Serving Tray Makers

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Forum topic by doninvegas posted 02-16-2012 12:43 AM 1647 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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334 posts in 3141 days

02-16-2012 12:43 AM

I want to make a few serving trays and I have a question. How do you all make the oval handle cutouts? Do you do it free hand or is there a template that you make or buy?
Thanks for the input.

-- "Courage is being scared to death -- but saddling up anyway."

7 replies so far

View KnickKnack's profile


1094 posts in 3800 days

#1 posted 02-16-2012 09:56 AM

I’m no expert, but I have made a few trays.
What I’ve usually done is to make one, freehand, and then use a flush-trim bit to copy the one onto another to get the matching pair.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

View ellen35's profile


2739 posts in 3666 days

#2 posted 02-16-2012 11:43 AM

Make a template. First use the drill press with a forester bit to drill the holes and clean them up on a spindle sander.
Then to the bandsaw to cut the shape out. Do both handles together so they are exactly the same.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3100 days

#3 posted 02-16-2012 11:55 AM

After the forstner bit, if you don’t have a spindle sander you can take care of them quicker than you might think with a half round file.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3308 days

#4 posted 02-16-2012 03:09 PM

I just cut 2 holes directly into the wood with a 1.5” Forstner bit. Then I cut between the holes with a jig saw. Then smooth the edges with a round over bit on the router.

Earlier, I used my scroll saw to make the cuts between the holes but now I have a jig saw (Festool) that I can rely on for clean, smooth, straight cuts.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3714 days

#5 posted 02-16-2012 03:13 PM

I use a template to trace out the design of the cut out. I then cut it out, just outside the liines with a hand jigsaw. I sand it to the lines, then I use a router to round the edges inside and out. The tray in my steamer trunk in my gallery is an example.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3302 days

#6 posted 02-16-2012 04:39 PM

A template would probably be best. You’ll get more uniform results and can use it on future projects.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2526 days

#7 posted 02-16-2012 04:51 PM

Use a template with a flush cut router bit if you’re going to make several trays as I’m not sure the work of making a template for just one tray is worth the effort. My approach was to draw the handle hole on paper, fold the drawing in half, draw the first half on the template and then flip it 180 degrees to draw the other half—that way the handle hole is symmetrical. Good luck and enjoy.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

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