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Trivet with a Twist

​By Rob Brown

Protect your countertops and dining table from hot pans and serving dishes with this beautifully crafted wooden trivet.

It’s a piece of art to be admired with everyday use, and a guaranteed conversation piece for guests on special occasions.

Rob Brown designs and builds custom furniture and is the editor of Canadian Woodworking and Home Improvement magazine.


Here's How to Make the Trivet
Wood Trivet


  • contrasting hardwood (shown: walnut and maple)
  • centre: 12” long x 5” wide x 7/8” thick
  • sides: 24” long x 5” wide x 7/8” thick
  • sandpaper 1230-947
  • wood glue 2020-067
  • clamps 1022-479
  • protective finish of your choice
Here’s How

  • Breakout centre piece to 12” long x 5” wide x 7/8” thick then rip it into four 3/4” wide strips.
  • Mark the four strips so you can glue them back together in the same order they were cut.
  • Mark a line on the top surface 1/8” away from both edges of each piece.
  • Use an object, like a small can of finish (photo 1), to mark arcs across the length of the top of the pieces. The exact radius of the arc isn’t crucial, but it’s important to mark all the pieces evenly. Mark the arcs from either side of the strips to form a continuous, gentle “S” curve. The quadrant of each arc should be on the 1/8” offset layout line. Using a template will ensure the “S” curves are all the same.
  • While marking the curves, ensure the mating strips of wood have the curve marked as a mirrored image.
  • Tilt your band saw table to 35 degrees.
  • Cut the waste from either side of the strip, ensuring you stay about 1/8” away from the “S” curve. This leaves a flat about 1/4” wide on the top of each strip in the shape of an “S” curve. (photo 2)
  • Use a drum sander to smooth the band-sawn surfaces. (photo 3)
  • Place mating strips side by side and mark where more material needs to be removed so the strips mate together nicely. (photo 4)
  • Hand sand the surfaces smooth. (photo 5)
  • Glue two strips together, and when dry add the third and fourth strips in stages. It’s easier to align only two parts at once. (photo 6)

  • Dress the two side pieces to exactly the same thickness as the centre strips.
  • Glue them one by one to the centre assembly, ensuring they’re all even on the underside.

  • Mark a circle on the back of the assembly. Cut it to rough size on the band saw and sand the edge smooth. (photo 7)
  • Break the edges and apply three coats of finish. ​
1. ​Mark the “S” Curve
Use an object to lay out a proper “S” curve on the four strips. Using a template will ensure your parts are the same size and shape.
2. Remove the Waste
After tilting your band saw table to 35 degrees, remove the waste on both sides of the “S” curve, ensuring you stay about 1/8” away from the line at all times.
3. Even it Out
A drum sander will smooth and even the band-sawn surface. Again, stay back of the “S” curve line by an even amount.​
4. Mark the Waste
Place mating strips beside each other and use a pencil to mark where there’s extra material. 
Fine-tune the strips on a drum sander.
5. Sand it Smooth
Hand sand the shaped faces and break the edges. Once the strips are assembled these areas will be hard to get to.​
6. Glue the Strips
Here the last of the four strips is getting glued together. Ensure the faces of each strip are flush during glue up, and don’t use so much glue that squeeze out occurs on the upper surface of the assembly.
7. Round it Out
Once the outer sections are glued in place, draw a circle on the underside of the workpiece, cut it out and sand the edge smooth.​
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