Serving Trays - a couple of month's work - I work slowly!!

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Project by ellen35 posted 1387 days ago 2215 views 15 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A while back I made 2 serving trays, one as a gift and one to sell. Well, the gift generated an order for 4 more for Christmas and the one for sale was the first item that sold at a small crafts fair in Woods Hole MA this summer. So I decided to make the 4 + a few more – 6 to be exact – for the Artisan’s Fair in November. There are a variety of woods including some very nice cherry, wenge, lots of purpleheart, some hickory (or pecan for those whose taste necessitates high falutin’ woods!), maple and walnut. Some are very special and sentimental ones and were made with 100 year old reclaimed mahogany given to me by one of my dearest friends. This stuff came out of a 90 yr old house and she had it squirreled away for 15 years. The stuff is absolutely beautiful! I used some padauk with it for contrast. There is also one that has the most beautiful strip of figured maple I have ever seen… it virtually shimmers. I tried to do something a little different with the handles – some store bought, most hand made by me.
All trays were finished in 2 coats of danish oil, 2 coats of wipe on poly and all the wax I could get on them!!! I think I have this particular item out of my system for the near future… unless they sell like hotcakes and I get more orders!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

26 comments so far

View degoose's profile


6981 posts in 1959 days

#1 posted 1387 days ago

The mistress of the tray… I salute you.. well executed and The Designs really pop.

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ For lovers of all things timber...

View Jonathan's profile


2603 posts in 1655 days

#2 posted 1387 days ago

Great work Ellen!

Glad to hear that one tray has led to many.

That certainly is a beautiful strip of curly maple. It looks like you dyed it, yes? Would you mind telling us what you used on it? I have a fair amount of curly maple that I’m wanting to start experimenting on with dyes, etc. as I’d like to get it to pop even more. Any info. on what you did here would be appreciated.

I like the variety of the trays you’ve constructed here!

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View moonls's profile


407 posts in 1591 days

#3 posted 1387 days ago

Wow, the trays were very nicely displayed! My favorite is still the one with the dark curly maple strip! Congrats on another fine project finished!

-- Lorna, Cape Cod

View grizzman's profile


6814 posts in 1908 days

#4 posted 1387 days ago

say ellen these are just fantastic…your touch sure does show, as you do a wonderful job on these…great woods and fantastic finish, they all have a wonderful shine…good job on these…they might have gone from your system to mine…grizzman

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Woodwrecker's profile


3566 posts in 2180 days

#5 posted 1387 days ago

WOW Ellen, I can’t make up my mind which one is prettiest!
If those don’t sell like hot cakes, nothing will !
Between you & Larry, both sides of the globe have expert board makers!

-- Having fun...Eric

View NBeener's profile


4806 posts in 1778 days

#6 posted 1386 days ago

Great woods.

Great story behind the woods.

Great pun that you’re selling them at Woods Hole. Pretty town, too ! Was there over the 4th of July weekend … you know … sweating :-)

Really beautiful work. Methinks … you WILL wind up making more of these :-)

-- -- Neil

View Kate's profile


396 posts in 2479 days

#7 posted 1386 days ago

Great work Ellen.
Hope they sell well.

-- Kate,

View ChuckV's profile


2380 posts in 2132 days

#8 posted 1386 days ago

Beautiful trays.

The choices and combination of wood are outstanding.

-- “That it will never come again / Is what makes life so sweet. ” ― Emily Dickinson

View Dusty56's profile


11639 posts in 2292 days

#9 posted 1386 days ago

They’re all beauties , but I really like the tray with the three stripes of Paduak on one side and I believe Walnut and Padauk on the other side …also , that shimmering Maple is a great addition to that tray as well : )
These (or their cousins) would be nice to see at the Woodworking show in January !
Have a great day , Ellen

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

View SPalm's profile


4760 posts in 2486 days

#10 posted 1386 days ago

Great trays.
I love the stories behind the wood. We must be weird here.

Very nice work,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View patron's profile


12976 posts in 1945 days

#11 posted 1386 days ago

great work ellen

these are very special

the one with the padauk talked to me

it said

take me , i’m yours ! lol

so if it doesn’t sell

i’ll come and get it

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Skylark53's profile


2559 posts in 1665 days

#12 posted 1386 days ago

Gorgeous. Great styles and colors. Its really good to have such a nice selection and they all look SUPER!

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 1900 days

#13 posted 1386 days ago

These looked great when I saw them without a finish.
The finish sure makes them even more beautiful !!
Good luck at the Artisans Fair, though you won’t need luck….
you’ve got talent : )


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View littlecope's profile


2889 posts in 2106 days

#14 posted 1386 days ago

Nice Work, Ellen!!
I have a hunch you’ll need to be making more of these though… That’s not that bad of a thing, is it??
Like Autumn, I’m partial to your own design for the handles…
Good Luck at the Fair!! Here’s hoping you’ve got nothing to lug home… except piles of $$$$!! :)

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4096 posts in 1461 days

#15 posted 1386 days ago

Beautiful Trays, well worth the time & effort.

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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