Finished tray of Walnut:
I doubt that I’m any different from other custom woodworkers in this, as the project reaches its final stages you often wonder if it will meet your clients expectations. That’s especially true with these two projects I’ve made for the same client, the other being the Mechanical Cellarette. The Cellarette was different though because there were many stages of the project that I shared with him via the blog so he knew how things were shaping up. This is one of those fun challenges that basically started out with the proverbial “sketch on a napkin” and went from there!
We began by laying out the items that were destined for the tray. The main feature is a genuine cigar box which is probably made of Spanish Cedar which I learned isn’t really a Cedar at all. Rather it’s a species of Mahogany traditionally used for cigar boxes since the worms that like cigars don’t like it! There will also be a cigar cutter and matches or lighter to go with the whole cigar experience. Since the cigar box has finger joints it seemed the obvious choice for this tray as well. Walnut was chosen for it’s dark, dignified appearance which will complement the over-all style of his office. Thanks to the internet, he located something similar to what he had in mind, sketched in his vision of how he would like his tray to look, and then entrusted me with the coin that would be embedded into the front piece. That too was a process; many times, seemingly simple projects usually are! I mentioned that in the other post about this project but basically it had to do with the diameter of the Peso and finding an appropriate bit. I tried using a slightly smaller bit and enlarging with a #7 sweep gouge. Although the curvature was almost the same it just didn’t look right. Then the forstner bit I did buy because they’re supposed to have a flat bottom left a slightly convex bottom. The Peso rocked in the hole so it needed to be flattened with a small gouge.
As things began to come together in my opinion, the plain Mahogany plywood bottom just didn’t convey the richness needed. I recalled some previous projects that had glass doors. There are many types of clear, textured and sculpted glass available from Glass Art Studio here in Las Vegas and since I used them for the doors thought they might have something to add a touch of elegance to this tray. In my opinion, the picture at the left shows that — an elegant way with an Art Deco influence to present a cigar to your clients.