How to Build a Breakfast in Bed Tray

We show you how to build this handy folding leg breakfast or laptop bed tray using Tasmanian oak, shelf framing and some tools.

set saw stop
Start by setting the saw stop to 430mm…

cut lengths

and cut 13 lengths of 8x8mm Tasmanian Oak.

14 wood lengths
Ok, that’s all of the big ones,

reset saw stop

now I’m going to reset the saw stop for the smaller pieces and cut those, there’s 26 of those too.

cut 26 more

Then, reset the saw stop to 200mm and cut 26 pieces for the fold out legs.

sand rough edges
Ok, that’s all of the small pieces cut, or leg pieces, now I’m just going to round the rough edges off with bit of sandpaper and then we’ve got a lot of holes to drill.

mark a pencil line at 8 mm
Once the rough edges are gone, mark a pencil guideline at roughly 8mm from the end.

drill small pieces
Then drill each of the small pieces, keeping the drill as square as possible. Rounding off the corners ensures they don’t catch on the hinged legs.

get coat hanger
Well if you are anything like me you will have a lot of these hanging in the wardrobe with nothing on them. So a very good use for coat hangers, we are actually gonna use 2 of these for the nice bit of strait wire that runs along the bottom.

cut coat hanger
We are gonna cut that and that goes all the way through the tray frame.

weave legs
Ok, well there is lots of little pieces and we are going to thread them on the wire so obviously it goes through the holes and we create a basket weave type pattern at both end with the legs. And you make a hinge so that they fold out. So, just be patient, take your time. Then, thread the longer pieces and the shorter pieces to form the base and legs of the tray.

repeat at other end
Repeat this at the other end and it starts to take shape. Ok, that’s the last of the leg pieces on, now we have to glue the supports on either side.

lay cling wrap
It’s really important when you do that that you don’t tighten the edges too much, otherwise it locks in and the legs won’t open out. Also you have to use a fair amount of glue so this comes in very handy to stop the bits you don’t wanna stick from getting glue on it.

fold legs

The kitchen wrap acts as a barrier and prevents the hinged legs from being glued to the tray base.

fold all legs
Fold the legs into position,

add glue

add the aliphatic glue,

add stoppers

cut shelf moulding

measure and cut the shelf moulding that frames our tray. The shelf framing is great, it’s rebated and saves a lot of work.

corner clamp
Then, use the corner clamp to hold the framing in position while you drill the holes.

drill holes
In drilling close to the end of the frame,


counter sink holes

it’s important to counter sink to avoid splitting the wood.

glue ends
Then glue 2 of the corners…

screw into position

and screw into position.

repeat on other corners

Repeat the drilling process on the other end and counter sink, but don’t glue this one yet.

mark locator holes
Now that the glue is dry on the base and leg assembly, you can mark the position of the wire locator holes.

drill coat hanger holes
Drill using a bit the same size as the coat hanger wire.

ease into position
You can then ease it into position,

screw frame together

and screw the frame together.

measure and cut stops
Measure and cut the 2 stops for each end of the tray.

Pre-nailing makes them easier to fit.

add some glue stopper
Add some glue,

nail into position
and then finish nailing them into position. Ok, the end stops are gonna stop it from opening too far. Get rid of the glad wrap and then the acid test.

finished bed tray
There you go, the perfect mothers day tray. All we have to do is wait for breakfast.


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