Build The Be Fruitful Catch-All Tray!

Make this cute Fruitful Catch-All Tray over a weekend!

The tray makes an attractive organizer for a vanity or dresser to stow jewelry, coins or placed on a work or home office desktop for any small “odds and ends” you may have!

The tray design features recessed carve regions of an apple, pear and strawberry, and is affixed atop two contrasting-stained riser supports.

The project uses just the 1/16 ” Carving Bit and the 1/8 ” Cutting Bit. No other bits are required. Overall dimensions of the finished tray are about: 10.5″ long x 6″ deep x 2″ tall

Main items you will need:

  1. The Project Files (included):
    • Be-Fruitful.mpc
  2. Board with the following dimensions:
    • 0.75″x 9″x 20.5″
    • NOTE: Do not use boards that are smaller than specified above unless using an appropriate jig.
  3. Sandpaper, wood glue, stain and/or paint and clear finish
  4. A Dremel-type rotary tool with assorted abrasive attachments to aid the sanding process. A spindle sander andsmall belt sander can help speed up sanding/surface prep.


Start Designer and open the .mpc file(s). (fig. 1a)

All you need to do at this point is upload the project files to your memory card. (File/Upload). When you upload, you may or may not get a pop-up window with an “Auto-Jig” warning message (Fig. 1b)

fig. 1b

If you do see the message, you may safely click on “Ignore” because our actual boards will be large enough that it won’t cause any problems at all. After each project is compiled, select “Best” or “Optimal” for the File Quality carve setting. (I used “Best”.)

Click “OK” and upload the mpc project file to your memory card. Insert the card into your machine and load a board that measures the appropriate dimension specified for the particular mpc (see page 1 for board dimensions). Turn on your machine and proceed with the project setup in Step 2…

STEP 2 – Running the MPC File(s)

You will see “Project Menu” on your LCD display. Press “1” and scroll to Be-Fruitful.mpc project, and press the green ENTER button to select it. Then follow the additional LED prompts as follows…

  • Stay Under Rollers – press 1) NO
    • DID YOU KNOW? If you’re using the specified board sizes, it doesn’t matter if you select YES or NO because those board sizes have the extra 7 inches of length that will keep the project under rollers either way. See 7 inch rule for further explanation
  • DO NOT RESIZE or SCALE the projects! If prompted, always keep the original size. No scaling!
  • How To Place – press 1) Center
  • Cut Board to Size? – press 2) NO
  • Select Cutting Bit: 1/8″ Cutting – Press ENTER. The machine will move the bit holder to the center.
  • Load Bit:1/8″ Cutting -Insert your 1/8″ cutting bit, then press the green ENTER button. (homes, etc.)
  • Select Carving Bit: 1/16″ Carving – Press ENTER. The machine will move the bit holder to the center.
  • Load Bit: 1/16″ Carving – Remove the 1/8″ cutting bit, and insert your 1/16″ carving bit, then press the green ENTER button. After homing and finding surface, the carving process is performed.
  • After it is done carving, you will be prompted to load your 1/8″ cutting bit. Remove the 1/16″ carving bit and insert your 1/8″ cutting bit. Press the green ENTER button. The machine will perform the cutouts.

Your board will look something like this…(fig. 2)

STEP 3 – Separate Parts from Material

Separate the parts from the board with a utility knife or small saw. Sand off tabs, fuzzies and undesirable toolmarks. (fig. 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d, 3e)

Fig. 3a – Separate the parts from the board.
Fig. 3b – Spindle sanding the curves of the supports
Fig. 3c – Belt sanding outer curves and all flat edges
Fig. 3d – Hand sanding with the grain to blend and smooth the edges of the recessed carving areas to the surface of the tray.
Fig. 3e – 3M discs on rotary tool for sanding into crevices

STEP 4 – Apply Finish and Glue Risers to Tray

Apply the finish of your choice. Here’s what I used (fig. 4a, 4b, 4c, 4d, 4e, 4f)

  • Applied strips of blue painter’s tape over the “glue area” of the support risers
  • Applied one coat thinned Bulls Eye SealCoat overall. (50/50 denatured alcohol and SealCoat)
  • Sanded when dry.
  • Applied Rust-Oleum American Walnut stain to the support risers
  • Glued the support risers to the bottom of the tray
  • Applied several light coats Krylon Clear Gloss, then Satin as final coats
Fig. 4a – Apply masking tape to glue area of supports
Fig. 4b – Applied thinned SealCoat. Sanded when dry.
Fig. 4c – Applied stain to support risers
Fig. 4d – Mark support locations on underside of tray (about 0.5-inch from corners of curve)
Fig. 4e – Removed tape and glued the support risers to the bottom of the tray
Fig. 4f – Applied several light coats Krylon Clear Gloss, then Satin as final coats

Materials Source Reference

3M Sanding Discs

3M Radial Bristle Discs

  • (stack 3 discs at a time on your rotary tool mandrel)
  • 80-grit (yellow) is what I use exclusively, but other grits are available NOTE: grits finer than 220 are not recommended for wood
  • Purchase from:

Items Purchased at Home DepotTM or LowesTM

  • Zinsser Bulls Eye SealCoat (same as 100% de-waxed shellac)
  • Denatured Alcohol (Home Depot™ or Lowes™)
  • Rust-Oleum American Walnut Stain

I hope you enjoyed making your Be Fruitful Catch-All Tray!
Happy Carving!

Michael Tyler of!

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