Oval Tray With Sides

Oval tray birthday idea

With my mothers birthday approaching I got a tip from my dad. He suggested that she would like a tray with sides. It should be about 12 inches by 15 inches and made with some interesting wood. That criteria left a number of ways to approach it. With just having gotten my lathe running after two months out of action though I was determined to incorporate some turning.

The Design

I started by picking out a likely looking burl from a small stash that I have. I cut two slabs out it with a chainsaw. One slab I cut into a circle on the bandsaw and then turned a shallow flat bottomed tray. The other slab I cut on the bandsaw so that the sides matched the angle and widest diameter of the shallow tray. I then cut the sides off at about the thickness of the tray sides. The middle portion I re-sawed on the bandsaw to match the thickness of the turned tray and glued the sides back on. I then cut the turned tray in half and glued the bandsawed portion in-between the two halves. Since I was gluing end grain to end grain I used dowels and epoxy glue to give it some extra strength.

After that it was a matter of using various hand tools to fine tune the shape of the bandsawed section and blend it with the turned sections on the ends.

Problems with Resin

One thing that turned out to be a challenge was the nature of the wood. It was fairly weathered before I started working on it. I chose the burl based on the size, shape and that it felt fairly dense. It turned out to also be very resinous and had a strong pungent odour. I had  to do most of the sanding outside while wearing a dust mask and the paper clogged very quickly. Eventually I was got it finished though and a couple of coats of shellac did a good job of sealing in the resin and smell. A few coats of wipe on poly over that should make for a durable finish.