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3 in 1 high chair.

1486 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Bushwhacker
About a year ago I saw a 3 in 1 highchair here on the forum.
I went ahead and made one for my grand daughters new baby.
She is 16 months old now ( the new baby) not my grand daughter.
Now the grand daughter wants a tray for the highchair.
So, of course, grand pa built it for her.
Before I get into this too far, I want to apologize for not taking pictures of the start of this projects.
So, I will attempt to explain how I made the tray. Luckily, Sandra decided to take some pictures
after i had gotten into it a bit. (PUN)
First, I do not have the highchair but my grand daughter is going to bring it out to the house in a couple of weeks.
She expects to have the tray attached to the highchair at that time.
Since I still had the plans for the original 3 in 1 highchair, I was able to figure the width of the tray and the depth.
I had some 1 1/8 inch by 8.5 inch maple left from a carving job, (that I have not yet finished).
I cut 2 pieces of the maple 21 inches long and fitted them together side by side until I was satisfied with a near perfect fit.
Then I drilled them for dowels. Being careful to allow the dowel holes to be to one side of the two pieces, to insure that when I
cut out the concave portion of the tray that it would not cut into and expose the dowels .
I glued the dowels and the two halves together and stood the two pieces in my vice.
Then I clamped the two halves together.
I placed it in the vice so I could attach strings to the clamps and pull the top half until they were perfectly plumb
to insure the board turned out to be perfectly flat.
The next day I removed them from the clamps and vice and drew the outline of the tray on the front side.
After cutting the shape out on my band saw, I sanded the edges until they were smooth, then ran it though
my router table with a round over bit to both the front and the back edges.
This rounded over the edges to make them nice and smooth.
I then drew a second line inside of the outside edge to show where my concave or bowl shape would be.
I made a gig out of 3/4 scrap wood , to hold the material steady and which would allow me to run my router on it with out interference by the gig.
Since the maple material was 1 1/8 inches thick.
(I hope this makes sense.)
Then using a half round bit, I carefully followed the inside line and cut a groove for the shape of the bowl.
You can see from the pictures that it was difficult to keep the line straight, even with this almost grain less Maplewood.
Then came the part I had worried about the most.
I cut out the inside of the bowl with a 1/2 inch slotting bit, by balancing the router on the uncut part of the tray and
working my way across the tray from one narrow side to the other.
It turned out pretty good. I was able to sand it out easily and with my sander I was able to straighten the outside edges
to make them look even.
I finished the tray with a red chestnut 232 stain and clear polyurethane.
I applied 4 coats of polyurethane, sanding lightly between coats and then 2 more coats rubbing it down with 00 steel wool
which gave a nice smooth finish.
I used the Red Chestnut because I originally painted the highchair in a canary yellow and a white. I think it will go good with the red stain.
Now comes the hard part.
We'll have to see if I am smart enough to add pictures to this very long narrative.

A Note: I had a heck of a time trying to follow the pencil lines as I cut both the concave cut and the removal of the inside of the tray.
I had a box fan blowing from one side to try to clear the fine dust out and still had to stop several times just to allow the router to blow the debris
out of the way so I could continue.
You can see in one of the pictures where most of the saw dust went. (all over me)
But, I was wearing my goggles a dust mask and ear protection.


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Thanks for the write up and pictures,David.
I had a similar job a few years, or rather many years ago. Only she shipped me the broken tray of a boughten hi-chair.

I also used maple to make it. I cut it out to match the old tray . I had a pin router set-up for my router table, so I made a template of the recessed portion of the tray. Then attached that to the bottom of the tray and used a bowl bit to cut the recess.
I don't think I could have done it freehand like you did, I would have messed it up good, you have a steadier hand than I do.
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