‘Butler’s Tray’ Coffee Table and Portable Bar
This Cherry Butler’s Table – while inspired by one done by Norm – was made quite differently. Norm’s to me was too big. This one was reduced to 35 x 25 overall tip to tip. The stand is an entirely different folding Scissor-type. One 19″ for Coffee Table use – another (TBD) at 39″ for occasional ‘British India Officers Field Bar’ use. Stands are Hard Maple.
While Norm used a Template Grid to attempt to define the Oval – I used an Oval Cutter Trammel – like one shown in Spielman’s Router Handbook. The table center and four rectangular leaves were completely assembled after milling and hand planing (no sandpaper). The corner gaps between leaves and center need to be cardboard fill-shimmed to prevent router blowout before cutting. The Oval was then cut using a router and 1/4″ spiral bit. Then the table was dissassembled for edge sanding and finishing.
Finishing was with Deft Clear Gloss Brushing Lacquer over a washcoat of Zinnser wax-free shellac. First Lacquer coat was brushed. Then ‘pulled over’ using a ‘rubber’ and lacquer-thinner/alcohol ‘pullover solvent’. (FWW has a video by Sean Clarke showing this). Two additional lacquer coats were sprayed on, each then also ‘pulled over’.
The lacquer-pullover, combined with only hand planing, was an attempt to really have the cherry grain ‘pop out’ at you. It does. Nothing like any piece of factory cherry. I really like the lacquer pullover technique. I will use it next on a set of nested tables.
Oval Butler Tray Table - 35"L x25"W x19"H
Scissor Folding Stand - 19" H