Q&A: How can I make splayed side for a round tray?

My wife and I bought furniture for the first time recently since moving in to our new home 2 years ago. It’s a living room set including a large ottoman measuring about 40" square. She decided that will be the coffee table and she wants me to make a round tray for it. I would like the tray to have a lip on a 45° angle but I can’t figure out how to do it. It seems to be a very difficult thing to do without a lathe and even then it would have to be an extremely large lathe for that size. I looked on Google images for an example to post and I couldn’t find any! All the large round trays had a straight (90°) lip. Am I biting off more than I can chew?

Losing fingers since 1969


Here is a way, think of this as a concept. It may help think of other ways.
Build a ring.

Rout a 45 deg bevel around the inside

Turn it over and rout a rabbet for a bottom to go in.

Make and insert bottom.

Bandsaw outside edge.


Hi Brian
If I understand right what you want to is to put a 45-degree angle all the way around a round tray. If that’s what you want to do ? I would do it on a router table with a “V” shaped jig (see link) and a 45-degree router bit.


woodworking classes, custom furniture maker

I just saw this, but if you don’t have a router table this might work.


woodworking classes, custom furniture maker

Mathias Wandel – the over-the-top talented Mathias Wandel – has posted the math necessary to do splayed joints on the table saw. I’ve created a different version of this (his is superior in every regard). I suggest you look at his site.