About a year ago I stumbled upon an old enamelled tray and decided to make a very simple and appealing boot tray with pebbles for the back door wellies.
This winter, as we finally got some snow sticking to our shoe soles, I thought about a fancy boot tray for the front entryway. Something nice and quick was claimed.
I found some scrap oak, which was to be ditched, and saved it from being burnt in the stove.
Yes, the tray was made of these 🙂
The two boards at the bottom were cut for the size I needed. Counted so that the tray could fit 3 pairs of shoes (33 cm x 60 cm or 13″ x 23 ½″) and ripped down the live edges to make sure that they were straight and I would`ve been able to lay the boards flush against each other. Then I sanded the boards via the angle grinder with the 60 grit sanding disc first and finished with 120 grit disc.
The top board was used to make a frame for the tray. First I sanded it along with the base boards. And when I started to cut it down for the length needed (60 cm or 23 ½″), the board cracked. . .
I needed to make as many as four slats for the frame and the scrap board`s width was just about 14 cm (5 ½″). I just couldn`t cut off the live edges to make them all equally wide. So I cut off only the bottom of those slats so to attach them to the base. And left the top edges live. The width, or in this case, the thickness of the frame varies from 2 cm to 4 cm (¾″ – 1 ½″), I just made sure that the edges of those slats were equal to make the corners even. After, I sanded the “live” edges and attached the longer (60 cm or 23 ½″) slats to the base boards with three 35 mm (1 1/8″) woodscrews for each slat.
Attaching the frame to the base
If you`ve been following some of my posts, you might have noticed that I don’t use nails, bread nails and pocket holes (Kreg Jig) joints in my projects, only screws (I always leave the option to change the “masterpiece” configuration). This case is not an exception. But I needed to hide the screw heads. There are special drill bits for making pilot holes for screws and their heads (we`re not looking for the easy ways . . . or we just use what we have), so I used two different drill bits – one (3 mm or 1/8″) for the screw thread, and the second one (8 mm or 5/16″) to make the screw heads flush with the wood.
As I didn`t glue or any other way attached the two base boards together (was actually planning to leave a crevice between them), I joined them with the shorter frame slats. So I cut those down to 30 cm (11 13/16″) considering the thickness of the side slats (15 mm or 5/8″ each), but. . . I missed that size because I didn`t do the project at once and the boards . . . just . . . shrank. I`m not an eager fan of precise sizes and cutting 2 mm off a thin slat with a circular saw, so I tried to make grooves in the edges of the long slats – with the angle grinder. I used the 35 grit flap disc, and it worked well on such a hard wood as oak.
It was quick and easy despite the potential of failure. From now on I will definitely use this method to make some grooves in hardwood quickly.
Now it looks much better – like it was made on purpose.
For the sake of perfection I filled the gaps between the frame slats and the screw heads with a wood sealant.
I love those cracks!
As I stick to the “contrast concept”, I painted the top edges of the tray white.
Filled it with pebbles and voila!
DIY wood tray with pebbles
I don`t give 100% guarantee that the wood is not going to warp if it gets wet (from the shoes covered with snow), but my untreated wood tray looks the same as it looked 2 month ago!
Drop a line in the comments if you would roll up your sleeves for a project like that!