Rustic Entertainment Tray by Barry Fitzpatrick

Rustic Entertainment Tray


WINNER 2014 Arbortech woodworking competition
Created by Barry Fitzpatrick, Arbortech Production Manager



Novice woodworker? No 


Description of your wood art?
A portable food and drinks tray.


Where did you get your inspiration for your wood art piece?
This was an original piece that is something practical to use to transport wine, glasses and finger foods from one area to another safely and securely. To my knowledge, I have seen nothing else like it.


What type of wood did you use?
Marine plywood and timber dowels.


What Arbortech tool/s did you use to create this piece?


What was your process in the creation of this project?
1. Draw a card template for the top tier.
2. Cut two identical sheets of marine plywood to desired size.
3. Transfer the shape and hole centres through the template onto the top tier.
4. Transfer the hole centres through to the bottom sheet of plywood.
5. Drill the 6 holes for the wine glass stems, and cut the top tier to a shorter length for access for the food items on each end.
6. Bore the pillar holes 50% of the thickness of the plywood sheet using the transferred spotted through hole centres from the template with brace and bit.
7. Cut slots with tenor saw to meet up with the wine stem holes and drill and cut centre wine bottle hole roughly smooth with drill bit and rasp file to round.
8. Cut pillars to selected height and end handles from the same 20mm dia dowel rod.
9. Clamp top and bottom tiers to a flat surface and using Arbortech TURBO Plane, shape and wave bevels around the edges, while clamped shape recesses to join wine glass stem holes along two sides.
10. While clamped using the TURBO Plane, plane the top surfaces of both tiers to achieve the desired pattern to achieve the rustic look and cut top tier end bevelled semi-circles.
11. With an Arbortech 50mm Woodcarver Blade shape the utensil, wine bottle base and tile receptacles to prevent movement of items when put onto the tray.
12. With a Woodcarver, cut a slot along the handles to the thickness of the bottom tier.
13. With the Arbortech Power Chisel, form 6 x round recesses at the holes that will accept the and locate the wine glasses securely
14. With the Arbortech Contour Sander, sand all surfaces starting with 80# and working up to 600# sanding discs for a smooth glass finish.
15. Glue the pillars into position into the 50% blind holes, hold in position with the aid of inserting an empty wine bottle for centring the top tier in line with the bottom.
16. Glue the slotted handles onto the base tier each end.
17. After adhesion complete any further last sanding to perfect, clean off any excess glue.
18. Oil with a rag using olive oil.


How long did it take for you to complete this project?
It is difficult to give an exact time as I did not start and finish at one time. I estimate it took me about 8 hours.


How did you feel about being the winning piece for this year’s staff woodworking project?
I was obviously delighted in winning with the knowledge that people liked my idea and piece enough to vote for it, but I was also surprised as there was a lot of other deserving pieces in this staff competition. 


Where does this piece reside now?
My piece is currently residing in my meals area waiting for the weather to change for some BBQ’s where I intend to put it to some good use.
Since all my family members have seen the tray they all want one! The trouble is I have no time to make them. It has also crossed my mind to set up and make them on a commercial basis. If I make more, it would be with two bottles of wine instead of one to coincide with the number of glasses.


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