Pair of Expanding trivets/Hot Plates

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Project by Dave Rutan posted 11-08-2012 05:20 PM 4341 views 36 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

[Legebla ankaĆ­ en Esperanto]

This is a pair of matching expanding trivets I made for Christmas. I took the basic design from a commercially produced trivet I spotted in the grocery store. Theirs was bamboo and metal tubes. Mine is all wood. I used some of the scrap dresser wood I scored a short time ago. I’ve got plenty left. Once you figure out the size, spacing and orientation of the holes these are quite easy to make.

The finish is tea stain followed by vinegar/rust. These were applied by placing the trivets in a large freezer bag with the solution and shaking them up. Final finishing was a coat of linseed oil.

My projects got delayed a bit by Hurricane Sandy. We were very lucky. Our power was only out for 11 hours, but we ended up hosting a few family members, plus I try not to do major woodworking when the family is in the house because of the noise and dust.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

14 comments so far

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 3507 days

#1 posted 11-08-2012 06:16 PM

pretty cool

-- Joel

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30677 posts in 3791 days

#2 posted 11-08-2012 06:34 PM

Really like the design. Very nice.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Michael Wilson's profile

Michael Wilson

588 posts in 3943 days

#3 posted 11-08-2012 06:58 PM

Love them! That’s a really great idea.

A couple of those MIGHT just show up under my sisters’ tree this year.

View TomTinkerSum's profile


226 posts in 5287 days

#4 posted 11-08-2012 07:11 PM

Great idea. They look good!

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic.... :)

View Doe's profile


1440 posts in 4283 days

#5 posted 11-08-2012 10:22 PM

They’re great! I’m glad that you and your family managed through Sandy. How’s round 2 with the nor’easter?

best regards,

-- Mother Nature talks, I try to listen

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 4051 days

#6 posted 11-08-2012 10:23 PM

Pretty slick.

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

2022 posts in 3641 days

#7 posted 11-08-2012 10:36 PM

Doe, We had 2 inches of white stuff on the cars this morning. The road was wet and the driveway was melting. I think south and east of us got more snow and wind.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View jasoncarpentry's profile


149 posts in 4107 days

#8 posted 11-09-2012 12:08 PM

Great idea, but I can’t see how the design works. Please enlighten this old Engineer!

Also, what kind(s) of wood did you use?

-- Jim in Tennessee

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

2022 posts in 3641 days

#9 posted 11-09-2012 12:56 PM


I’ll admit it’s deceptive, almost like an optical illusion. Think of it as two trivets consisting of the two ends held together by the three dowels. Space the dowels so they don’t interfere with each other and intertwine them by drilling holes in the ‘middle’ ends. The second picture shows this best. Pushed together it looks like one trivet with 6 dowels. When opened it becomes two three-dowel trivets that are intertwined, making it one longer trivet. The ends are about 8 inches long and the dowels used are about 6 inches long. Hope this helps. -Dave

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Shark64's profile


12 posts in 3521 days

#10 posted 11-09-2012 04:28 PM

This is great and makes a wonderful gift. I appreciate your sharing.

View chuck1962's profile


21 posts in 3504 days

#11 posted 11-09-2012 06:44 PM

I like this, Great Job!!! with so much scrap wood lying around I might have to have a go at this one.

View tlmarriott1's profile


16 posts in 3482 days

#12 posted 11-10-2012 05:05 AM

Great idea and nicely done. What did you use for the finish again? Tea stain and vinegar? Can you elaborate, please?

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

2022 posts in 3641 days

#13 posted 11-10-2012 11:45 AM


Tea stain: boil some water, about a pint, and put about 4 tea bags in it for like 1/2 hour on simmer. When it’s cool enough to not be dangerous, coat you project with the tea. Let dry.

Vinegar & Rust Stain: get some vinegar and add old nails to it. I keep mine in an old peanut butter jar. Wait at least a week before using. Coast the project with the vinegar & rust solution. This is good for ebonizing the wood. On top of the tea stain it will be a very dark brown. Without the tea stain, multiple treatments will darken the wood until you reach a dark brown.


-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View DonB's profile


591 posts in 4145 days

#14 posted 11-11-2012 03:57 PM

I made trivets using backsplash inserts. However your finish and design is unique. Well done.

-- DonB

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