Here's a great project to hlep you be prepared for those upcoming Summertime deck or patio parties. Plan your operations carefully and you should be able to make a half dozen of them in a single weekend!
To build the project, you'll need your MARK V (or a table saw) and jointer for making your sizing cuts (the jointer is optional)…a drill press (or your MARK V) for boring the bolt and screw holes…a bandsaw or scroll saw and a disc sander to round and smooth your parts.
Before you get started, keep in mind that since all the tool set-ups for this project are so simple, it's almost as quick and easy to go ahead and make six or so of these trays, while you're at it. Making more is a simple matter of running additional lumber through your machinery. Of course, you'll need a little extra assembly time too, but you'll quickly discover that it's a lot easier to make more trays now than to go back and re-do all your set-ups for another “run” at a later date. So, think about how many you might need and “do it now”. You'll be glad you did.
Since our plan calls for outdoor use, we used redwood for our trays. It's attractive, light in weight and resistant to decay. However, you could just as easily make these trays out of virtually any clear, attractive lumber. The choice is yours.
Start by using your table saw to cut all of your pieces (A,B,D,F,G,H) to size, as shown in the Bill of Materials. Rip everything to width first, making all your pieces just a “hair” oversized so you can run them over the jointer to smooth the edges prior to assembly…then crosscut them to length.
Cut out an extra piece, from which you will cut however many small, round spacers (C) you may need for the number of trays you plan to build. Use a pencil compass to draw a sufficient quantity (two per tray) of 1" diameter spacers on this piece of stock.