I have wanted to do a mixed wood project for a long time. I almost always build exclusively in pine/white wood, mainly because it is so cheap, but every time I am in the lumberyard I ogle the hardwood section. I know I will never build large furniture out of Mahogany since it is just so expensive. But when DAP® contacted me and asked me to create a wooden project featuring their RapidFuse™ Wood Adhesive (You find find them on DAP Facebook), I knew this would be the perfect chance.
I wanted a project that could feature multiple species of wood, but didn’t need a lot of linear feet. I also wanted to be able to use my tried and true white wood, and so I decided on a cutting board type serving tray with a ‘rail fence’ style parquet pattern. (A throw back to my quilting days!)
Because the pine is so soft and the cherry and mahogany are hardwood this project shouldn't be used a cutting board. It is a decorative serving tray only. And a serving tray is always handy! Especially when you eat outside a lot. Great for carrying stuff back and forth.
Parquet Style Wood Serving Tray:
Wood 1 (I used Mahogany): 3' 1x2 (I purchased by the LF)
Wood 2 (I used Cherry): 3' 1x2 (I purchased by the LF)
Wood 3 (I used Pine/White wood): 12’ 1x2 (or 2 @ 6’)
(2) Drawer Pulls (Mine were 5 inch wide)
Chop or Miter Saw
Router with 1/4 inch roundover bit
Random Orbit Sander
Sandpaper (80 through 220 grit)
(7) 4.5”- 1x2 Wood 1
(8) 4.5” -1x2 Wood 2
(30) 4.5” -1x2 Wood 3
For this tray I used 1x2s (because they were the cheapest hardwood boards I could buy.) That meant that if I glued three together the total width would be 4.5 inches wide. Therefore I knew that was the length I needed them to be when I turned them 90 degrees to form the fence rail mosaic pattern.
I actually played around with a lot of patterns (and shared them on snapchat!) before I settled on this traditional version. All the mahogany pieces run one way and the cherry run the other. You can also see just how important it was to be super accurate with the cuts. Since I was going to be gluing end grains I knew I needed the cuts to be precise.
If you need tips on getting the perfect cuts, make sure to check my post about accurate cuts on a miter saw. It really came in helpful for this project.
It also was really important that the cuts were sanded well. Because I had a little tear out on some of the boards, I made sure to hand sand them.
This tray is assembled completely with glue. There are no nails or other fasteners. RapidFuse™ works on all wood types, so I didn’t have to worry about joining hardwoods to softwoods.
The gluing process is so easy since the RapidFuse™ comes with its own applicator. A thin layer is plenty to do the trick.
The best part of working with the DAP® RapidFuse™ was the super fast cure time. In the past I have done glued wood projects and they always had to dry overnight. In this case, since I was limited by the number of clamps I had, and there were about 50 pieces of wood that needed to be glue, the fast cure time and tight bond made it the perfect adhesive for this project. I only needed to wait 30 minutes before being able to release the clamps.
Between each gluing step I sanded the ends to make sure everything was staying lined up and square.
Again, the 30 minute cure time allowed for me to do this is quick succession. If I had to wait for traditional adhesives to dry, it would have taken me days.
I was a little nervous about gluing end grains, but the combination of accurate cuts, thorough sanding and the strong adhesive meant it was not a problem. The RapidFuse™ doesn’t cause swelling of the joints (which is important when you are going to line up glued pieces with other glued piece and need to keep the dimensions standard).
I had assembled the entire tray (with the use of only 4 clamps) in one afternoon. Once I had the entire tray glued up it was time to sand! For this process I used my random orbit sander although you could also have used a palm sander. (I’ve talked about pros and cons of the different types of sanders in the past.)
Make sure you start with the low grit sandpapers and work your way to the high numbers. I needed an 80 grit at first to get the whole board level and then got a finer and finer finish with the ultra fine papers.
For a more finished end, I dragged out my router and added a 1/4 inch roundover to both the top and bottom of the tray.
I again thought this would put my glued joints to the test, but they came out beautifully. The bond was beautifully clean. Finally, to make it easier to carry, I added some drawer pulls as handles. I drilled the holes before finishing, and then actually installed the handles after the mineral oil dried.
I used mineral oil and nothing else to bring out the beauty in the wood. Since I had spent all the money on this wood I wanted to make sure I let the natural beauty shine. The RapidFuse™ is great since it doesn’t discolor. Finally, to protect my surfaces when using the tray, I added small felt feet to the bottom.
Now I am ready to serve snacks poolside! RapidFuse's™ long lasting bond should hold up for both interior and exterior use and is water resistant. And I am so happy I finally got to try my hand at some other wood species.
I’m pretty excited to see what else I can come up with!