Tea Time Tray

Over the past couple of weeks we've been busy blitzing through the workshop, cleaning and clearing out a few things. Its all in aid for the Open Studios event starting 17th September until 2nd October. Organised by the wonderful people at Eden Arts, over 100 Cumbrian artists and craftspeople will be throwing open their studio doors to the public and giving demonstrations of their unique skills. Everyone at DF Timber have taken it as an opportunity to publicly mark the hand over from Danny Frost to Huw Lowden and Steve Younger, the company's long standing employees. Its an exciting time for them, I wish them all the luck in the world.

Check out the website and keep an eye out for the bright yellow signs: www.c-art.org.uk

So, it was during this clear up that I stumbled on these old kitchen cupboard doors, and seeing as the new office needed an all-important tea-time work station I decided I'd turn them into a tray.

Kitchen door material

I decided I'd try some new techniques so I designed it with a wooden frame with curved corners.

Using off-cuts of Elm, I machined them up to strips of 40 x 40. The wobble saw on the spindle moulder was perfect for cutting out the L-shaped profile of the framework.

Wobble saw for frame

The corners were the really tricky bit. Luckily I had a beastly drill bit that was just the right diameter for the curved look I wanted. However, I had to be careful with the grain direction so as to not cause any weak points when its all glued together.

Once the drill (and pillar drill) had finally munched its way to just the right depth (it didn't half get hot and smoky) the corners with the perpendicular grain were cut out and squared off.

With a basic jig for the dowel joints, holes were tentatively drilled into the end grain of each piece.

The band saw cut out the curve, and all that was left was to spoke shave them to shape. It was so satisfying, I can tell you! The colour change from the frame sides to the end-grain corners really comes out now its oiled and after a quick sand with 240, its nice and smooth.

The kitchen cupboard doors are made of dodgy chipboard so the edges were sealed with a little PVA. Just gotta wait for the glue and oil to dry before sealing it all together...