Monday, December 29, 2014

Hello Everyone! Lathe update and new project:Small walnut serving tray-discussion and plans

Hello All,

Well, here we are again. I hope you all have had an enjoyable holiday season and are ready for the New Year.

Here's an update on the lathe-it's still not working but I am waiting on a switch to arrive that may solve the on-off switch problem. Keep your fingers crossed that this works.

The enforced wood shop idleness was making me a little stir crazy until a friend of mine emailed me requesting a small serving tray for her parents down in Texas. They all like black walnut and I think their kitchen cabinets are made from walnut so I accepted her challenge and went shopping this morning and came back with a short section of black walnut that has a crotch figure to it:

...and of course there is always a cat around for photo bombing purposes...

My goal is to make a small serving tray with a the natural edging in place that you see on the left had side of the photograph and to accentuate the swirled grain pattern by very gently curving the square ends of the board just a little bit - I don't want this to look like a board with handles stuck on it.

I bought some simple black handles and you can see where I'm going to place them at the conclusion of the project:

The key to this project is going to be the surface preparation and the finish. The more finely sanded it is, the more the beautiful grain will stand out so this is going to take quite a bit of sanding. Then I'm going to polish the surface with steel wool and then add a food grade finish to it. Lastly I'll install the handles and some small feet underneath the tray so it will stand up and away from the surface of any table that it will rest on.

This will take a few days to finish off. It's getting cold right now so I'm going to begin the project in earnest tomorrow.

So grab some coffee and join me in the shop once again! It's time for more adventures in the wood shop.

Stay tuned,


  1. Now, I'm going to want a tray! No, no, not too worry, I'm fine. But I like you design in terms of putting feet on the tray. Nice touch.