How to Make a Wooden Serving Tray

A wooden serving tray is great way of carrying food and drink in many different circumstances. From treating your partner to breakfast in bed or taking your Grandmother her evening meal, the wooden tray has a range of uses. Another bonus is that it is simple to build from scratch.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Wood
  • Table saw
  • Wood glue
  • Nails
  • Wood putty
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Varnish
  • Paint brush

Step 1 – Measure the Wood

The size of the wooden serving tray should be marginally larger width-ways than the size of the largest plate that you will use on this tray. For the purpose of this article, the measurements shall be 15 3/4 inches by 12 inches by 3 inches at the highest point.

Step 2 – Mark the Wood

The base and the two longest sides are easy to mark out. The base will measure 15 3/4 inches by 12 inches, while the two longest sides will be 15 3/4 inches by 1/2 inches. For the 2 short sides, measure the pieces of wood to 12 inches by 3 inches, and you will add the handles of the wooden serving tray in Step 4.

Step 3 – Cut the Wood

Cut all the pieces of wood that you marked out in the previous step, using a jigsaw. Remember to cut slightly outside the line rather than on the line, because it is easier to take a little more off if you undercut as opposed to adding a little more on if you overcut it.

Step 4 – Mark the Handles

Find the midpoint of the short pieces of wood and mark it with an "X". Draw a curve from the midpoint on the left to the one in the middle. It may take a few attempts until you have a curve that you are happy with. You should have a curve that resembles a hill. Copy the curve onto a sheet of tracing paper, turn it over and copy the shape of the curve onto the other half of the wood. Using the "X" you drew earlier, measure 1 1/8 inches to the left and right of the center point and 3/4 inches above and below the center point and use these points to make a rectangle for the handles of the wooden serving tray.

Step 5 – Cut the Handles

Use the jigsaw to cut curve that you marked out and then cut the rectangle. This gap will be used to carry the tray. You may wish to make the wooden serving tray handles marginally bigger if the person using the tray has large hands.

Step 5 – Join the Pieces Together

Join the pieces of wood together with wood glue, being sure that the edge pieces are flush against the base. Once you are happy with the positioning of the wood, secure it in place with nails. Each side should have one nail at each corner in order for the tray to be properly secure.

Step 6 – Finish the Tray

Apply wood putty over the nail heads. Next, use a medium grit sandpaper to sand the tray to a nice smooth surface. Apply a layer of varnish using a paintbrush, leave it to dry then apply one to two more coats. The varnish will make it easier to wipe food spillage off the wooden serving tray.