End Grain Trivet (Proof of Technique)

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Project by Don Broussard posted 35 days ago 1075 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


7103 posts in 1590 days

#1 posted 35 days ago

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 - I have not failed. I've just found 10,002 ways that won't work.

View lightcs1776's profile


3498 posts in 279 days

#2 posted 35 days ago

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


3750 posts in 481 days

#3 posted 35 days ago

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

-- Bill M. I love my job as a firefighter, but nothing gives me the satisfaction of running my hand over a project that I have built and just finished sanding.

View DIYaholic's profile (online now)


13251 posts in 1299 days

#4 posted 35 days ago

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 procratination a bad thing?

View Greg..the Cajun  Box Sculptor's profile

Greg..the Cajun Box Sculptor

4979 posts in 1933 days

#5 posted 35 days ago

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…

-- If retiring is having the time to be able to do what you enjoy then I have always been retired.

View terryR's profile


3034 posts in 933 days

#6 posted 35 days ago

Looking good…great use of small scraps!

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

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13728 posts in 963 days

#7 posted 35 days ago

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

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View Don Broussard's profile (online now)

Don Broussard

1926 posts in 876 days

#8 posted 35 days ago

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


75 posts in 888 days

#9 posted 35 days ago

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 (online now)

Don Broussard

1926 posts in 876 days

#10 posted 35 days ago

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


10714 posts in 1315 days

#11 posted 35 days ago

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

Gene Howe

5501 posts in 2053 days

#12 posted 35 days ago

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


2797 posts in 464 days

#13 posted 34 days ago

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

-- God bless, Candy

View Paul's profile


343 posts in 2214 days

#14 posted 34 days ago

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

-- If you say 'It's good enough', it probably isn't.

View eddie's profile (online now)


7198 posts in 1238 days

#15 posted 34 days ago

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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