Archive for the ‘serving tray’ Tag

Trays To Serve   3 comments

I’m calling this a win.

I started out making 3 serving trays, as a reaction to my failure as a teen-aged woodworker. You can read that story, here.

Those 3 serving trays sold at 2 events. That’s a fairly good result for a serving piece … especially a serving piece made by someone with a checkered past making a serving tray, like yours truly.

So, there was nothing to do but go back to the shop and make some more and see if I could replicate the success. These 10 serving trays were the result. Now, I have 2 different styles of handles and a wide, wide range of woods featured in these 10 boards. There are woods from 5 continents being used!

I’m enjoying making these serving trays, and I’m hopeful that the teen-aged me didn’t make an appearance when I was making these in the shop. If that happened, the result could be less than ideal.

Somehow, I’m not worried.

If any of these catch your fancy, you’ll find all of them this weekend at Santa Clarita’s Fine Craft Show in Old Orchard Park. Hours are 10a – 5p on Saturday, and 10a – 3p on Sunday. Hope to see you there!

The 250th Cutting Board: Back In The Pig Business   4 comments

Such mixed emotions here.

My inventory has peaked at the perfect time: right in front of what just might be a very large event for us. It is for others … so here’s hoping.

For just the 2nd time, I have over 250 pieces in inventory. That’s a good thing.

With this post, I return to the pig business. I sold my last pig in April, so it’s been several months that I’ve enjoyed not being in the pig business. But, good things often must end so I’m back to selling pigs.

Which is really a good thing. I went to school on these pigs, and cut them out with my new CNC router. After 4 pigs with problems – and one with a broken foot – I got it perfect. After that, every pig was cut out perfectly.

This whole “be more efficient” thing just might be working.

More

The 250th Cutting Board

A Litter Of Pigs

New: Serving Trays   Leave a comment

The last time I made a serving tray, I failed. That was almost 50 years ago, of course. You can read that story here: “I Made One Just Like That In School.”

After reading that other woodworkers had found a measure of success by making serving trays, I resolved to take another shot at making one that would be of use in a happy home.

After all, my first attempt did not find success. Though it was made to be of use, it was never found to have sufficient utility for the women in my life.

No hard feelings. Honest.

So, challenge accepted. I have resolved to make useful serving trays. I have determined that such a tray should be 12″ x 18″. And, I have determined that these trays should have metal handles and non-skid rubber feet held on with stainless steel screws.

Let’s see if anyone agrees with me. I’ve started humbly, with only 3 trays produced in the first batch. I will tell you, however, that I’ve bought a couple of dozen handles. I hope somebody thinks these are worthy!

Serving Tray 17 – 01. Purpleheart, Canarywood, Pau Ferro & Jatoba. 12″ x 18″ x 3/4″.

Serving Tray 17 – 02. Black Walnut, White Oak & Honey Locust. 12″ x 18″.

Serving Tray 17 – 03. Black Walnut, Hard Maple, Jatoba & Bubinga. 12″ x 18″ x 3/4″.

“I Made One Just Like That In School.”   2 comments

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.

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