Serving Tray 1            09-2015

It's birthday time for the kids so I thought I'd make them something: that means project time again! We have four kids with all their birthdays only three weeks apart, and three of them are within five days of each other. How's that for timing?

Two of the kids, Stef and Tracey, are big football fans so I thought I'd make them something football related. What I had in mind was a serving tray that would hold chips and dip, and they could use it when they watched a game. Or anytime for that matter.

The material for this project will be mahogany and maple. The reason for these two species will be evident very soon. The size of the mahogany below is 23 X 13 X 1 3/4 thick so lets check out how the project was made.



I cut some maple into strips that were 13 X 1 3/4 X 3/4 thick. I'll be using two pieces per serving tray.



I cut each surface to make sure they were square so I'd have a nice edge to work with.



I cut the mahogany with my circular saw and then machined those cut edges square like I did with the maple.



Here are all the pieces glued-up which I let set overnight.



The next day I used my milling machine to surface both sides. Notice the area at the top-right that didn't clean up. That won't be a problem and you'll see why later.



The pencil lines mark the center of the project which I'll use on my next setup. Again note the area at the top that didn't clean up. This area won't be a problem either.



Over the July 4th. weekend, I went into my work and used the CNC milling machine to cut the shape that I was after.



Here you can see one of three pockets that will be cut.



This should give you a better idea of what I'm making. All of the pockets are finished here and I've cut around the perimeter with a 3/8" end mill, but not all the way through. The reason I didn't cut all the way through is because an end mill can be somewhat unpredictable once they break through. When they break through they can bounce your part around which may put some unwanted cutter marks where you don't want them. Or even worse, leave your wooden part destroyed. I wanted to make sure that didn't happen so I stayed away 1/8" from going all the way through.

You can also see the football shape that I'm making here. Now both girls are into pro football but I wanted the look of one with stripes, like a college ball has. It gives it a nice contrast but still gets the point across that is it's football related.



Here you can see a 3/16 radius that goes all the way around the top surfaces (inside and outside). If you look close you can also see the same size radius at the bottom of the pocket.



I used a bandsaw to separate the pieces and I kept the blade in the middle of the 3/8" slot, which worked like a guide for me.


Here you can see how it looks with one half cut away. This worked out great and went really fast.



The small marks at the top of the cut-away piece are where I had the 3/8" cutter enter and exit. Now it's time to do some sanding...a bunch of sanding!!


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