If you have a sofa or chair with large stuffed arms, you know how tempting it is to balance a drink on them. Unfortunately, this often leads to unfortunate spills. This week’s project offers a great solution: the sofa arm tray. It’s similar to a TV tray, but handier to use; just slide it over an arm.
Box joints: the easy way!
The main feature of this sofa arm tray is the box joints, or at least what may seem like box joints. I suppose technically they are box joints, just constructed differently. Instead of using some sort of box joint jig on the table saw, these are simple a bunch of wood strips, staggered and glued together to interlock.
I made all of my strips 1″ (25mm) wide, but you could make them any width you like. To make it even simpler, use off-the-rack lumber from the home center and you will only need to crosscut them to length.
For me, this was a good opportunity to use the crosscut sled I made in last week’s show.
I glued and clamped up the pieces for the top, alternating sizes to create the box joints.
I found that it made sense to glue on the individual side pieces one at a time. I think if I were to build another sofa arm tray I would try completely assembling the two sides, then attaching them to the top like a regular box joint.
It was kind of tedious, but worked out in the end.
After a lot of sanding, I rounded over all the sharp edges using a roundover bit on my router. You can use a sander to ease over the edges if you don’t have a router.
I finished mine with Danish Oil. It’s easy to apply and looks great.