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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I made two trays this past week. The walnut one is for my wife and the mahogany one for my youngest son. Both were requested and both were "Rush" jobs, so they are not not nearly up to my usual quality standards, but here they are. Both wanted trays with high sides for transporting food to the table, etc. and they gave me the size that they wanted. Both trays were made from 1/4" Baltic Birch with box jointed corners to be strong yet light in weight.

I also made some tool boxes for the shop, but these will be in another post. My internet is hiccuping today.

Charley
 

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Nice trays, Charlie. Like the box joints. They should be quite handy. Too bad, you couldn't them in to the same sizes. Who gets which?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks guys.

The trays were made to the sizes given to me. To me, the proportions are wrong, but that's what they wanted. The red one is for my son. It was made to fit on the seat of his wheeled walker and with high sides to keep his drink, etc. from tipping out. He has muscular dystrophy, so he needs the walker or something else to hang onto when he walks (walls, cabinets, walker, etc.). The tray was made so he can prepare his meal in the kitchen and then place it in the tray and onto the seat of his wheeled walker to take it to the table in the family room. It was stained red mahogany because he wanted it that color.

I'm not yet sure of what my wife plans to do with the brown tray, but she wanted it, so I must comply. It's too narrow for it's length, but that's what she wanted. They were made with box joints because I was cutting box joints for the boxes that I made and posted in my the other post. I was in the middle of making when the requests for these trays were given to me. So I decided "Why not box joints" since my I-Box jig and Freud SBOX8 blade were already set up and in use on the Unisaw.

Charley
 

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Theo
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Nice. I would have put a ring or something in the red tray tho, to make certain the drink didn't tip.

Have to make some trays for my shop, but mine won't be anywhere near as nice. Be all plywood, no handles, and no box joints - just butt joints and glue blocks, with a I don't know what type of handle yet to pull them out. I don't shoot for fancy for my shop stuff.
 

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Oliver (Prof. Henry)
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Simple, functional, and problem solving. A great project.
 
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Thanks guys.

The trays were made to the sizes given to me. To me, the proportions are wrong, but that's what they wanted. The red one is for my son. It was made to fit on the seat of his wheeled walker and with high sides to keep his drink, etc. from tipping out. He has muscular dystrophy, so he needs the walker or something else to hang onto when he walks (walls, cabinets, walker, etc.). The tray was made so he can prepare his meal in the kitchen and then place it in the tray and onto the seat of his wheeled walker to take it to the table in the family room. It was stained red mahogany because he wanted it that color.

I'm not yet sure of what my wife plans to do with the brown tray, but she wanted it, so I must comply. It's too narrow for it's length, but that's what she wanted. They were made with box joints because I was cutting box joints for the boxes that I made and posted in my the other post. I was in the middle of making when the requests for these trays were given to me. So I decided "Why not box joints" since my I-Box jig and Freud SBOX8 blade were already set up and in use on the Unisaw.

Charley

Charley you have been busy. I saw the boxes in your other post now some very nice trays. I ask in your other post how you cut the box joints but now I know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Tom,

The red tray has a coat of BLO, as I usually apply to my birch projects to "pop the grain" because birch is so plain otherwise, It helps, but not much. This was followed by a coat of Watco Red Mahogany Danish Oil. When that didn't make it red enough, I added a coat of Zar red mahogany pigmented stain over it. Then 2 coats of polyurethane were hand applied over that. Between coats I always lightly rub all surfaces with 220 paper to remove nubs and provide better bonding for the next coat. They still have grain, but are very smooth when handled.

The same finishing process was used for the brown tray, but without the Watco, and I used Zar Dark Walnut Stain for it. The rest of the finishing process was identical.

Birch wood is hard to get an appealing grain pattern to show through the finish. I've tried many methods and have pretty much settled on the BLO to achieve this, although when working with birch, there just isn't much appealing about the grain swirls even when using this method.

A Strong Word Of Caution -

If any of you try this, be very careful with your BLO (Boiled Linseed Oil) soaked rags and clean up materials. BLO reacts slowly and sneaky with the air when drying, and it gives off considerable heat. You won't notice this from the surfaces that you put the BLO on, but a soaked rag left crumpled up anywhere will become very warm and sometimes even hot enough to set the rag on fire. I once left a linseed oil rag on my workbench while I rearranged part of my shop to make room so that I could place my project pieces around to dry. When I picked the rag up off my workbench about 45 minutes later, the rag was already hot enough to almost leave burns on my hand.

My "in use" rags now get dropped into an empty and clean 1 gallon tin can sitting on my workbench "whenever I need to set them down" even if only for a minute or two, and as soon as I finish using it on the the project, anything with linseed oil on it gets taken outside and submerged in a metal pail of water and the metal lid put on it. The next day, or day after next, I wring the rags out and put them, still wet, in my city collected trash can.

At my former shop there was a chain link fence nearby that I used to hang my rags from with clothes pins while they dried. Then I would put them in the trash after they were dry. I don't have a chain link fence that I can use here, but for a while I was spreading the rags out flat and weighting them down on a metal workbench outside and away from my shop and home. I now think the best and safest possible way is the metal pail of water with the metal lid. Water to keep them cool. A lid to keep the air away, and distance between the pail and anything that can burn. I'm becoming anal about this, but I have a great fear and respect for fire, since I was once a fireman and fire marshal, among my many other life's occupations.

Please be fire safe. Your home, shop, and maybe you and your family's lives depend on it. Linseed Oil and some other products that give off heat when they are drying, can be very dangerous if not respected.

Charley
 
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