Hello Phil and Chuck !
Phil, if there would be cleats it would be stronger with the cleats length wise and not width wise. Given the purpose I want it for, I was thinking of a length 75cm x 45cm wide. Ideally, a base of 12mm oak wood would be nice, but oak is too expensive for these things in Greece. I find rather cheap cypress, enforce it with cross-grain dowels 100mm diam and it works beautiful. I don;t know how thin I can make the boards without losing the alignment drilling for the dowels to go in. The dowels are 55 - 60% the width of the each board and they (so-to-speak) interlock with those from the other side. I am working with 15mm boards now, and will see if I can drill straight enough. I have described the method in an older thread that I published here.
I spend a lot of time thinking about something I want to make, because my drawing abilities are quite limited to a few sketches with pencil, and often I start something without having solved all technical problems. And I laugh when I see many videos on youtube, where some guy just by hand drills along two pieces of horrible quality softwood, and makes a perfectly functional wooden hinge! They should be in the Got Talent series, because when I try to make an absolutely vertical hole, there is only one method I can trust, and this is the router.
To go back to the tray, the knock-down ability is nowadays almost useless (agree here, Herb!), it makes the tray heavier (big disadvantage) and then if we simplify this and simplify that we finally end with one like the trays in the market, under 20 euros, so why rub the skin off my fingers to make one and not pay and buy, so some poor guy in Bangladesh can get some food. On the other hand, when making it, one aims to one aesthetic scope only: beauty style and craftsmanship.
So I will try to get some tropical hardwood, if not too expensive, and make a large tray with no screws and no glue (except for bonding the boards to form the base - it is beyond the scope of the project to find a single plank 45 - 50cm wide just for this tray). Such a big tray, given a proper base, can act like a small table, very convenient as an assisting surface when eating outside, or for serving snacks and drinks in the garden. The more I think about it the more I like it. Independent X-shaped legs, with two flat ribbons on the top, when opened fits exactly under the tray, and if you don't want them you can store them away easily. Phil, can you please produce a sketch of the base? Dimensions in inches are difficult for me, but don't worry and don't go much into detail - this way or the other I need to change the dimensions, it is the form, the required technique and the ease of construction that interest me.
Overall it should look beautiful, or not exist at all. Summer is coming, why not prepare something beautiful to serve fruit salad and lemonade in the garden!
With thanks to all
"if you think it is important, you will find a way;
if you think it is not important, you will find an excuse"
Last edited by Dimitri M; 01-15-2020 at 03:43 AM.