PROJECT: Simple Serving Tray

PROJECT: Simple Serving Tray

This simple geometric serving tray can be made using only a handsaw, a drill, three clamps and some sandpaper. It is a perfect beginner’s project, and experienced woodworkers could make several of them as nice gifts in a short time, too. The tray consists of three pieces of 3/4″-thick hardwood. The handles are cut from one piece of 1/4″-thick lumber, and the feet and handle details are made from eight maple pegs cut to two different lengths. All of these supplies are available at or from a Rockler store.

Cutting, Clamping and Sanding

Clamping up parts for paduak and walnut serving tray
Use three clamps to glue the tray components together. The center padauk board extends past the outer walnut boards by 1″ on each end.

I used padauk for the center board and made the two outer boards from black walnut. My plan was to use a food-safe oil finish, and those species looks great together when finished this way.

I cut the center and outer boards to length and then mitered two corners of the outer boards with a handsaw. Then I edge-glued the boards together. When the glue cured, I sanded the tray flat by hand, but a random-orbit sander would certainly speed that process along!

Grabbing the 1/4″ walnut board, I cut the handles to length and then mitered their corners as shown in the Drawings. Sand the handles smooth and soften their edges. Now lay out the peg holes in the handles and use a 1/4″-diameter bit to bore through them. Transfer the hole locations to the tray using the handles as guides. Drill those holes. Cut the handle peg shafts to 1/2″ long and then install the handles on the tray with glue and pegs. I put a weighted board across the top of the pegs to clamp the parts.

When the glue dries, drill holes for the foot pegs. Cut their shafts to 1/4″ long, and glue them into place. Wipe on two coats of Walrus Oil finish or similar, and you’re done. Time to party!

Click Here to Download the Drawings and Materials List.

Hard-to-Find Hardware:

Padauk by the Piece 3/4″ x 5″ x 24″ (1) #39769
Walnut by the Piece 3/4″ x 3″ x 24″ (2) #30006
Walnut by the Piece 1/4″ x 3″ x 24″ (1) #65100
3/8″ Hole Maple Pegs (2) #75929

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