The Roman Potter - look at the tray - Page 3 - Router Forums
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post #21 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 03:34 AM Thread Starter
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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

D
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post #22 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 11:39 AM
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Dmitri when drilling by hand if can put it on a bench top and place a spacer under the drill bit that puts it at the right height to locate the hole it will keep you flat for a ways. Usually for glued dowels it is enough distance.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #23 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-15-2020, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimitri M View Post
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

D
The cleats should go cross grain because that's where the wood is weakest. The way the handle/end pieces work is they only support the bottom piece on the corners. If the grain is oriented in the long dimension, then it will need some support. Otherwise, a heavy load in the center will split the bottom.

I'm a little confused about your dowel dimensions. I think you mean 10mm and not 100mm.

That's a very large tray you are building. 3/4 of a meter long and half a meter wide. You must have some serious meals al fresco. Would love to dine at your house!

A brief report on what I've been doing. no pics though. I glued up some 10mm alder to 13" (330 mm) wide for the base. I cut out some templates for the end pieces and bottom outline. Routing the slots for the side pieces is tricky and the fingers tend to break off easily so I've changed my design so the side pieces go into "through mortises" as well as the bottom. Much stronger. We're having a cold spell here and I'm waiting for a little warmer temps to get back into the shop.
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Last edited by PhilBa; 01-15-2020 at 01:36 PM.
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post #24 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-19-2020, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Phil, I agree about changing the interlock of the side rails. Also, I think they should have three more projections on each long side (two on each end and one in the middle, with corresponding cuts in the base sides, which will also accommodate the underside rails to provide stability. I decided on the dimensions (89 x 55 cm total outer dimensions) and also drew a small collapsible under-table with flat straps on the top, which will fit under the tray and convert it to a useful side table for al fresco dinners.
Please forgive the naive drawing, I attach it so you can improve on it and make really nice computerised one. I am looking at 18 mm thick (to be thicknessed down to 15 - 16 mm), 9.5 x 91 cm floor boards that I have from someone who discarded them. They are some type of tropical mahogany-like wood, I made a nice cupboard out of them, very convenient and very simple and elegant. The must another 20 - 25 of those boards.
I haven't decided on the depth of the tray, I need to design sth with scale and see how it looks, even make a prototype to see how it really feels.

Awaiting your comments
Best regards from Crete.

D
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post #25 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-19-2020, 06:30 PM
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I agree there needs to be more support in the middle. Also, I like the idea of pegs for the side pieces. I was worried about the handles only been secured at the bottom. So here's what I was thinking. Note the use of a dado for support. This will need to be cut to a fairly tight tolerance and the wood will need to have uniform thickness. I designed this one with 1/2"/12mm wood.
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Last edited by PhilBa; 01-19-2020 at 07:37 PM.
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post #26 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-20-2020, 02:38 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you Phil, this simplifies the structure for the support of the bottom. Additional pegs for the sides give additional support when everything is hanging from the handles. Still, aesthetically it makes the corners of the short sides quite "jammed with technical bits - I wonder if there is a way to make things more simple there - otherwise I am happy to proceed with such an item. Perhaps minimizing the pegs to half-dowels will make them look less predisposing on the design. anyway, the more I look at it the more it appeals to me. I also have some thoughts about what Stick suggested, widening the handles to make them more robust and look better as well. I have a few ideas about it, but have not put them to paper yet. How deep do you think the tray should be internally? Actually the long rims serve only to make sure things do not drop off when being lifted at an angle, so I think 4cm (1 1/2") is enough. This will mean the sides will have be like 6.4cm to provide at least 12mm dado and another 12mm under the dado to make sure the wood does not split. In my calculations with 15mm thick wood, it will become 7cm which is substantial.
Another subject to take into consideration is storage: The potter could have ample space for the tray after posing for Sir Tadema, but in our kitchen this high handled item will not find a place easily. So making this item is theoretical rather than practical. On the other hand, use of rotating metallic handles could the height of the item to that of the short side bodies.
Let me think about it a bit more. It has been a very good topic for discussion and has given me the opportunity to get to know your ability to draw and and the ideas about it from you and some more people.
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post #27 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-20-2020, 12:56 PM
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One important subject in this is grain direction in the boards. In Phil's diagram the grain for the bottom is running long ways with the tray. I can't remember Dimitri if you planned on that too. I would also use a flat grain board as opposed to more vertical grain. The vertical grain is more likely to split under weight whereas the flat grain resembles the layers in a piece of plywood. If you can do this I don't think you will need to reinforce the bottom piece to support weight.

Having the grain in the bottom running in the direction of the long dimension allows you to glue the sides to the bottom since you would be matching long grain to long grain. I imagine that Crete must have very high humidity at times so gluing long grain to cross grain will cause something to split.

As for the depth I would agree with what you have planned. I would have said an inside height of about 50mm plus what you need to join to the bottom.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #28 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-20-2020, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimitri M View Post
Thank you Phil, this simplifies the structure for the support of the bottom. Additional pegs for the sides give additional support when everything is hanging from the handles. Still, aesthetically it makes the corners of the short sides quite "jammed with technical bits - I wonder if there is a way to make things more simple there - otherwise I am happy to proceed with such an item. Perhaps minimizing the pegs to half-dowels will make them look less predisposing on the design. anyway, the more I look at it the more it appeals to me. I also have some thoughts about what Stick suggested, widening the handles to make them more robust and look better as well. I have a few ideas about it, but have not put them to paper yet. How deep do you think the tray should be internally? Actually the long rims serve only to make sure things do not drop off when being lifted at an angle, so I think 4cm (1 1/2") is enough. This will mean the sides will have be like 6.4cm to provide at least 12mm dado and another 12mm under the dado to make sure the wood does not split. In my calculations with 15mm thick wood, it will become 7cm which is substantial.
Another subject to take into consideration is storage: The potter could have ample space for the tray after posing for Sir Tadema, but in our kitchen this high handled item will not find a place easily. So making this item is theoretical rather than practical. On the other hand, use of rotating metallic handles could the height of the item to that of the short side bodies.
Let me think about it a bit more. It has been a very good topic for discussion and has given me the opportunity to get to know your ability to draw and and the ideas about it from you and some more people.
Much of the various designs have been driven by the painting. So the issues, in a large part, follow from that.

Yes, I agree that the ends are much too busy. I think the rounded pegs from the painting look better and only drew them square because it was easy. At the very least, I'd round over the edges. I am also thinking about how I would make angled rounded pegs like the picture below. Not terribly hard but it will take a special jig. Also, the pegs should be shorter so they only stick out a little. We could eliminate the pegs for the bottom as the pegged sides would hold it in place.

The total height of the most recent drawing is about 10cm. A lot of the height is to allow for room to place the fingers in handle holes and not scrape against the edge of the bottom board.

Folding handles would not be that hard to make though I think it's a long way from the Roman Potter look. Honestly, the tray doesn't even need handles or a very high edge and could be as short as around 2.5 cm/1". I've made several like that though like the look of the handles in the photo I posted in #10. The sides on that one are 4.5 cm/1.75" high which seem to work pretty well.

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Originally Posted by Cherryville Chuck View Post
One important subject in this is grain direction in the boards. In Phil's diagram the grain for the bottom is running long ways with the tray. I can't remember Dimitri if you planned on that too. I would also use a flat grain board as opposed to more vertical grain. The vertical grain is more likely to split under weight whereas the flat grain resembles the layers in a piece of plywood. If you can do this I don't think you will need to reinforce the bottom piece to support weight.

Having the grain in the bottom running in the direction of the long dimension allows you to glue the sides to the bottom since you would be matching long grain to long grain. I imagine that Crete must have very high humidity at times so gluing long grain to cross grain will cause something to split.

As for the depth I would agree with what you have planned. I would have said an inside height of about 50mm plus what you need to join to the bottom.
Yes, true about flat sawn wood but there is still a question of strength under heavier loads. By the way, I used the sagulator to run calcs on deflection under weight and it says we can go really thin. Even 1/4" (6mm) hardwood shows minimal sag. I may have to test that to fully believe.

About the inside height/depth. I'm definitely in the less is more camp on that. Trays don't really need to be very deep. You can get by with just a simple lip to prevent things from sliding off. The tray in post #10 has a bit less than 1" (2-sh cm) inside depth and could be a bit lower. A google survey of trays show that most tend to be fairly shallow.
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post #29 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-20-2020, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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Hello dear friends, what have we here!

It looks like a postgraduate course in tray design with super analysis in depth and statistics on what goes around the globe ! I started off seeing the painting and saying " I want a tray like that, it would be great!" and since then there has been so much theory that I feel like we are designing the next supercar to bust the business! I think I will go and make it according to Phil's plans, Charles's suggestions and my dimensions. Well, someone in this forum (I think) said "there are no failures in woodwork, you can always burn the thing in the stove and warm yourself up" - quite cynical but true, for there has been so much elbow grease while sanding (and it is sanding that transforms a log to furniture, isn't it?).

Till then,
your sincerely
with great thanks to all who contributed

Dimitri M

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post #30 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-20-2020, 07:20 PM
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Helping you think through the details of your project is good mental exercise for thinking through the details of our projects. And to paraphrase your signature: if you think it turned out well it will bring you joy for many years and if you think it didn't turn out out well it will make you unhappy until the day you burn it to keep you warm.
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