Oval Tray Jig

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Project by shipwright posted 594 days ago 3982 views 24 times favorited 38 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made an oval tray a while back and lots of people liked it, myself included. I am now planning to make several more and needed to come up with a better way to deal with the installation of a floating bottom in an oval frame.

This simple jig, based on one of those HF trim routers I like so much, works perfectly and only took a couple of hours to design / build. You can still adjust the depth of cut and the height above base is somewhat adjustable. For my purposes I wanted 3/4” deep tray walls so it is set for that. My tray bases will be 1/4” material, veneered on both sides so it will take one cut as-is and one cut with a 1/16” shim. It has a web on the bottom to clamp in any vice.

The curved piece on the face of the router is attached with double sided tape but I may buy another trim router to dedicate to this (~$18 this week) and epoxy it on if I really like the jig.

Nothing special or new here I suspect, maybe just a cheap solution to a tricky problem.

Thanks for looking



When I first made this jig I was envisioning sharp corners inside the tray. Each side would be done separately so I didn’t have to get into the corners. However I design as I go and came up with a way to use radius corners which led to this modification.

The router base assembly is too wide for this application so it is removed and the guide becomes merely a “pin”. Without the thick curved piece on the base, this one doesn’t need to be extended as far as it is but rather than rebuild the jig, I used it as-is and it was fine. If I did it again I would make the clamp closer and the extended part of the bit shorter. Beyond that the photos speak for themselves.

You’ll have to wait to see the bottoms that are going in these trays. What you do see is a 1/8” template that will be used to cut the bottom panels.

Thanks for looking again


-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees.

38 comments so far

View grizzman's profile


6699 posts in 1887 days

#1 posted 594 days ago

hot diggity dog, at least i know your not golfing your brains out, great jig paul…nice to see your busy in arizona…

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

View a1Jim's profile


111999 posts in 2161 days

#2 posted 594 days ago

That is way cool Paul ,great innovative thinking.

-- Custom furniture

View MonteCristo's profile


2092 posts in 772 days

#3 posted 594 days ago

Hmm. Thinking inside the box. Good idea, even if they keep telling us to do the opposite !

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View Sodabowski's profile


2001 posts in 1417 days

#4 posted 594 days ago

Definitely a clever solution to an otherwise tricky problem!

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View Boxguy's profile


1397 posts in 851 days

#5 posted 594 days ago

Paul, great design on the jig. However, I think you have erred in the link to your projects page. When I clicked on “oval tray” I got your storage unit project instead. Your great tray is just below it. You may want to edit the post to correct this. It is difficult to follow how the jig works without the finished product in mind. I do like the jig. Thanks for sharing it with us.

-- Big Al in IN

View shipwright's profile


4807 posts in 1382 days

#6 posted 594 days ago

Oops!.... all fixed.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees.

View LittlePaw's profile


1571 posts in 1662 days

#7 posted 594 days ago

That’s thinking outside the box – errrr – bowl, I mean. Kool. as usual, Paul!

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View Druid's profile


585 posts in 1379 days

#8 posted 594 days ago

Great solution to an interesting problem. You should be able to market this one.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View sedcokid's profile


2663 posts in 2182 days

#9 posted 594 days ago

Paul, great jig here….. I love to see the jigs LJ’s use!

Thanks for sharing

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View Roger's profile


13946 posts in 1388 days

#10 posted 594 days ago

Looks very interesting Paul.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View SPalm's profile


4700 posts in 2466 days

#11 posted 594 days ago

Looks good Paul.
Even your jigs got class.

And Man, I gotta check out HF and that router.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7595 posts in 2636 days

#12 posted 594 days ago

Looks good… NICE tray… really very COOL…
... will be interesting to see how it works on your next batch of trays…

Thank you.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Jim Jakosh's profile (online now)

Jim Jakosh

10952 posts in 1689 days

#13 posted 594 days ago

Neat one. Paul…great idea!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

581 posts in 2414 days

#14 posted 594 days ago

Thanks Paul…I suspect I will be needing one of these soon. I already have the router per your recomendation…this will be a good use!

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

View lightweightladylefty's profile


2579 posts in 2296 days

#15 posted 594 days ago


You never cease to amaze us with your unending creativity in problem-solving. Thanks for another great idea!


P.S. I’ve had the HF trim router for several years now (mine’s orange) but can’t say that I like it. The clear plastic base is so flimsy on mine that I have a hard time getting it tight enough to hold the depth of cut. Is yours newer and maybe improved?

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

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