|Project by RGtools||posted 07-04-2011 11:43 PM||2358 views||5 times favorited||11 comments|
I needed a way to give my bench a quick workout to test the modifications I have been doing on it. This is the first of MANY drying trays that I need to make for my wife to dry herbs and seeds. They will eventually have a rack (think of Krenovs’ saw horses, with more rails) that will allow more aeration to speed the drying process.
I am pleased with the size as it fits nicely on a counter-top but is not too heavy to pick up one handed, even when full of wet herbs. I also like the single dovetail construction on the sides (thanks Julio…your marker is PERFECT for that application…you got so many details right) since it goes together quick and should be able to take a lifetime of pounding. The bottoms are nailed on and can be removed in case the cloth ever wears out. The rails in the front and back are thinned down and cut a little short to help with aeration when left on a counter top. All the edges are lovingly broken with my custom smoother, and I left this project without a finish for now but may decide to add butcher block oil and some wax if moisture starts to be a concern. I also sprung the joint a tad where the runners are tacked on, this really helped hold the cheesecloth tight.
Not particularly happy with the cheesecloth bottom, (by the way I would not make cheese with this “cheesecloth”) the grid is way to course and allows small seeds through. I think quality butter muslin would be a better choice, and may decide to utilize it, but admittedly I cringe at the price tag there, since I have a lot of trays to make. My wife wants a steel mesh of some sort, but I want something that is food safe, not to mention the mesh would require more careful installation since I would have to “hide” the edges from the hand. Any ideas here would be welcome.
1. The tray already in use.
2. My wife demanded that I put my makers mark on this (making my entire day in the process)
3. Crap cheese cloth, installed on the tray, seeds can fall through this easily and I can tell that I will be replacing this soon. I think it should be illegal to sell cheesecloth that can’t make cheese.
4. Butter muslin used for cheese-making, but better, but a tad pricey.
5. gappy on purpose, air is a good thing when drying seeds as it prevents mold.
6. Next years seeds in process.
-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan