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

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Project by ellen35 posted 10-13-2010 11:03 PM 2918 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


7245 posts in 3594 days

#1 posted 10-13-2010 11:06 PM

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

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 3290 days

#2 posted 10-13-2010 11:14 PM

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


412 posts in 3226 days

#3 posted 10-13-2010 11:23 PM

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


7836 posts in 3542 days

#4 posted 10-13-2010 11:44 PM

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


4211 posts in 3815 days

#5 posted 10-13-2010 11:44 PM

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!

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3413 days

#6 posted 10-13-2010 11:46 PM

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


400 posts in 4114 days

#7 posted 10-14-2010 12:28 AM

Great work Ellen.
Hope they sell well.

-- Kate,

View ChuckV's profile


3183 posts in 3766 days

#8 posted 10-14-2010 12:41 AM

Beautiful trays.

The choices and combination of wood are outstanding.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View Dusty56's profile


11830 posts in 3927 days

#9 posted 10-14-2010 12:50 AM

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


5325 posts in 4121 days

#10 posted 10-14-2010 01:02 AM

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


13641 posts in 3580 days

#11 posted 10-14-2010 01:09 AM

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


2684 posts in 3299 days

#12 posted 10-14-2010 01:45 AM

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 3534 days

#13 posted 10-14-2010 02:02 AM

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


3071 posts in 3741 days

#14 posted 10-14-2010 10:32 AM

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

4168 posts in 3096 days

#15 posted 10-14-2010 10:48 AM

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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