Nested Spalted Maple Serving Trays

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Project by cdarney posted 12-05-2012 09:37 PM 4665 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


7749 posts in 2847 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


117030 posts in 3510 days

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

Very nice I like the Idea too.

-- wood crafting & classes

View bonobo's profile


297 posts in 1989 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


1251 posts in 1987 days

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


-- Joel

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 2106 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


4017 posts in 2341 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


607 posts in 2967 days

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

Beautiful, I’d love a set!

-- ~Julie~

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

28590 posts in 2271 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 1931 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 1931 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


3326 posts in 2944 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


227 posts in 2620 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


827 posts in 2868 days

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

WOW! Those are great!

View majuvla's profile


11880 posts in 2800 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 1931 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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