Making Tricked-out Trivets
After you’ve prepared some snazzy trivet blanks (I tried patterns of contrasting species, glued side-by-side or as two 1/4″-thick face-glued laminations), making the trivets is easy. Set one pair of spacers against the fences so their intersecting ends overlap in the jig’s inside corner. Set your bit depth, and lock your plunge router’s base accordingly. For trivets with stopped router cuts, I drew layout lines 1/4″ in from the edges of the blanks to set the starting and stopping points for each cut. Trivets with separate frames don’t need these lines.
Start the router and make your first cut, milling to final depth in two passes. I used a 1/2” upspiral router bit — but any sharp straight bit should do fine. Swing the router clockwise or counterclockwise — either works fine, but keep the trammel pressed down firmly against the trivet blank to prevent it from shifting.
Once you complete the first cut, pull the trivet forward, insert another pair of spacers and repeat for the second, longer “swoop.” Continue adding spacer pairs between subsequent cuts until you reach the other corner of the blank. Now flip the blank over, give it a quarter turn to establish the “X” pattern and repeat the whole routing process. This time remove one pair of spacers after each pass.
In minutes, you’ll have your first trivet knocked out and be on to the second. Sand away any bit burn marks or fuzz, and round over the edges. For trivets with frames around them, I used quick-set epoxy to secure the mitered frame pieces.
The recipients of your curvy kitchen coasters will no doubt appreciate their delicate look … but secretly you’ll know that the bigger satisfaction — plowing those arching cuts and seeing the pattern develop before your eyes — was really all yours.