I made this Large Serving Tray out of ambrosia maple to place on our new ottoman in our living room. It's great for holding drinks and snacks, as well as decor. I used an Inventables X-Carve CNC Machine to make this project, but I also have a free PDF Cutting Template available in my website article. You could really make this with just a jig saw and trim router. Watch my video, then follow the basic steps in this Instructable to make one yourself!
Tools: CNC (or Jig Saw and Router), Sander, Chisel, Mallet
Supplies: 3/4" Lumber, 1/4" Plywood, Wood Glue, Spray Lacquer
Step 1: Design It!
I designed this project using the Inventables EASEL web application. I designed one side piece with interlocking finger joints on the ends, so that I can cut out four of them and join them together at the corners. In Easel, you design the project on the left side of the screen, then a simulator shows you how it will cut it out on the right side of the screen. All settings like material, bit type, cutting speed, depth per pass, etc are set in this application prior to sending it to the CNC machine.
Click here to open my EASEL file. EASEL is used to design projects and send them to the X-Carve for cutting. You can create a free account even if you don't have a CNC machine and design projects to see how it works, which is really cool.
If you would rather use regular power tools, CLICK HERE to visit my website article on this project that contains a link to a free PDF Cutting Template.
I recommend that you add your own creative touch to the design.
Step 2: Cut It!
Clamp down the wood blank on the wasteboard and send the job to the CNC machine to be cut out. I like to use a thin piece of plywood when cutting all the way through so my stock wasteboard with the grid does not get messed up. I hate cutting out repetitive parts, so the CNC takes away that pain. I cut two at a time, but I could cut all four sides at once if I had a bigger board.
I used my table saw to cut a 20.5" square piece of 1/4" lumber for the bottom.
Note: You could also cut these pieces with a jig saw and router using my free template.
Step 3: Assemble It!
I recommend you sand everything smooth prior to assembly - it's easier that way. Do a dry fit to make sure it all fits together ok before applying glue. Assemble it with glue on the mating surfaces at the corners. There is no need to put glue on the bottom piece as it is captured withing the grooves in the four sides. Clamp it and let it dry.
Step 4: Finish It!
Do any final sanding and remove all dust before finishing. I sprayed the tray with about 4 coats of Deft Clear Wood Finish Satin Spray Lacquer. It dries fast and looks really nice.
Thanks for checking out my project and I hope you can use either the EASEL project file or my free PDF cutting template to make one yourself!