Free woodworking plan: serving tray.

Serving trays are some of the simplest small woodworking projects for beginners. Enjoy this free woodworking plan serving tray. If you like this free woodworking plan, please join our mailing list and we will let you know when we post the next one. Thanks!

Free Woodworking Plan Serving Tray

This is a great small woodworking project for beginners that doesn’t take too much time. You can use some of your left over pine to make it.

This little tray is great for serving drinks or something like cookies or pastries. You could also place it on a shelf and use it to hold a vase of flowers or in the kitchen to hold your spice bottles.

This plan calls for 1/4″ thick pine stock, but you could use thicker stock or a different wood species. Just keep in mind that thicker stock will make the tray heavier.

Instructions for Making the Cedar Keepsake Box

Step 1: Cut The Pieces

Cut the base piece 10″ long by 5 1/4″ wide (figure 1). Cut the two end pieces, each measuring 5 1/4″ long by 3″ wide. Don’t cut the side pieces yet.

Free woodworking plan: serving tray figure 1.
Figure 1.

Step 2: Lightly Sand The Pieces

Lightly touch up all the cut edges of the parts with some fine sandpaper. Be careful not to round any edges, just take off the fuzzies that formed when the cuts took place. Once this is done, your parts will be as clean as possible and ready for dry assembly.

Dry assemble the tray by butting one end panel against each end of the base board. Make sure the end panels are square to the base, and set a single side panel in position.

Mark that panel for length, and cut both of the 1 1/2″-wide side panels to the same length. Touch up the cut edges with fine sandpaper, being careful not to round the edges.

Step 3: Cut the Curves

As shown in figure 2, lay out the curved areas on the two end panels and two side panels.

Cut the curves to the proper shape as shown in the diagram.You can avoid holes from the compass pin if you use a drafting circle template instead. Then drill a pair of 3/4″-diameter holes in each of the end panels for the finger cutouts. Use a coping saw, scroll saw, or jigsaw to cut out the finger openings in these two panels.

Lightly sand all the pieces.

Free woodworking plan: serving tray figure 2.
Figure 2.

Step 4: Assemble the Pieces

Set up for the assembly operation by getting your clamps set to the approximate openings and preparing your clamp blocks for use. Clear your work area, and have a container of water and a rag available for wiping up any excess glue.

Apply some yellow woodworker’s glue to the edges to be joined and butt all the parts together. All you need is a few light duty clamps to hold everything in place.

Step 5: Install the Pegs

Once the glue has completely dried, it’s time to install the round pegs that help make this project unique. The pegs are nothing more than round wooden toothpicks that have had the tapered ends cut off and cut in half.

Check the pegs against your dill bits to find the appropriately sized drill bit. The holes should be drilled about 5/8″ deep. The placement of the pegs is not important. You can create any pattern you choose to get the effect you want. See figure 3.

Free woodworking plan: serving tray figure 3.
Figure 3.

Put a drop of glue in each hole, then push the peg into place. Allow the glue to cure completely before trimming the pegs to length.

Trimming can be done with a sharp knife, a “setless” saw (like a backsaw), a chisel, or a belt sander.

Step 5: Sand and Finish

Sand the entire piece paying special attention to the parts that will be handled the most.

Finish with an environmentally-safe, clear, water-soluble finish, or with any finish you want. Just remember if you are going to be using it for food you should use a non-toxic finish.

Now your tray is ready to serve drinks or other goodies or for display of your knick-knacks.

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