A pen or pencil tray for the desk may be made quickly from a mailing tube of 1″diameter. A tube 10″ long cut in half the long way provides two half-round pieces which can be glued together at the edges to form the tray. End pieces to close the tray are cut from heavy cardboard, and the whole surface is covered with thin leather.
If a short length of angle iron is available, it can be used to advantage as a guide for the knife that slits the tube from end to end. After the tube has been slit, glue is applied to the edges that are to butt together. The size of the end pieces, as shown in Fig. 1, will have to be determined after the two half sections of the tube have been joined together. To obtain the correct size and shape for these ends, the glued-up half tubes are placed upright on a piece of cardboard while their outlines are traced. The cardboard is cut to shape slightly oversize, and the ends are glued to the tubes. After the glue has set, the excess cardboard is removed with a file.
Care should be exercised in covering the base with thin leather, as glue left on the surface will discolor it. Glue is applied to the outside of the tubes first, then the piece of leather previously cut to the correct size is wrapped around the tubes. The ends of the leather are turned down inside the tubes as shown in Fig. 2. The inside covering is applied after the tube has been coated with glue as shown in the photograph. The leather is worked down into the tube. The leather covering for each end is cut in one piece as shown in Fig. 2 to cover the inside and outside. It is attached with glue.