I’ve made a few serving trays in the past (mostly frame and panel construction), but they just don’t compare to the beauty achieved from hollowing out one single slab of wood. Can you imagine the amount of chips you make during the process of hogging out the bulk?!?! Making a routed tray like this requires a special bowl bit. Without it, you would never be able to get that smooth, consistent, rounded look on the inside corners. And if you are looking for this particular bit, here’s a nice one from Rockler. Keith did a great job on this piece. Let’s check it out:
I thought you might be interested in my latest project. It’s another “router bowl”, created using a collet extension on my Hitachi plunge router. I used a Whiteside bowl/dish bit to hog out all of the material from the small slab of Sapele. The tray measures 20″x12″x2″. I got really lucky with the size, because I neglected to measure the diameter of our dinner plates before I started the milling process. Our plates fit in the bottom, with about 1/4″ to spare.
The Sapele is quarter-sawn, which is what produces the ribboning effect. I love the way the grain pops with some oil. The pictures of course don’t do justice to the shimmering effect in the wood. I inlaid two thin strips of curly maple along the outside length of both sides. I feel like the contrast really adds to the overall beauty of the Sapele. Thanks for taking a look!