Sofa Arm Tray with Easy Box Joints

Sofa Arm Tray with Easy Box Joints

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.

Sofa Arm Tray

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.

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I glued and clamped up the pieces for the top, alternating sizes to create the box joints.

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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.

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It was kind of tedious, but worked out in the end.

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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.

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I finished mine with Danish Oil. It’s easy to apply and looks great.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Would have loved it if you did “fake box joints” for looks and used pocket holes for the actual joint. 😀 Just to mess with Mattias.

  2. Have been watching your videos and am thinking about setting up a “micro” shop, as I live in an apartment with no storage space and am thinking about using the “table top” versions of the major power tools. I enjoy watching you building your projects and am planning to do a few (at this time the arm rest trays and the sofa tray). Keep up the good work.

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