“I Made One Just Like That In School.”   1 comment

I hear the comment at almost every event:

“I made a board just like these when I was in High School!”

Every time I hear it, I just smile. And every time I hear it, I say it in my head:

“Respectfully, no you didn’t.”

I submit this analysis based on my own humble story: I made a board in “Industrial Arts” in junior high. Ironically, I decided to make a serving tray instead of a cutting board. This is that story.

I only remember 2 things about that IA class:

  1. I was given a block of pine that the teacher, Mr Price, had given a wavy top cut on the band saw. My task was to make the edge dead flat using a hand plane. I failed.
  2. I made a serving tray out of the wood provided, which I recall was “Ulner.” There is no such wood.

So you can see, I was not a successful woodworker at 13. I did, however, make a serving tray out of IDKWII, pronounced “i duh KWEE.” Though the wood may have been Alder, all I know at this point is I Don’t Know What It Is.

I do know that my mother seldom never used the tray, and then she passed it on to Velda …

… who never uses it. The tray is currently living in our coat closet, buried in stored books and houseware items we can’t wait to give away.

So, again, I was not a successful woodworker at 13. No one has ever looked at the serving tray and said, “This is too pretty to use.” No one has ever looked at my serving tray and said, “This is beautiful.” No one has ever looked at my serving tray and said, “How much is that?”

Those are comments I hear at every show when people see the things I’ve made this year. But the thing I made almost 50 years ago? Not so much.

Now, I know my mother loves that tray, just as every mother loves to tell me the story about what their son or daughter made them in woodshop. I always ask: most mothers never use the wooden cutting boards or serving pieces that they were given by their children. They treasure them. They don’t use them.

As my faithful readers know, however, I strive to make things to be of use.

That’s not to say the first & unused wooden object I made, the serving tray, is without value (to me). That’s not to say the tray is not a good tray (I think). After all, it worked just fine the 3 times it’s been used in the last 48 years.

So, here’s the tray that’s nearly half a century old … that did not launch a woodworking career.

Sorry, Mr Price. This one just didn’t work.

Serving Tray, made circa 1969. Wood is IDKWII. Yes, those are the ugliest handles known to mankind. The nice cherry tone surface has survived, pretty much, though the varnish has some age. One corner’s a bit bunged up. 14″ x 18″ x 3/4″. Felt bottom cover.

One response to ““I Made One Just Like That In School.”

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  1. Pingback: New: Serving Trays | MowryJournal.com

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