Sushi Tray of Maple and Walnut

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Project by mtkate posted 01-17-2010 06:19 PM 2124 views 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

It’s about time I posted this. I finished it for an xmas present. My pregnant sis was craving sushi…. and this tray was to help solve the craving. It took me almost a month and a half because of the extra help I got from my dogs.

The middle insert and the legs are leftovers from another cutting board, and I fit maple pieces around it. This was the first project using my mortising machine. It could have been a tighter fit on the ends (you can see some gaps) but it’s stable. I don’t have a jig for small pieces – so I used the bandsaw to size the leg pieces and hand sanded.

I decided to experiment, and rubbed in many coats of medium walnut tinted “danish oil” which is really mostly tung oil. I really liked the effect / enhancement it has on the walnut. Effect on maple is ok.

I admit I had to do this twice. After 3 coats of the oil – I noticed dog hairs. ARGH!!! I had to scrape it all off, sand it down, and start again. This project was the straw that broke the camel’s back regarding rework due to dog hairs… and I have now made myself a good corner in the laundry room where there are no dogs allowed. I also change my shirt before finishing to be sure nothing is sticking and falls off.

After about 2 weeks (around 8 coats) I chose to stop. I wonder how many coats this maple would need to really darken…. It took 2 weeks so that I could let it fully dry between coats.

I finished it with 3 applications of full strength shellac.

The last two pictures are the unfinished product, which I took because I wanted to see before and after for the colored finish.

10 comments so far

View Tommy H.'s profile

Tommy H.

24 posts in 3053 days

#1 posted 01-17-2010 07:02 PM

Looks great. The maple/walnut combo has always been one of my favorites.

-- Tommy H., Georgia, Lot to learn...

View reddinosaur's profile


120 posts in 3126 days

#2 posted 01-17-2010 07:09 PM

I <3 sushi too =p

-- Jess

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3685 days

#3 posted 01-17-2010 08:07 PM

Maple is difficult to stain due to the tight grain structure. I understand that dyes work better on Maple than stains and you will get more even coloring as a result. The stain that you used makes the Maple look “dirty” and for something intended to serve food on , it is far from appetizing. Of course this is just my opinion…it could just be the pictures / lighting. You might want to try Salad Bowl Finish on your next project which would bring out the beauty of both species and is food safe as well: )

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

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 4019 days

#4 posted 01-17-2010 08:16 PM

Nice Job MT.
You Sis will love it and think of you every time she uses it.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 3323 days

#5 posted 01-17-2010 08:24 PM

Definitely, the underside is “dirtier” than the top and I was not fully satisfied. I rubbed and fixed the top a lot more so it would look more “grainy” than “dirty” – but I know what you mean. Indeed, I was going to just use shellac or even mineral oil and wax it – I was so keen on trying the walnut color.

I figured tons of shellac on top which is also safe would do it.

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3685 days

#6 posted 01-17-2010 08:44 PM

Thank you mtkate. I was praying that you wouldn’t be offended by my opinion .
I found out the hard way about staining Maple…..I ruined a project by not applying the stain to some scrap before putting it on my final piece.
Lesson learned and not repeated ….so far . LOL …..Happy New Year to you and yours : )

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

View degoose's profile


7233 posts in 3352 days

#7 posted 01-17-2010 10:12 PM

I like the way that the walnut wraps down into the legs.. cool design.

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3575 days

#8 posted 01-17-2010 10:32 PM

good job well done

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View woodchic's profile


841 posts in 3355 days

#9 posted 01-24-2010 04:35 PM

Nice project….........I like the use of the two woods together.


-- Robin Renee'

View D1st's profile


290 posts in 3037 days

#10 posted 01-29-2010 04:18 AM

You have a lot of nice projects.


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