A trivet is nothing more than a flat surface upon which you can place hot pans, plates or dishes. By placing your hot dinnerware on the trivet, you spare your counters and table tops from heat damage. While a simple unfinished square of hard wood would do the trick, you would be wise to put a bit of extra effort into the project. By creating a square with opposing grooves on the top and bottom, known as a waffle cut, you'll end up with a stylish trivet that provides excellent airflow to help disburse heat.
Cut a 3/4-inch-thick piece of hard wood, such as cherry or oak, into a 6 1/4-inch square.
Install your 3/8-inch stacked dado blade in your table saw with a 3 3/16-inch depth of cut. Set your rip fence for a 3 5/16-inch cut.
Pass your board carefully over the spinning dado blade to cut a centered 3/8-inch groove on one side. Flip the board over and rotate 90 degrees. Pass the board over once more to create an opposing groove on the opposite side of the board.
Adjust your rip fence 3/4 inch closer to the blade for the next set of cuts. Pass your board over the blade once again to create a parallel groove next to your first. Rotate the board 180 degrees and pass it again. You'll now have three grooves on one side of the board. Flip the board over, rotate it 90 degrees and repeat this process to create the opposing cuts.
Continue adjusting your rip fence 3/4 inch after each set of cuts until you've reached the end of the board. Once finished, you'll have nine grooves on each side of the board, which will loosely resemble a waffle.
Sand down your finished work piece using a handheld sanding tool such as an oscillating sander, a rotary tool with a sanding accessory or even a sanding block. Use medium grit sandpaper between, 80- to 120-grit, for your initial sanding. Sand off any imperfections on the surface and round the edges over. Finish sand with 150- to 180-grit sandpaper.
Finish your trivet with a kitchen safe finish such as tung oil. Apply a thin layer of the oil to your trivet using a clean rag. Wait 30 minutes and wipe off any excess oil. Allow the coat to dry before applying another coat. Apply at least three coats to protect your trivet from water damage.
Tips & Warnings
- Provided you try not to get your trivet wet, you can choose not to apply any finish to it.
- Always use a push block when making dado cuts on your table saw. Though the blade does not cut all of the way through your project, it's still dangerous.
- Avoid using any finish that contains wax, such as shellac. The wax will melt under a heat and will transfer a residue to the bottom of your pots and pans..
Things You'll Need:
- 3/8-inch stacked dado blade
- Table saw
- Push block
- Handheld sanding tool
- Cloth rag
- Pure tung oil
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