How to Build a Wooden Serving Tray

Free Woodworking Plans from Lee's Wood Projects

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This stylish wooden serving tray is useful for carrying a meal into the TV room so you won't miss that important program while you eat. It is also convenient for serving meals to family members while they are convalescing in bed. Its sturdy construction and poplar wood give it strength to last for generations.

Click On Image to See Larger Scalable Drawing

Technical Information for Making a Wood Cheese Board

A. Materials List:

2 A Sides 1/2" x 3 3/16" x 21 3/4" Teak
2 B Ends 1/2" x 3 3/16" x 14" Teak
1 C Base 1/4" x 11 1/8" x 18 7/8" Teak
2 D Bottom Sides 3/8" x 1" x 19 7/16" Teak
2 E Bottom Endes 3/8" x 1" x 11 1/16" Teak



B. Patterns:

  1. Scale the sides (A) and ends (B) to the drawing dimension sizes. This can easily be accomplished by measuring the print out and dividing that size into the dimension size of the drawing. This will give a multi-factor that can be used to figure the enlargement size for the patterns. If you have a copier that can make can make enlargements, this can be done at home. If not, most companies that do duplicating can make the enlargements required for the patterns.
  2. Transfer the pattern enlargements onto poster board or Mylar, and use a pair of scissors to cut out the patterns.

C. Cutting Procedures:

  1. This project will require two boards; one board 3/4" x 12" x 20", and another one 3/4" x 10" x 37".
  2. Plane the 37" board 1/2" thick. Using a table saw, rip two boards 3 1/2" wide and two boards 1" wide.
  3. Trace the side and end patterns onto the 3 1/2" wide boards. In addition to the top edge shapes, be sure to trace the handles and the drill holes.
  4. Tilt the table saw blade 20 degrees and rip the bottom edges of the sides (A) and the ends (B).
  5. Tilt the jig saw table to 20 degrees and cut the shapes of the top edges of sides (A) and the ends (B). Drill a 1/4" diameter hole in the handle areas, insert the scroll saw blade into the holes and cut out the handles.
  6. Adjust the bed of a compound miter saw 20 degrees and tilt the blade angle to 45 degrees to cut the ends of the sides (A) and the ends (B).
  7. Tilt the drill press bed to 20 degrees. Using a 1/2" Forstner Bit drill the holes in the sides (A) and ends (B) as previously marked with the patterns.
  8. Plane the 20" board and the remainder of the 37" board 3/8" thick.
  9. With the table saw blade adjusted to 0 degrees (90 degree cut) rip two boards 1" wide from the 37" board for the base sides (D) and the base ends (E). Joint both edges of the boards smooth. Adjust a power miter saw to 45 degrees, and with the boards on edge, cut the ends of the base sides and ends to the proper lengths.
  10. Adjust the table saw blade 20 degrees and cut the sides and ends of the base (C) to the proper width and length.

NOTE: This procedure should be performed after the sides (A) and the ends (B) are assembled in order to get a perfect fit.

D. Wood Serving Tray Sanding Procedures:

  1. Rough sand all parts with an orbital sander and 80 grit sandpaper.
  2. Intermediate sand all parts with an orbital sander and 120 grit sandpaper.
  3. Finish sand all parts with an orbital sander and 220 grit sandpaper.
  4. Hand sand all edges, including scalloped areas, handles and details, with 220 grit sandpaper.

E. Assembly Procedures:

  1. Glue and clamp the sides (A) and the ends (B) together with two 1" wide band clamps. Be sure the bottom edges are flush. Clean up excess glue with a damp rag.
  2. Glue and clamp the bottom sides (D) and the bottom ends (E) together with a band clamp. Use a framing square to assure the bottom assembly is perfectly square.
  3. Use a nail gun and 1" brads to secure the clamped wood serving tray and bottom assemblies.
  4. Place wood glue on the edges of the base (C) and position it inside the tray assembly in step. Use a nail gun and 1" brads to secure the base.
  5. Turn the tray assembly up side down, and align the bottom assembly onto it. The tray assembly should overlap the bottom assembly 1/8" on all sides. Use hand screw clamps to hold it in position. Use a drill press and a 1/4" Forstner Bit to drill two holes into each bottom side (D) and each bottom end (E). These holes should be 1/2" deep and 5" in from the ends on each side and 3" in from the ends on each end. Use a 1" x #6 counter bore to drill pilot holes for the screws in each hole.
  6. Remove the clamps, place glue on the edges of the bottom assembly, and screw it onto the tray assembly. Allow the glue to dry over night.

D. Finish Procedures

  1. Use plastic wood dough to fill all nail holes, cracks, and imperfections.
  2. After the wood dough has dried, sand it flush with 220 grit sandpaper.
  3. Remove all sanding dust with a tack rag.
  4. Give the project two primer coats prior to painting.
  5. After the primer coats are dry, use interior acrylic satin or semi-gloss to paint the wood serving tray.
  6. After the first coat is dry give the project a second coat of paint.

Congratulations, your Wooden Serving Tray is finished and ready to use.

Related Projects:

  • Wooden Picnic Table
  • Wood Kitchen Knife Block