The Trouble With Trivets

Okay, sorry, the title was total click bait. There was no trouble. And I’m not even sure these are trivets, technically. I just couldn’t resist the alliteration.

Here are three small (five-and-a-half inches square by 3/4) trivets. Or perhaps they are very small cheese trays, or maybe they are breadboards for a doll house at about one-third or one-quarter scale. Or super-thick coasters.

Trivets

The important thing is, I used up some scrap wood. The wood species (working outward from the center) are walnut, maple, purpleheart, and cherry.

Trivets + Mug

(Click either photo to view larger on Flickr)

Piggy Cutting Board

Piggy Cutting Board

I unepectedly came upon the template for this fellow a while back, and decided I would make another one. I did the original back in 2009, and my sister has it. Actually the original was one we just had lying around that finally got destroyed, so I made a template of it and made a new one, and now a second new one, as seen above.

Here’s the first one from 2009:

Piggy Cutting Board

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End Grain Cutting Board

I’d been toying with the idea of trying an end grain cutting board for quite some time. Years, in fact – since before I started making any cutting boards at all. My first inquiries online brought me quickly to this article on The Wood Whisperer website, “How to Make a Butcher Block End Grain Cutting Board” containing what has come to be called, since its first appearance in 2006, “the video that launched a thousand cutting boards”.

What held me back for so long was my concern about how to thickness the cutting board. The preferred method seemed to be to use a drum sander (thickness sander), which I do not have, and do not have room for. The less problematic edge grain cutting boards I went on to build (like these or like these) were fine to run through the planer, but end grain boards and thickness planers are not a good mix (see this cautionary article and pretty convincing anecdotal evidence).

So of the alternative approaches I could take, including hand planes and router jigs, I opted for a belt sander. (Reasonable cash outlay, and something I should probably have around for general use anyway). Next up was figuring out a design. Turns out there are a couple of ways to go about constructing an end grain board, but for the approach taken in Marc’s video, there’s a very cool cutting board designer called, er, Cutting Board Designer (or CBdesigner) that I found excellent for planning my build.

CBdesigner screenshot

You can export or print your design in PDF format, giving something like the above screenshot to take into the shop. And you can export the final design itself as a JPG, to admire its wonderfulness before proceeding, as seen below.

CB designer - JPG of final design

The match between expectations and final product, design-wise, was pretty impressive. It looked almost exactly as it was meant to in that regard.

End Grain Cutting Board

End Grain Cutting Board

Unfortunately, my belt sander technique still needs some work, and some over-zealous and in places uneven sanding resulted in a board that photographs well from one side, but which is not quite up to my not unreasonable standards for release into the wild. We’ll give it a good home though.

So not bad for a first effort, but I need to try try again…

New Big Stripey Boards

Too late for the Christmas Market Day, but they’ll keep… These new Big Stripey Boards are about 12″ x 16″, and about an inch thick.

Big Stripey Boards

Species, from the centre outwards:

Zebrawood
Walnut
Cherry
Maple
Padauk
Maple
Purpleheart

Cedar Pen Display Stand

(Click photo to view larger on Flickr)

Cedar Pen Display Stand

Because pens.

And because space can be a bit limited on the table at Market Days, depending on what I’ve got on offer (cutting boards, for example, take up a lot of room), it made sense to “go vertical”.

I probably ought to make another one, now that I’ve made the template…


A Pair of Rollerballs and a Celtic

Here are some more recently turned pens, as I get ready for the December rush (he said, hopefully).

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Celtic - zebrawood
Celtic ballpoint, in zebrawood

Sedona Rollerball - open
Sedona Rollerballs in sapelle and bloodwood (open)

Sedona Rollerball  - closed
Sedona Rollerballs in sapelle and bloodwood (closed)