Sometimes you don’t get as much time as you want out in the shop.  Life has a way of regulating that.  I took a square piece of oak and made a really quick wood trivet to keep hot pots and pans from scorching your counters and tabletops.  I did this as kind of an experiment.  In doing so, I just grabbed a piece of oak I had leftover from my last project.  Oak has a tendency to splinter and have tearout over other woods such as maple.  These make great gifts, and I will most likely make more of them, but I think I will try it from maple next.  Sanding these can be tricky with all of they small areas and crevices.  So I think maple would make a great choice in the type of wood to use.

wood trivet 01

I installed my 3/4″ dado stack into my table saw.  You can play around with the width of the dado to achieve different patterns on your trivet.


wood trivet 02My recently acquired table saw did not come with an insert for my dado blade, so I modified an insert I had from a previous saw.  With a level and clamps holding down the front of the insert, I could slowly raise the blade making a slot for the dado blade to reside.


wood trivet 03Once the saw was ready to get cutting I set the rip fence so I could make 2 passes on two opposite edge of my square workpiece.


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You can then just rotate the wood 180°, and make the second cut.


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Adjusting the rip fence to approximately center, I could then make another cut on the same side of the oak.


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I ran the piece through the dado blade once, then rotated the piece 180 degrees, and made another pass.  This ensures the center slot is perfectly centered.


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Flipping the piece over, I made another centering pass with the blade.  Whether or not you make the same distance cuts on both sides is up to you.  Different fence distances, alternating distances and dado width, will give you different patterns and different looks to you trivet.


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The only crucial thing to keep an eye out for is to make sure when rotating your project 90° and flipping it over, that you don’t make a through cut.  This would cut your piece in half and that’s not good when making a trivet.


wood trivet 10

Readjusting the fence and making repeated cuts, the “waffle” pattern begins to appear.


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You can see here that alternating the cuts and flipping the piece makes quick work of the oak.


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It only took about 2 minutes to get to this point.


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I then used a 1/8″ roundover bit in my trim router to ease the sharp edges I could access.  A narrow chunk of scrap wood made a nice sanding block to get into the channel and clean the project up a little bit.


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Ready for some yummy food and hot pots and pans.  I opted to leave the project unfinished.  My thought behind doing so was I figured a film finish would scorch and an oil finish would just transfer too much heat into the wood and not dissipate the heat as well.  These are really quick and easy to make a batch of them and they would make great items to sell at a craft show.







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4 Responses

  1. Norm

    This a great quick simple project that many people would enjoy having given to them, Thank you for sharing

  2. Lear Jet

    It just may be the ticket for a Get out of Jail card with the wife! For spending so much time in the wood shop.
    Thanks Nick, or should that be Saint Nick?


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