Step 2: Cut the Grooves

Cut the Grooves to Build Folding Serving Tray
Illustration: Gregory Nemec
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Lay the frame pieces faceup on a bench, pairing the double-thick side pieces together and the thinner front and back pieces together. Wedge the pairs tightly between lumber scraps of the same thickness, and screw the scraps to the table to hold the frame pieces in place. Use a straightedge and a router with a ¼-inch straight bit to cut a square groove, or dado, along the inside of each frame piece, ¼ inch from the top.
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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