These condiment servers are a great way to serve your favorite dip recipes.  The three different styles cater to three different tastes.  The quarter sawn oak had a beautiful grain and was cleared over for protection, while the square dish server was done in ebony stain for a contemporary look.  All are great gift ideas for the holidays or any other occasion.  The possibilities of what you can put in them are endless.  I thought they would be great to hold hamburger toppings.

(ep31) serving tray 01

I started with making a hardboard template for the four ramekin server.

 

(ep31) serving tray 02

Using a compass I marked out the locations for the cut outs.  It was at this point I realized I didn’t need to cut but one opening.  When it came time to router out the material, I could just rotate the template.
(ep31) serving tray 03

I drilled a hole near the line just big enough for a jigsaw blade to fit through.  You can then cut out the circle leaving the pencil line.

 

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I used my oscillating spindle sander to then sand right up to the line.  You could also use a drum sander or even a piece of sandpaper.

 

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Then at the table saw I squared the quarter sawn oak to it’s final size of 9″ x 9″.

 

 

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I then routed all four areas to an approximate depth of 3/8″.
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At this point it looked a little plain.  I added a random angle bevel to the bottom of each of the four edges.

 

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I didn’t bother with a tape measure for finding the width of the second holder.  One of the containers flipped upside down at the table saw made a great guide for how wide the piece should be.  The container plus and inch or two worked out well.

 

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Then you can move on to square up each of the ends.

 

(ep31) serving tray 10

A 45° cut can be made on both ends creating each of the legs.  Flip the main piece over and cut off the miters in the other direction.

 

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Making this type of cut ensures that the grain will continue and wrap around the project.  It gives it a very nice look.

 

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I made a template for this piece the same way as I did the first, and marked the openings with a pencil.

 

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Cutting out the bulk of the wood can be done the same way as the pattern.  Then the holes can either be sanded or routed flush to the pattern using a flush trim bit.

 

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A 1/8″ round-over bit to ease the edges is not required but it will give the piece a nice finished look.

 

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Using a chunk of scrap wood cut to the inside dimension of the holder allows me to use a strap clamp to glue the oak together.  Making it fastener free, for a very clean look.

 

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Using an adjustable t-bevel, I found the angle of the square containers, allowing me to set the table saw blade to the correct angle.

 

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I could then rip cut the oversized board on the table saw.
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This center section is then cut at the same angle to create the center container dividers.

 

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Applying glue to the dividers and clamping each side ever so slightly made for an easy glue up.

 

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When the dividers started to raise up a little bit, I put a level across the pieces and pushed then down with some weight.  If the center dividers don’t lay completely flat, the clamps can be loosened up a tiny bit.

 

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Once the glue had dried, I ripped the completed section down to final length and width using the same angle as before.

 

(ep31) serving tray 22

Using the rip cut-offs, I then cut four “feet” to be glued on in the next step.

 

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A tiny bit of glue was used (to prevent glue squeeze out) and spring clamps held the feet in place as the glue dried.

 

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The one that my wife wanted was stained with black ebony stain.  All container holders then received 3 coats of lacquer, I sanded them lightly, and added three more coats.

 

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Once they were filled with some goodies, I made sure to throughly test them out.


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4 Responses

  1. rinkley

    Love the stuff you do, Nick. Where did you find the square bowls? We have looked everywhere.

    Reply

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