posts in 3573 days

#13 posted 11-28-2009 03:09 AM

Heirloom for sure Lew!
Very Nice Work!

-- Eric, central Florida / Utor praemia operibus duris

View ChesapeakeBob's profile


366 posts in 3481 days

#14 posted 11-28-2009 03:20 AM

I really like the design.

Real nice job!


-- Chesapeake Bob, Southern Maryland

View lew's profile


12056 posts in 3753 days

#15 posted 11-28-2009 07:15 AM

Thanks, everyone, for the kind words. Hope my nephew and his new wife will like it.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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