End Grain Trivet (Proof of Technique)

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Project by Don Broussard posted 07-16-2014 07:50 PM 3006 views 1 time favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch
End Grain Trivet (Proof of Technique)
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I’m working on a special birthday gift for my mother, whose birthday is August 4. I made this small trivet today to test cutting, clamping and sanding techniques, and to assess the time and effort required for each step. It’s made of scrap woods: sapele, maple and walnut. Each piece is a ¾” cube, with strips of varying thickness. One of the main things I was testing was to see how strong the bond would be between long grain glued up perpendicular to other long grain. With Titebond II, it looks like it will work just fine. I also feel pretty confident in moving on to the real project, recognizing that clamping a full-sized project will be a lot easier than this postcard-sized piece.

I used a block plane with an adjustable mouth to do the gross leveling of the piece and progressive grits on an RO sander (60-220 grits) to sand before finishing. The finish is just three wiped-on coats of mineral oil.

That peach and those blueberries look like they are gigantic, but the board is only 4-⅝” x 6-½”.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

23 comments so far

View JL7's profile


8773 posts in 3745 days

#1 posted 07-16-2014 07:54 PM

Looks like a great test Don, and a handy little gadget for the kitchen to boot. Really looking forward to the “secret” project…...charge on…

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View lightcs1776's profile


4256 posts in 2434 days

#2 posted 07-16-2014 08:46 PM

Looks great, Don. You might want to make a second one to match, then give two trivets and the cutting board as a set. Or make a second one to pair with the first and save for Christmas.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

View firefighterontheside's profile


21060 posts in 2636 days

#3 posted 07-16-2014 09:24 PM

So that is a combination of end grain and side grain? It looks cool. I’d say test successful.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View DIYaholic's profile


19919 posts in 3455 days

#4 posted 07-16-2014 09:32 PM

Great lookin’ trivet…. for JUST an experiment!!!

Can’t wait to see the “Real Deal” done!!!
From the “practice exam”..... it’s gonna be fantastic!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4088 days

#5 posted 07-16-2014 09:45 PM

That came out real nice…! Gluing up such small pieces must have been tricky…but it seems like you got it done.
Your Mama ought to really like it…

View terryR's profile


7615 posts in 3088 days

#6 posted 07-16-2014 09:52 PM

Looking good…great use of small scraps!

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30552 posts in 3118 days

#7 posted 07-16-2014 10:38 PM

Good job and I I like the color combination. Now we need a big one.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

3911 posts in 3031 days

#8 posted 07-16-2014 11:06 PM

Thanks for the encouragement! It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot in the process. I’ve already started on the real project. I milled and cut some of the pieces to size this afternoon. One small glue up in in the clamps now.

Jeff—I appreciate the tips and the advice I got from your own projects and videos.

Chris—Good idea. I might have enough scraps for a few coasters to match.

BillM—End grain on the blocks; long grain on the dividers. A little tricky on the glue up, I must say, ‘specially for my first one evah!

Randy—The real project should be ready for the reveal by, say, August 3 or so.

Greg—It was a bit tricky, but I glued up the pieces in strips, cut and then glued up the cut pieces. The real tricky part was trying to fit the clamps needed to apply even pressure over such a small area.

terryR—Best part is that the scraps came from a friend of mine that let me rummage through his scrap bin to find these pieces. My only cost was a bunch of glue.

Thanks, Monte. Soon, very soon.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View BoardSMITH's profile


124 posts in 3043 days

#9 posted 07-16-2014 11:39 PM

Gluing long grain pieces with end grain pieces will result in cracked glue joints. The wood will move in different directions and the stresses created will break the joint. I have seen it happen. Sorry to rain on your parade.

-- David

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

3911 posts in 3031 days

#10 posted 07-16-2014 11:48 PM

No problem, David. I actually did this as a test before I do the real thing. I have to cut and glue up a bunch of small, thin pieces to the blocks and then glue them up as a unit.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3470 days

#11 posted 07-17-2014 12:01 AM

Don, That looks really cool but I share David’s concerns. I got away with a similar format by gluing all the parts to an underlayment of 3/16” MDF. But mine was a top for a valet and not a cutting board.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Gene Howe's profile (online now)

Gene Howe

12188 posts in 4208 days

#12 posted 07-17-2014 12:42 AM

Pretty li’l trivet, Don.
Like Andy and David, I’d want the glued surfaces to be either face or edge grain on a larger piece.
Cut your sanding time with a router sled. Use a bowl bit for nice smooth cuts.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View CFrye's profile (online now)


11011 posts in 2620 days

#13 posted 07-17-2014 01:40 PM

NIce lil trivet, Don! Hope it endures. Mom will love the board either way!

-- God bless, Candy

View Albert's profile


542 posts in 4369 days

#14 posted 07-17-2014 02:08 PM

I made one similar in a large format and had it explode when the humidity changed. I had been so proud of it.

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 3394 days

#15 posted 07-17-2014 03:22 PM

looks great Don,thought the same thing when i first looked those are some big berrts and peach, great Job ,

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

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