Over the pandemic, I picked up wood working as a fun hobby. This is something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time; the act of creating a physical thing is very compelling to someone who works with intangible bits every day. The social distancing and isolation offered an opportunity to finally dive in head first. I’ve had a steady stream of projects over the past several months but today I want to share what I made my mother for Mother’s Day.

Awhile back, I asked my mom what she’d like for her special holiday. She requested a nice large tray. Apparently trays are all the rage in decorative world these days (she’s a bit of an interior decorator). She didn’t give me much to work with but it was clear she didn’t want anything loud or overly trendy. My mom enjoys simple designs and clean lines.

I decided to keep things simple and focus on the fit and finish of the tray. The design I came up with was straightforward: a miter box frame with a dado groove for the bottom panel. I spent several Saturdays in my garage milling, cutting, and recutting the parts. It took some work to get the miters just right. Then I sanded through the following grits: 80, 120, 220. I applied two coats of wipe on polyurethane to finish, sanding between and buffing afterwards.

The wood was reclaimed from a couple of nice ladies on Craigslist. I believe it’s cherry or something similar.

I didn’t take any pictures during the construction process so here is the final result: