Serving tray

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Serving tray

This beautiful project came to us from our featured Blogger & Dremel Enthusiast, Pauline Henderson.

Set aside the 24 x 24 in plywood and the 8 ft length of lumber. Mark your strips on the longer sheet of plywood. I chose about 4" strips, but you can really have fun with your design by varying widths. Secure wood to table with clamp, and use the Saw Max to cut your strips.

Clamp the miter guide to the end of each strip and use the Saw-Max tool equipped with the SM600 Flush Cutting Blade to cut the end from each strip (Keep the end scraps you'll use them later).

Next, cut four sections from each strip about 4.5" wide. Start making your cuts using the Flush Cut Wheel with the Saw Max (be sure all edges are lined up on those strips).

Now the really fun part begins.... Lay out your strips and play around with pattern/grain. I started the painting process too so I could get an idea of what it would look like as it came together.

Once you've decided on your pattern, paint any pieces you desire. I used the Multi Max MM20 and Paint Sandpaper after the paint dries to sand the edges of these pieces to distress the paint job.

Now that you've decided on your layout, glue the pieces to the 24x24" piece you set aside earlier. Line up along one edge working left to right, row by row. The end piece scraps from earlier, work perfect to finish the pattern. I use big books to flatten and clamp down pieces as I go while the glue dries. If there are small gaps or spaces, don't fret! I've got a tip you'll use later to fix this. Now would be a good time to paint and distress the 8 ft piece of lumber for the sides.

Time to trim your edges. After glue dries, clamp your artsy workpiece to a table and use the Saw Max to trim up the edges. You can decide how much you want to trim it down. My overall size came to 22.5" x 16". I used the Saw-Max tool with the Flush-Cutting wheel to make these cuts.

Measure and cut for the sides of the tray/art piece. Taking your 8 ft piece of lumber, clamp and cut it into four pieces, making sure to give an extra inch or two for each side (better to trim the ends to exact size after you line them up on the tray, and make a precise mark).

Laying the tray side pieces on top of tray, make your marks, then trim to size. Secure four sides together using one screw on each corner (don't forget to drill your pilot holes to prevent splitting).

Place the chevron tray bottom face down on top of the rectangle frame you just made. Make sure the edge lines up all the way around then glue (If it's not perfect, don't worry! We can trim up any little excess in the end.) Nail away! For added strength, use some evenly spaced screws too.

Make a handle groove. Notch out handles on each end (if desired) by using the Saw Max and adjusting depth, or the 4000 rotary tool.

Fill in any gaps in your pattern with painter's caulk or wood filler. I like using the caulk because it wipes away so smoothly with a damp wipe, and it's white color fits right in with my color scheme.

Finish up. Touch up paint and sand where needed.

Stick felt pads on the bottom if you're going to use it as a tray to protect surfaces. Add a hanging piece if you're wanting to hang it as an art piece. Well done!

  • 2 sheets of 1/4" plywood
    • 1 piece 24" x 24" for the base
    • 1 piece 24" x 30" for the pattern strips
      (hardware stores usually carry handy panels pre-cut to approximately this size)
  • 1 8' length of wood for sides of tray
    ( I used some scrap 1" x 2")
  • Paint
  • Brushes
  • Wood Glue
  • Drill Driver & Screws
  • #8 finishing nails (optional)
  • Painter's acrylic caulk or wood filler
  • Clamps
  • Hammer