Project Overview

A nice warm bath is a great way to relax and unwind at the end of the day. This timber bath tray is the perfect addition to any bathroom, giving you a place to put everything you could need within arm’s reach.  

Continue to step-by-step instructions
Man spraying timber floor
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Belt sander tip

Belt sanders are powerful, effective machines. If you have never used one before, it’s a good idea to practice on an out of the way section of floor first. That way, you will have a feel for how the sander works before you get to the more visible areas.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Cut your timber
2 Join the timber
3 Measure and mark the timber
4 Cut the timber to size
5 Measure and mark for the rebate
6 Set the circular saw for the size of the rebate
7 Cut the rebate
8 Cut out the timber using a router
9 Sand the rebates
10 Remove any excess glue
11 Sand the tray
12 Finish sanding the top of the tray
13 Wipe away dust
14 Varnish the tray
15 Measure, mark and cut the adhesive foam
16 Attach the adhesive foam
17 Sit back and relax
  • Step 1. Cut your timber

    To make this D.I.Y. project even easier, have your timber pre-cut at Bunnings to the width of your bath plus an extra 200mm. When choosing your timber, select pieces that have sharp 90-degree long edges and avoid timber with any blemishes.

  • Step 2. Join the timber

    Choose the best sides of your timber. Place these face down and apply a liberal amount of glue along one of the long edges. Join it to the other piece of timber making sure they’re flush. Clamp them together and let the glue dry.

  • Step 3. Measure and mark the timber

    Use the straight edge to mark a straight line close to one end of the joined pieces of timber. From that line, measure and mark the length of your tray. We’re using the width of the bath plus 200mm.

  • Step 4. Cut the timber to size

    Clamp the timber to the workbench and use your circular saw to cut the timber. A straight edge clamp can help guide your circular saw along the line accurately. Once you’ve cut one end of the timber, turn the wood around, re-clamp it and cut the other end.

  • Step 5. Measure and mark for the rebate

    Measure and mark the rebates on the bottom of the tray with a straight line. This distance should take into account the width of your bath. We cut ours 100mm in from each end of the timber. 

  • Step 6. Set the circular saw for the size of the rebate

    For safety reasons, unplug the circular saw before carrying out this step. Then set the circular saw for the depth of the rebate, ours was 10mm.

  • Step 7. Cut the rebate

    Use the circular saw to make multiple cuts in the timber for the rebate. Repeat this step for the other side then tape around the edges of timber you will be cutting out. This will stop wood chipping off from the edges when you use the router.

  • Step 8. Cut out the timber using a router

    Use the router to cut out the rebates on both sides of the timber tray.

  • Step 9. Sand the rebates

    Use the belt sander and the coarse 120 grit sandpaper to sand the rebates. Then switch to a finer sandpaper and sand the rebates until you have a smooth finish. 

  • Step 10. Remove any excess glue

    Before sanding the underside of the tray, use a sharp chisel to carefully remove any excess glue, this will stop the sander from clogging up.

  • Step 11. Sand the tray

    Use the belt sander to sand the entire tray. Start with an 80 grit sandpaper then move to 120 grit.

  • Step 12. Finish sanding the top of the tray

    Once you’ve sanded the entire tray with the 120 grit sandpaper, use the 240 grit and the orbital sander to ensure a super smooth finish.

  • Step 13. Wipe away dust

    Use a damp rag to wipe away any dust from the top of the tray. Let it dry.

  • Step 14. Varnish the tray

    Stir the Cabothane Clear thoroughly before using it. Use a good quality paint brush to apply the first coat of varnish to the top and sides of the tray. Let it dry, then lightly sand it before applying up to three coats of varnish. Repeat process for the bottom of the tray.

  • Step 15. Measure, mark and cut the adhesive foam

    Measure and mark the adhesive foam to fit into the rebates at the bottom of your tray. The foam will stop the tray from damaging the edges of your bath. Use scissors or a utility knife to cut the adhesive foam to size.

  • Step 16. Attach the adhesive foam

    Peel the backing paper off the adhesive foam, line it up with the edge of the tray and stick it down. Repeat this step for the other rebate and the job’s done. 

  • Step 17. Sit back and relax

    Now all you need to do is run a bath and relax!

Tools and Materials


  • Belt sander
  • Carpenters square (large)
  • Circular saw with a fine cutting blade
  • Chisel (sharp and wide)
  • Clamps
  • Dust mask
  • Earmuffs
  • Measuring tape
  • Orbital sander
  • Paint brush
  • Pencil
  • Putty knife
  • Router
  • Safety glasses
  • Sanding float or block
  • Sash clamps
  • Scraper
  • Straight edge clamp
  • Utility knife or scissors


  • 240mm x 45mm x 900mm x 2 Tasmanian oak
  • Adhesive protector foam
  • Clear polyurethane
  • Masking tape
  • Polyurethane glue
  • Rags
  • 80, 120 grit and 240 grit sandpaper
  • Wood filler to match

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