Simple Serving Tray

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Project by lew posted 1735 days ago 1904 views 2 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


3389 posts in 2355 days

#1 posted 1735 days ago

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

1000 posts in 2015 days

#2 posted 1735 days ago

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

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 2880 days

#3 posted 1735 days ago

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


14125 posts in 2224 days

#4 posted 1735 days ago

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

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13337 posts in 2306 days

#5 posted 1735 days ago

Beautiful serving tray!

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View sedcokid's profile


2672 posts in 2232 days

#6 posted 1735 days ago

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 2324 days

#7 posted 1735 days ago

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 2079 days

#8 posted 1735 days ago

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 2078 days

#9 posted 1735 days ago

Nice looking tray. Well done.

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

12926 posts in 2616 days

#10 posted 1735 days ago

beautiful color shapes,,, very well done

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

View woodcrafter47's profile


349 posts in 1738 days

#11 posted 1735 days ago

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 2068 days

#12 posted 1735 days ago

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


3588 posts in 2209 days

#13 posted 1735 days ago

Heirloom for sure Lew!
Very Nice Work!

-- Having fun...Eric

View ChesapeakeBob's profile


341 posts in 2116 days

#14 posted 1735 days ago

I really like the design.

Real nice job!


-- Chesapeake Bob, Southern Maryland

View lew's profile


10002 posts in 2388 days

#15 posted 1735 days ago

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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