DIY wooden tray for wedding cake

DIY wooden tray for a wedding cake

In this post Lluis shows us how he made a nice wooden tray for his wedding cake. For our wedding we decided to order a gypsy’s arm about 1.4 meters long (almost 5 feet), so this was the perfect excuse to make a beautiful wood tray for the occasion. I chose Bubinga wood due to its decorative characteristics and for being suitable for food use. This wood is classified as durable against fungi and termites, is not attacked by lyctus beetle and is moderately resistant to wood boring marine animals. It is a very hard and dense wood so it is quite difficult to work it in a modest home workshop like mine.

Starting from a rough plank of bubinga, I need to plane and flatten one face. Since I don’t have a jointer I have to do this by hand with a hand plane and some patience. To make the other side of the plank flat and parallel, I use a DIY plunge router sled.

Planing by hand and thicknessing with a plunge router sled

One of the edges was already sufficiently flat and square, so I can cut the plank on the table saw to the required width and final length. Then I draw, cut and sand the final curved shape in the corners of this wooden tray. Now I use a round over router bit to mill the edges and make them round and smooth.

DIY template for routing grips to the wood tray

To make the wood tray easier to handle I decided to add some recesses on the bottom using a router template and a straight copy router bit with bearing.

I decided to add a perimeter groove using a round nose router bit, so I needed to make a template to use the plunge router with the copying ring to follow the shape of the template.

Due to the hardness of the bubinga wood and the quality of my cheap router bits, after milling the board I had some burnt areas left in the groove. So I needed to get rid of the burned areas. I thought of two options to solve this problem:
Option A: an inexpensive small gouge.
Option B: Dremel

Once the shape of the wooden tray is ready, I focus on smoothing the surface. First I use the scraper. Finally I gently sanded the wooden tray with 240 grit sandpaper. I also hand sanded all the recesses and grooves.

How to transfer a logo image to wood

My partner is a professional graphic designer. She created a logo for our wedding, so I’m going to add it to the wood tray. If too much heat is applied the wood could crack, as seems to have happened. After repairing it with cyanoacrylate glue and bubinga sawdust, I repeated the ink transfer process more carefully.

As a finish I applied a mineral oil suitable for food use (x2). After allowing the oil to penetrate the wood for an hour, I wiped off the excess.

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