Serving Trays Made From Pine

I make my own trays from scratch.  I made three using pine which I buy in rough form and joint, plane and cut to the size and shape I want.

For the sides and ends I run a groove just up from the bottom edge to hold the bottom piece of the tray.  When the bottom actually fits inside the tray, it's much stronger and longer lasting than one that is just nailed on.

Here's what the pieces look like with the groove in them:

For the handles I cut out an oval handle shape. This is the same as I did with the plywood boxes I made, 

you can see more photos and description here in an older post.

Here's the end pieces with handles cut out (for 3 trays):

For the bottom piece I used pine that I glued together side by side.  Plywood is actually a better choice since it doesn't expand or contract with the seasons:

Now, if I join the handle (end) piece on to the side piece, at the corner you will see not only the end grain, but also the small cut out where the groove is for the bottom piece. This is a butt joint and not the strongest joint:
(this shows the side piece on the left and the handle piece on the right)

To avoid that, I cut a rabbet on the handle piece that is the width of the side piece.
(sorry: but these pieces are switched from the above photo, with the handle on the left and the side on the right)
This is both a better joint in terms of strength, but also nicer looking:

Here are the pieces laid out flat before gluing:

And here is what it will look like glued.  It's still not glued at this point, just fitted together:

One of the trays I stained and then finished by hand "painting" with a Sharpie paint pen.  This is an old bicycle ad, an image I got from the Graphics Fairy, who has great graphics that are free to use.

* Edited to add:  I use carbon paper to transfer my images, you can read how I do that here , and the image is available here *

I'll post the other two trays later... they both have sold, this one is still available for $50.

I'm just THRILLED that this item was featured at the Graphics Fairy!

The Graphics Fairy

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