I planed down some select grade maple for my wife to use for cutting boards. It was ugly–even in the rough. There were quite a few knots I needed to cut around. Once the shag started coming off in the planer, I noticed the unmistakable tiger maple waves. The knots were also very deep, very dark, and very irregular. Rather than work around them, I decided to feature them in this serving tray after filling them with many coats of CA.
I also had a crazy piece of red oak. In general, I am not a fan of red oak, but this was a special board. It had more chatoyancy than any piece of wood I have ever seen. I re-sawed it and bookmatched it for the bottom.
To preserve the chatoyancy and give it the finish it deserves, I decided to french polish it. This was my first go around with the french polish technique and red oak is a terrible species to try it out on. After abandoning traditional washcoat/pumice pore filling for some Tasmanian Oak timbermate, things got a lot easier. I used superblonde shellac and am very happy with both the oak and the maple.
Construction is your basic splined miter (thin walnut splines) and rabbeted bottom. The handles came out of the off cuts of the maple I used and have a few defects in them also.
I have some really cool “defective” cherry on the bench ready for another one. Now to figure out splayed miters.