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Discussion Starter #1
I'm assisting a friend in converting an old bar stool into a high chair with a tray and i've come across a slight problem. Being that a child will actually eat at this tray, it would be ideal if the tray had a lip around it or was routed inside to leave such a lip.

The problem comes in with me not owning a router. I first thought I could just cut some thin strips and bend them around the outside of the tray to make a little 1/2'' lip or so, but realized that would look pretty terrible.

So I'm wondering is there any secret method to carving out the inside of a flat piece of wood without the proper tools? The top is poplar, so it's moderately soft.


I also had the idea to set the fence really low on my circular saw and make a bunch of cuts at a short depth, use a chisel or something to get most of it out, and then sand with the ROS, but that sounds sort of sketchy.

Anyway, any ideas would be great.
 

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Lots of bentwood projects are done with thin strips of wood glued into the shape.

Is this being painted? If so rip some 1/16in thick strips to cover the edge + the 1/2in high extra you want to contain spills.

Alternate is to get some weatherstripping to cover the edge and provide the bumper height you want. The little baby will not care about the looks.
 

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A scorp is a great tool if you already own one. However, $72.00 plus shipping is a little high for a one purpose tool. A few dollars more and a good router can be had that will preform many different jobs rather than just one. A router with a bowl making bit will make short work of that tray.

If the job absolutely must be done without a router My pick of tools would be a 4" angle grinder to eat out most of the waste followed a lot of sanding. A chisel would also work to eat away the waste, but do not try using a circular saw to hollow out anything. Someone is going to get hurt!
 

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go back to plan A

Laminated strips are the easiest and cleanest way to accomplish your goal. Start with 1/16" thick strips, long enough to make a complete wrap. You can taper the ends to allow for a better continuous wrap. It's a called a "scarf" joint. A contrasting color wood will make it look intentional.

Scorping out the center will be a PITA. It will be uneven, need lots of sanding and hard to clean afterward. Smooth and flat is where it's at.
You just need a small lip to keep the veggies and raisins from rolling off. :yes:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
On the wooden high chairs I remember the curves are not that great, can you not cut the pieces with a jig saw to shape and glue then on. Seem to remember the arms were extended to work as the sides of the tray, then two bars across front and back.
I'm cutting the curves for the tray myself. They're not terribly crazy.
It's for a friend who's tasked at school to convert one type of chair into another type of chair, who happens to also have a baby.
 
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