Valentine\'s Day Heart Tray

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Project by Sam Fladung posted 02-27-2011 04:32 AM 2376 views 3 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is a tray I made for my fiancée for Valentine’s day. The tray is made out of padauk. I cut the inside of the tray in several passes using my homemade CNC router with a 1/2 inch core box bit. This leaves a nice radius on the bottom that adds some strength to the sides. The sides are approximately 1/8” thick. To make the bottom flat, the final pass only stepped over by about 10% of the bit diameter. This left very tiny grooves in the tray which I was able to remove by sanding. After sanding the inside and outside of the tray I finished it using a semi-gloss acrylic finish.


8 comments so far

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3030 days

#1 posted 02-27-2011 11:54 AM

Nice tray.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View SPalm's profile


5317 posts in 3848 days

#2 posted 02-27-2011 04:30 PM

It looks like you have been a busy boy :)

That is a great job for a homemade CNC. I can only imagine all that padauk dust flying everywhere. You did a good job of keeping registration from the outside profile cut to the inside pocket cut. Did you use double sticky tape or some other type of hold-down to keep it in place?


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Sam Fladung's profile

Sam Fladung

15 posts in 3406 days

#3 posted 02-28-2011 04:31 AM

To hold it down I used a pair of wood screws through the workpiece into the auxiliary table (a piece of osb clamped on top of the actual table so I don’t cut into the table) outside of the cutting area (in the scrap). I then stopped the machine before it finished the final outside pass ane finished the cut with a flush trim saw. I would like to find a way to cut the outside fully with the machine but haven’t come up with anything clever that I am confident in. I considered using some double sided carpet tape, but I want to test that on a piece that I have less invested in first.

I had a shop vac hooked up to the router which caught most of the dust. But it did still leave a nice coating of red dust in a 6’ radius around the machine. It did prompt me to start work on an air cleaner, to pull some of the dust out of the shop air, which I hope to finish once my fans arrive for it.


View Paulo in Texas's profile

Paulo in Texas

131 posts in 2655 days

#4 posted 02-28-2011 11:49 PM

Great looking piece of wood, I like the color.

As for fully cutting the outside, which CAM program are you using? Some CAM programs can add a tab/bridge so that everything is cut, except the tab that holds the piece to the blank. Just cut the tab off, and finish it with a flush trim router bit on a router table or sand it off.

View Mojo1's profile


265 posts in 2656 days

#5 posted 03-02-2011 08:36 PM

How long did it take you to program it and roughly what is the cycle time on the cutting of it? Very nice your machine and the tray.

View Sam Fladung's profile

Sam Fladung

15 posts in 3406 days

#6 posted 03-10-2011 06:43 AM

Paul- I’m using Cambam. I don’t know if it can do it automatically, but I’m sure I could do it manually pretty quick. That’s a great idea for making the finish work a lot easier.

Mojo- It took very little time to program the machine to cut this. I created the geometry using Solidworks and then imported the DXF into cambam. I’d say about a half hour of computer work tops (not including the time fiddling with aspect ratios to decide what looked best). It took the machine a little over an hour to cut it. It would have taken about half the time if I had a good way to change bits without losing my depth offset. As it was, I cut the entire thing using a core box bit (ball end). The final pass took almost as long as the rest of the cutting because I had it only move over 10% of the bit diameter per pass. If I could have changed bits while keeping an accurate depth I could have done the bottom using a straight bit in much less time. At some point I’ll build a setup to let me zero the bit depth automatically.


View Mojo1's profile


265 posts in 2656 days

#7 posted 03-10-2011 02:07 PM

Thanks for the update , I ran and programed a CNC lathe for years, its been a while but the programing on that thing was a piece of cake.The control was Mazak.

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3654 days

#8 posted 10-21-2017 10:06 PM

Very nice project. Other than the dust factor, I love Padauk : )

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

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