My pal Tony visited today for the first time in many months. He has been unwell for some time, but I’m glad to say he’s improved a lot now. He goes to the same turning club as I do and has become a friend. In the workshop, we made a condiment tray. The design was very simple, just a small flat-bottomed dish with vertical sides that will hold bottles etc on the table. We considered using oak or mahogany as I had some blanks handy, but he wanted pine to match the table. I found an offcut the right size to make a tray about eight inches in diameter.
Tony did all the turning and was pleased with the result. With the blank sawn to a disc and mounted on a small faceplate, he faced off the bottom, making it slightly dished so it would sit flat on the table, and cleaned up the edge with a gouge, making a clean cut that brought out the grain nicely. A small chucking recess on the underside enabled reverse mounting in a chuck. Then the tray just needed hollowing and sanding. He did most of the turning with a tungsten carbide tipped tool that we made a while back. It cut fast and the tray was soon completed. The only tricky part was getting the inner surface flat for the bottles to stand on.
There was time to put on one coat of finishing oil. Two or three more coats followed by buffing in a few days time and the tray will be done.