Show off Your Handcrafted Projects. It's Free! Start Sharing

Collapsible Breakfast-In-Bed Trays

author-gravatar Squeazle Feb 22, 2018

These Cherry trays (one is pictured, but I made two) were a wedding present requested by my sister-in-law in Japan. She simply asked for breakfast-in-bed trays but I have a chronic inability to leave things "simple" or easy.

The legs are collabsible into the apron and held in both positions by inlayed magnets just below the surface. I figured that would make them more easily stored in a Tokyo apartment where space is at a premium. Since there's not a lot of room for one-trick ponies in a small apartment, I also wanted them to double as laptop/tablet/book stand for use in bed or on the couch. The left side props up at various angles to accommodate whatever you're looking at and the right side is stationary for right-handed mouse users, a cup of tea, or what have you. I decided to forego the traditional rim around the tray for a more modern look and just included a foot to support a laptop/tablet/book. 

I finished it with shellac and paste wax. That proved to be a big PITA on intricate and moving parts. If I do it over again, amongst a few other design changes, I'd just use a Danish oil and maybe only clearcoat the top surface. 

Sorry there's no build pics, I was busy cranking these out right up until we flew out to Japan. Hope you enjoy them and I'm happy to answer any questions about them. 

P.S. I joined the rails to the legs with through wedged tenons. I think I should have done two, thinner wedges for a little nicer look. One wedge feels too thick. 

The Cherry blends in with my bench a bit but should darken up nicely with time. 

Go-go gadget legs! 

It props up at 10-50 degrees in 10 degree increments. 10 feels good for typing on a laptop, about 50 is good for viewing a. Tablet. 

All parts are wood except the hinges and magnets. 

1/2" Neodymium magents help keep the legs propped open. Their hold is a little weaker than I'd like but the legs are only 3/4" wide. They still work though. All magnets are 1/16 below the surface. 

Legs are held in the stowed position by 3/4" magnets and the hold perfectly.  They have a really satisfying "snap" into position. 

Please excuse Horsey and Owl photobombing my shots. 


No comments yet. Why not be the first?

You need to be signed in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join now