Silverware Tray

Hone your hand skills with a project that has low risks but high rewards.
By Christopher Schwarz
Pages: 36-37

From the October 2007 issue #164
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Trying something new in the shop can be, well, trying. Once I get comfortable with one technique to make a joint, I am loathe to try another, no matter how many people (or magazines) tell me how much better it is.

This is human nature, I suppose. Whenever I want to attempt something new, I try to use it in a project that doesn’t consume a lot of wood or time. That way, if I botch the project, I’ve made just a few sticks of firewood.

This Shaker silverware tray is an ideal project for this sort of experiment. Beginning dovetailers will find this project a good starter project. Want to try using rasps and files? The curves on the end pieces and the cutout handles are excellent practice. How about cutting rabbets or grooves with hand tools? Or even just hand-planing all the boards and giving your sander a rest? This article and its drawings explain how the box goes together; the methods you choose to execute those joints are up to you.

From the October 2007 issue #164
Buy this issue now