How to make a wooden try for a wending cake

Making a wooden tray

In this post Lluis shows us how he made a wooden tray for his wedding cake. For our wedding cake we decided to order a Swiss roll about 1.4 meters long (almost 5 feet), so this was the perfect excuse to make a nice tray for the occasion. I’ve chosen Bubinga for its ornamental characteristics and for being a food-safe timber. The wood is classified as durable against the action of fungi and termites, not attached by lyctids and moderately resistant to marine borers. Is a very hard and dense wood so it becomes pretty difficult to work it in a humble home workshop like mine.

Starting from a rough board, I need to flatten one of the sides. Because I´ve not a jointer, I´ll need to do this manually with a hand plane and some patience. To flatten the other face parallel, I use a jig for the router.

One of the edges is stock square and flat enough, so I can to rip the board on the table saw into its final width and length. Then, I draw, cut and sand to the final corners shape. Now, with a roundover bit I make a round smooth edges.

How to plane the board
A jig to route the handle recesses

To make the wooden tray more confortable to handle, I decided to add some recesses in the underside using a template and a router with a bushing and a straight bit.

I decided to add a perimetral groove with a round nose bit. So I needed to make a template and use the router with a bushing to follow the template.

Due to the hardness of the bubinga and the quality of my cheap bits, after routing the board, it has left some burned areas in the groove. So I needed to remove them. I came up with two options to solve this problem:
Option A: cheap mini gouge.
Option B: Dremel.

Once the shape of the wooden tray is finished, I focus on smoothing the surface. First, I use the card scraper. Finally I lightly sanded the tray with 240 grit sandpaper. I also sanded manually all the rebates and grooves.

How to transfer one image to wood

My fiancé is professional graphic designer. She has created a logo for our wedding, so I will add to the tray. If you apply too much heat cracks like this may appear. After repairing it with some CA glue and bubinga dust, I repeat the ink transfer process more carefully.

Wooden wedding cake tray

For the finish, I applied food-safe mineral oil (x2). After let the oil soak into the wood for an our, I wipe off the excess.

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