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A good friend asked Carol (aka, SWMBO) if I would consider making a serving tray for her son's pending wedding as both he and his fiancé had admired a cutting board I made for her when they moved house. Well, with a build up like that one can only say yes and so the tale begins.
I offered an example of one I previously made, they liked the design and came back with a critical piece of information, the dimensions. The tray had to have an ID of at least 18" to hold the glassware for the beverage being served at the reception. With that in hand I searched local suppliers offering a broad selection of woods that might work for the base. I was particularly interested in what I refer to as craft boards, typically 3/8" x 4" x 2', in order to avoid planing down larger pieces. The local Woodcraft store had a sufficiently broad selection and Carol (a quilter) came along to make the selection based on color and grain. With suitable stock in hand Carol then worried over the varying combinations of width/grain/color to design the base. Once she was happy I proceeded with the required combination of cutting, glueing, sanding, etc. i.e. the dirty part of the task to complete the tray. I must confess however that Carol did lend a hand in prepping and juggling the final glue up as well as touching up a couple of small spots.
The base of the tray was glued in 2 sections and hen joined as shown in the first two photos and the finished tray in the last one.
The wood choices for the base, working from the center out are: Curly Makore, Brazilian Cherry, Basswood, Sapele Ribbon, Leopard, Cherry and Brazilian Cherry. The rails are Mahogany and the handles Cherry.
The groom's parent are pleased but the wedding party has yet to see the finished tray. The wedding is in early November so the jury is still out. That is except for comments from one and all on the forum which are always welcome.
 

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Theo
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Nice. Looks a tad large for a tray someone is going to carry far loaded with drinks. So, you should have made two, slightly smaller. >:)
 

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Thank you one and all.
@Marco
The handles are glued in place. The rabbet allows for the handle to extend down on both the inside and outside.
@JOAT I agree re the size but this is the size the customer requested. The drinks will be shot glasses so I don't think weight will be an issue.
 

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Theo
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@JOAT I agree re the size but this is the size the customer requested. The drinks will be shot glasses so I don't think weight will be an issue.
Uh oh. Reminds me of the last wedding I attended, many years ago. One of my cousins got married. Lovely church, and so huge the reception was in the basement. The HUGE basement. They parted for whatever reason, then the other want looking after awhle. By the time they found each other they were both drunk, and got into a huge fight. Very entertaining. They made up when they sobered up. Best wedding I ever attended.
:grin::grin::grin::grin:
 

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Nice job. The contrasting wood colors almost make it look 3 dimensional.

Is that blue stuff painters tape to keep the glue off the wood surface? If so, that's a good idea. I guess even I am not too old to learn new methods.

Art S
 

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Beautiful....
 
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Awesome
 
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Paul
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Very nice, Jon. Besides the wood colours, I really like the handles.
 

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I like everything about it. The handles are really great. I can see this used for bread or crackers and cheese as well. Loaves of French bread, the skinny kind, and soft butter and jam would look wonderful in it as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Nice job. The contrasting wood colors almost make it look 3 dimensional.

Is that blue stuff painters tape to keep the glue off the wood surface? If so, that's a good idea. I guess even I am not too old to learn new methods.

Art S
Yes, the blue is painters tape to protect the surface from glue spread. I also use it on all corners. Take care to make certain that none of the tape extends into the joint. VOE says that can make for a real ugly joint.
I also use clear packing tape to cover the MDF used in the jig for the glue up.
 

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A good friend asked Carol (aka, SWMBO) if I would consider making a serving tray for her son's pending wedding as both he and his fiancé had admired a cutting board I made for her when they moved house. Well, with a build up like that one can only say yes and so the tale begins.
I offered an example of one I previously made, they liked the design and came back with a critical piece of information, the dimensions. The tray had to have an ID of at least 18" to hold the glassware for the beverage being served at the reception. With that in hand I searched local suppliers offering a broad selection of woods that might work for the base. I was particularly interested in what I refer to as craft boards, typically 3/8" x 4" x 2', in order to avoid planing down larger pieces. The local Woodcraft store had a sufficiently broad selection and Carol (a quilter) came along to make the selection based on color and grain. With suitable stock in hand Carol then worried over the varying combinations of width/grain/color to design the base. Once she was happy I proceeded with the required combination of cutting, glueing, sanding, etc. i.e. the dirty part of the task to complete the tray. I must confess however that Carol did lend a hand in prepping and juggling the final glue up as well as touching up a couple of small spots.
The base of the tray was glued in 2 sections and hen joined as shown in the first two photos and the finished tray in the last one.
 

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Very nice. SWMBO will be proud. I cracked up when I saw SWMBO since I didin't know anyone else used the acronym outside of myself. At first, I thought I had written the post just because my eyes focused on SWMBO. Now I have to walk the dog per SWMBO (mine, not yours).
 

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perhaps you were the originator of the term, no idea on that point. However, walking the dog is always a good thing. Enjoy.
 

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A little weird at a glance but it makes the tray unique. I expected that the handles were placed in the same direction as a fiber wood. Really nice.
What´s about the tray finishing?
 

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Loved your design and wood selection. Here's one I made this summer of basically the same dimensions. The bottom is Big Leaf Maple, Walnut, quarter sawn Sycamore and Mahogany. The sides are fiddleback Maple and the handle is Walnut with curly Maple insert. The handle construction was from a Wood Magazine article of 2-4 years ago. The base is my design from some sketching one afternoon when I realized everything but the base could be made from 4/4 scraps laying around once resawed to approx. 3/8". The base is 3/*' thick tapered down to 1/4" on the bottom face to fit into the inside 1/4" groove in the sides. Finish is two coats of shellac, the top being a waterbased gloss. The table it's sitting on is my post under show & tell of a really challenging build.
 

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@papasombre

Appreciate the comments. The finish is 3 coats of mineral oil with the last coat mixed with carnuba wax. I chose that finish to be food safe as the tray may be used to serve snacks in the future.
 
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