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Discussion Starter #1
I've been in the shop making some Christmas gifts. First up, I made a number of trays with folding legs. Variations included inlays. Frame is cherry, legs are cherry or anigre and the pivots for the legs are walnut dowels (except the first which used brass #10 screws). I used box joints for the frame. The bottoms of the trays are several types of 1/4" plywood - in the end I settled on cherry ply.

I will post the how-to in the "project plans" forum in a bit. The first one pictured is the prototype. It was a bit too big and I really didn't like the fasteners for the legs. The next ones were smaller with the size optimized to get 4 bottoms out of a 24 x 48 sheet of 1/4" plywood.

Finish for the first two was water based polyurethane which I wasn't wild about. I used oil based Minwax Wipe On Poly for the rest and really really like the finish. It's now my go to finish for small pieces like this.

Enjoy
Phil
 

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Great job and great idea too. I like them all. I like the waterbased poly for the final 2 coats, and give it a 2 coats of clear sanding sealer,clear dewaxed shellac, and sand between each coat with 400 grit, and things come out great. It is just that I try to stay away from oil based anything. And both the shellac and WB poly dry so fast I can get more coats on in a shorter time.
Herb
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks. Yeah, WB is easy to use but it just doesn't bring out the richness of the cherry. The minwax wipe on stuff is actually very forgiving. If you dry it in a heated space you can get 2 coats on in a day. It's a little hard to see in the pictures but in person, it's really obvious that the oil based is much nicer.

edit: By the way, I went down to 1000 grit and then buffed. I put on 6 coats and a paste wax at the end. I hate to brag but it really really looks good. Unfortunately, it makes everything I've done before look pretty plain...
 

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Looks really nice, BOTH ways! Great job. It is seeing projects like this that makes me wanna get out to the garage and start making sawdust!

Thank you for sharing!
 

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most excellent work...
 

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John
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:) Phil
looking good very nice Great Gift
 
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Ross
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Brilliant.
 
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Wow beautiful work!!!!
 
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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Those certainly qualify as great Christmas gifts. Are you selling these?
Selling? No way. I get a lot more return when they are gifts... Plus, I don't need the money.

edit: my wife (being very proud of me), went and looked around. Trays simpler than this go for $75 so it's likely that one could get $100 to $125. Maybe a bit more for the inlaid ones. I figure there are about 10 hours in each tray so it's not a very good return on the effort. But then, I get paid every time some one uses a tray and thinks about me.

I would be happy if some one uses my design and makes money on it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by phil
...I get a lot more return when they are gifts...

Congrats Phil, marvelous job!
Sid.
 
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