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L. & I. J. White


Woodworking with P. Michael Henderson


Cabinet for Marquetry Trays - part 1

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I made several marquetry trays over the past year or so and now need to have a box to store them in. This page documents the project of building the box.

7/1/2013 When I made the party stands (pictures below) I knew that I wanted to build a case for storing them. I didn't know exactly what I'd do but I had some ideas. Now that I finished the stands, it's time to start on the storage box.

My original idea was to build a box that would also function as an end table on the side of a sofa. The box would have a door, and inside would be "slots" which the folded-up stands would slide into.

Here's a picture showing the tray folded up. The view is from underneath the tray.

So when I finished the stands, I started talking with my wife, Judy, about the box. She was not too excited about my idea. Her first objection was that it would be hard to take the stands out of the box because there would likely be a chair close to the opening of the box. Plus, since the trays would slide in lengthwise, a fair amount of room would be needed to slide them out.

So another idea was needed. Her first suggestion was a cabinet where the trays would slide in sideways, so that less room would be needed to put them in and take them out. No problem, I can do that. Then she started thinking about where she would put it, and there just wasn't a good place for it. She discussed the problem with a friend and they came up with the idea of making it a "TV box". That is, a box where the trays would be stored, with room for the TV electronics. The TV would either sit on top of the box, or if the TV was mounted on the wall, it would sit below the TV.

Since the party stands can also be seen as TV trays, this made a lot of sense, so that's where I'm headed.

The box will have storage room for four or five stands. Above that will be a backless drawer with a drop front which will house the electronics (a limited amount of electronics). The reason for the drop front is that you need to have access to the electronics for the remote control to work. There will be two doors that cover the bottom of the box (where the trays are stored), and those doors will be flush with the drawer front. I'll do a single marquetry design that will cover the drawer and the two doors.

Size: The trays are about 15" wide, and when folded up, about 27 1/2" long. Judy said not to make the case too narrow - to "just" fit the length of the trays. She wanted it to be easy to slide them in and out. So I made the inside width of the case 30". While the trays are 15" wide, I went 18" deep for the box. I thought narrower would look odd.

The height was determined in a strange way. I wanted it high enough to look good but not so high that a TV sitting on it would be way up in the air. When I went to buy the mahogany at the lumber store, they had some very nice boards but they were over 12' long (I bought two boards). Unfortunately, I can't carry 12' boards in my vehicle so I had to make a decision about where to cut the boards. I had them cut the boards at 8'. This left me two pieces that were about 52" long. I glued the two pieces together and then cut them in half. This left me with two sides about 25 1/2" long, after squaring everything up. I'll put on a separate top, and a base of about 4" so the final height will be about 30".

I also bought some maple for secondary wood.

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Folding Rule


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