Introduction

serving tray standing on a bed as an example for How to Build Folding Serving Tray
Photo: Wendell T. Webber
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Hint: There's no need to wait for a special occasion to serve a certain someone breakfast in bed. First, you'll need a good tray—one with legs that will keep it steady on a sea of bedding and then fold up so that the tray can be slipped inside a cabinet or drawer.

If you want to go all out on the presentation, you can build a tray, like the slatted one here. The frame is formed from inexpensive oak scants—½-by-2-inch pieces stocked near the hardwood moldings in home centers. Look for the ¼-inch oak slats in the same area. Staining gives the oak a refined look, though you'll want to treat the surface with a food-safe finish, such as mineral oil or shellac, to protect it from spills. Once you've christened your new tray, you may want to break it out every Sunday morning as a matter of routine. We're just saying.

Shown: B. Smith With Style Acacia Bed Tray, about $30; available at bedbathandbeyond.com
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    Tools List

    • 30-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • miter saw
      Miter saw
    • drill
      Drill/driver
    • router
      Router with ¼-inch straight bit
    • brad nailer
      Brad nailer
    • 1/8-inch drill bit
      -inch drill bit
    • 3/8-inch drill bit
      -inch drill bit
    • spade bit
      ½-inch spade bit
    • sandpaper
      sandpaper: 60-grit and 220-grit
    • paintbrush
      Paintbrush
    • Chamois or lint-free rag
      Lint-free rag or tack cloth

    Shopping List

    ½-by-2-inch oak scants for the tray frame Get two 4-foot lengths.

    ¼-by-2-inch oak scants for the slats Get three 4-foot lengths.

    ¾-inch oak square dowel for the legs Get one 3-foot length.

    -inch oak dowel for the stretcher between the legs Get one 2-foot length.

    1-inch brads for securing the tray frame

    ¼-by-1½-inch machine screws to secure the legs to the tray Get four.

    ¼-inch nylon washers to place between the legs and the tray Get four.

    ¼-inch metal washers to place between the machine-screw nut and tray leg Get four.

    ¼-inch lock nuts Get four.

    Wood glue

    Wood stain

    Food-safe finish, such as mineral oil or shellac