In my journey of furnishing my new apartment I got a used toaster oven. I had never had one before, and when my mother and I were testing it, she noticed how hot the top of the oven got. She was overly concerned. We were thinking of getting a cutting board to sit on top to protect fingers and be used as a hot pad. But I didn’t want to buy another cutting board if I had one, even if it didn’t fit on top of the oven. This was weeks ago now, and it didn’t really come to mind again until I was finishing up my kitchen island woodworking project. At the end of that I had some left over wood pieces and I thought I could just make my own hot pad.
I wanted to look up some cool designs or easy ways of making one on Pintrest, but I had some trouble finding them. I don’t know if this is regional or what, but I had never heard the word “trivet” before. We always just call the landing for a hot pot or pan, a hot pad. Do other people say that, or did my family make that up? I don’t think so. Anyway, in my searching I came across what I was looking for in the trivet category. Before looking this up I already had an idea about the design I wanted based off one in our house that my dad made forever ago. It was a cool dowel separated piece that looked like a fish. I wasn’t shooting that high, but I liked the dowel idea. I should say that at this point I already got the materials, before I even finalized the design.
I made it real simple, my rectangles were 12 inch pieces and the dowels would also be 12 inches, making a square trivet. I did the tedious task of drilling the holes in the wood, three in each, a smaller bit then going up to the bigger bit. I did this on my dad’s drill press because I didn’t trust my accuracy with a hand drill. Turns out, it didn’t make much of a difference anyway. I set up a jig of scraps to hold it up straight and clamp it down, but it was all in vein. All the drill holes turned out slightly crooked. I kept going though. After they were all drilled, I started inserting the dowels. I could get all the dowels in the first piece of wood, but only with a lot of twisting and effort. I realized it couldn’t work for the rest.
At that point I cut the dowel into pieces. It would only go through all the way in the end pieces, and for the middle ones it would only go in a centimetre or so, and be held with glue. This got all the piece to fit, but it definitely turned out crooked in some spots. But, what the heck, it’s sturdy and once I put the stain and finish it looked nice. It only took me half a day and saved me a couple bucks on getting a real hot pad, so I call it a success!