After cutting and detailing the fretwork the rest of the work on my daughter's tea tray was like walking downhill.
I started the process by burnishing beeswax into the parquetry with a charged polissoir.
Then I fit the tray inside inside the fretwork sides. I glued the meeting long grain together and countersunk a couple finish nails on each side to hold things in place until the glue set. Before I fit everything together I took a few minutes and wrote a couple nice thoughts and wishes to my daughter around the tray bottom, where the sides will cover it and no one will ever see unless they disassemble to whole thing.
It's a Hidden Magic habit I've gotten into as I finish pieces.
I let the glue dry overnight and did the final shaping and sanding of the sides and glued 1" leather pads to the bottom four corners. Then it was off for the rest of the finish. Three coats of garnet shellac and a slathering and buffing of paste wax.
There were a ton of details that went into this small piece, of course it always seems that way. I can pick apart the slight gapping of the dovetails in one corner, and a couple errors in grain direction and accuracy of cuts in the parquetry, but overall those are small concerns. I am content with the outcome, but more importantly, my daughter Fayth is overjoyed.
What more can I ask for?
Ratione et Passionis