Nested Spalted Maple Serving Trays

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Project by cdarney posted 12-05-2012 09:37 PM 2503 views 23 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These serving trays were made as a Christmas gift and are made entirely of Spalted Maple.
They’re made to…well…nest. I never worked with Spalted Maple and I’m amazed at the look of it.

The sides are joined with compound mitered dovetails and the bases are screwed on with the screw
holes plugged with walnut dowels. They were finished with shellac. I used Zinsser sanding sealer
full cut until the wood stopped soaking it in. That was quite a bit. I sanded that down lightly
then applied 1.5 pound cut for the final finish.

It’s all 1/2” wood. The dimensions are:

Small – 13 3/4” x 7 1/4” x 3 1/8”
Medium – 15 1/4” x 9 3/4” x 3 1/8”
Large – 16 7/8” x 11 1/4” x 3 1/8”

The LOML showed no interest in them when I explained what they would look like. Once she saw them
done I didn’t think she would let them leave the house.

15 comments so far

View HorizontalMike's profile


6970 posts in 1731 days

#1 posted 12-05-2012 09:57 PM

OK, now THIS is what I have been looking for! Very cool! And the fact that you made three “nesting” trays is over the top! The dowel plugs are great! They keep the primitive feel alive in these pieces!

This will definitely go on my “favorites” list. Thanks!

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View a1Jim's profile


113059 posts in 2394 days

#2 posted 12-05-2012 10:09 PM

Very nice I like the Idea too.

-- Custom furniture

View bonobo's profile


257 posts in 873 days

#3 posted 12-05-2012 10:10 PM

These are great. Where did you learn how to lay out compound dovetails?

-- “The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” ― Mark Twain

View jap's profile


1242 posts in 871 days

#4 posted 12-05-2012 10:25 PM


-- Joel

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 990 days

#5 posted 12-05-2012 10:47 PM

Amazing trays!

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View jaykaypur's profile


3531 posts in 1225 days

#6 posted 12-05-2012 11:03 PM

Fantastic job on these. Man that wood is just POPPIN’ good!

Beautiful trays!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View ~Julie~'s profile


579 posts in 1851 days

#7 posted 12-06-2012 12:45 AM

Beautiful, I’d love a set!

-- ~Julie~

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

16128 posts in 1155 days

#8 posted 12-06-2012 03:16 AM

Love the wood. Great design and build.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View stinnes jordan's profile

stinnes jordan

2 posts in 815 days

#9 posted 12-06-2012 03:26 AM

You can get directions on the compound dovetails from the porter cable model 4212 dovetail jig advanced manual. Just search for it and download. But beware, do not install the angled insert on the jig when following the instructions on how to cut the tails. The directions are incorrect. It messed me up for a while. But,I finally figured it out. The rest of the directions are correct. I hope you don’t waste as much time as I did. Good luck.

New jock, stynz61, brand new.

-- Stinnes Jordan, A Yellow Jacket in SC.............If one learns from one's mistakes, and I do, how come I'm not a genius yet?

View stinnes jordan's profile

stinnes jordan

2 posts in 815 days

#10 posted 12-06-2012 03:35 AM

I forgot to say how great the trays look. I love how the bottom was attached, as I am not very good at hiding dados when doing dovetails. The wood is beautiful. I just finished a few Christmas things and planned on doing a few trays for my sisters birthday. This post was really timely for me. Go jocks.


-- Stinnes Jordan, A Yellow Jacket in SC.............If one learns from one's mistakes, and I do, how come I'm not a genius yet?

View 489tad's profile (online now)


2601 posts in 1828 days

#11 posted 12-06-2012 02:07 PM

Those are on the list. The wood you picked is fantastic. Well done.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View don1960's profile


214 posts in 1504 days

#12 posted 12-06-2012 05:32 PM

Those are fantastic. Never worked with spalted anything, but it’s on m list now to watch out for.

-- -- Don from PA

View ChuckC's profile


781 posts in 1752 days

#13 posted 12-06-2012 07:41 PM

WOW! Those are great!

View majuvla's profile


4349 posts in 1684 days

#14 posted 12-07-2012 02:39 PM

Very nice wood.Dovetails are awsome detail.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View mudflap's profile


5 posts in 815 days

#15 posted 12-07-2012 03:50 PM

Gorgeous! I have a feeling that if my better half sees these, this will be on my projects list!

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