I don’t really throw much wood away, it costs too much, even thin strips that seem like throwaway offcuts and often cause clutter can be organised in bins and buckets on end and kept for use in a well-designed small project. This week I took some such strips and developed a masterclasses free project that we just finished the filming of. With eight hand common hand tools, nine strips of thin scraps and one basic yet simple joint type I made this compact tray. You could make it larger and for a different use but this one is useable for cup carrying, my drawing pens and pencils, small tools and pocket emptying for men’s pockets and more. For me it was two hours of solid work to make. Transformed scraps into a pleasing design is reward enough, but as a gift source or a source of income it’s even better. It’s a practical and attractive feature for my desk.
The main thing was to include my thicknessing guide to get exactness in my pieces so I could develop a reliable outcome. I blogged on making one of these a couple of days ago. The jig itself was quite critical, simple to make and it gave me tolerances of thickness down to small fractions of a millimeter. It means all of the planed parts are interchangeable once made and fitted. That the thicknessed pieces for the laminated bottom needed almost no further planing after glue up was a bonus too. It’s well worth the effort.
One thing we have done since woodworkingmasterclasses.com began has been to give tool techniques and method of construction out as free content to free subscribers. Sometimes the easiest way to do that has been through an actual project as is the case with this tray.
The tools I used:
Layout knife, pencil, square, chisel, plane, rasp, file, dovetail saw, chisel hammer.
Black walnut, figured maple or sycamore