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    Tea Tray

    One item I like to make are trays. I find most bought trays are very small especially when trying to take breakfast to your wife. I often make them as presents because you can never have too many trays.

    I used to use cabinet handles for my trays but for this one I decided to route out the handles. I had some left over cherry so that is why I chose cherry. The plywood is oak and the keys are ash.

    After getting the wood foursquare I cut the grove for the plywood. This was done with two passes of the saw. The 5.2mm is just less than 1/4in so you cannot use a dado blade. Try and get a good fit because you will still need to sand the ply.

    Then I lay out the pieces to get the best grain orientation. If I am using one piece then I try and wrap the grain around the tray. Because I was using offcuts I could not do that this time. Note the miter sled I built which I copied this from FWW #201. Then I made a template for the handles. After much thought they are 7/8" which takes ones hand nicely. They landed up been a bit wider than that but that size was the plan. Then I drilled out most of the wood using a Forster bit. Then using a flush trim bit to trim them to the template. I tried to use a 3/4 pattern bit in a 3/4 hole which did not work too well. Then I used a round over bit to shape the handle and had to go very carefully as not to crack the wood.

    From there I laid out and measured the size of the plywood. I always do it that way round it means that if you make a mistake on the miter you can always trim a fraction off. Having done that I then glued it all together using a strap clamp.

    After the glue had dried it was time to plane everything flush before cutting the keys which I cut on the table saw with a jig. I found some ash and trimmed it to the correct size using a hand plane and in went the keys. I cut them flush and planed them smooth.

    I finished it with lacquer which I did not like so next time it will be back to wipe-on-poly. Then I brought it upstairs to be used in the house.

    Originally posted on FineWoodworking.com.