Instructables
Picture of Trivet from recycled wine corks
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Materials :

*1 piece of wood (eg. oak) of ~ 80 * 3.5 * 1 cm  (32" * 1.5" * 3/8")
* 64 wine-corks
* wood-glue (preferable waterproof)
* wood oil
* sandpaper

Tools :
* Saw, preferable a jig saw
* Cutter knife

Time : takes about a day to complete : mainly because you need to glue a row of corks, and then wait for the glue to dry.
 
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Step 1: Make a mold

Picture of Make a mold
when assembling this pot holder, the corks will be 'squeezed' into the frame. In order to be able to glue everything together (and then keep it that way for a couple of hours) I decided to make a mold.

It is very simple : cut a square hole out of a piece of leftover wood, eg an MDF board. If you want to make a lot of pot holders, you can cut several mold-holes out of the same board. 

Step 2: Cut outsides - assemble frame

Picture of Cut outsides - assemble frame
The inside dimensions of the wooden frame need to be precise : if it is too small the corks won't fit in, if it is too large, they will not stay in a nice square pattern.

After experimenting, I've found out that the inside needs to measure 170 mm (6.7"). I guess that corks are about the same size all over the world, but to be absolutely sure I recommend that you double-check this : squeeze 8 corks in a row, and measure the lenght.

If you want to make smaller (eg 6*6 corks) or larger (eg 10*10 corks) pot holders, you need to adjust the numbers based upon this measurement.

In fact I think that a set of 3 pot holders, 6*6, 8*8 and 10*10 would make a very nice set :-)

If you have experience with cutting wood, you could make a miter joint, which will look more professional.

Then apply glue to the 4 pieces, place them into the mold : this will ensure that the frame is flat and square. Let it dry a couple of hours

Step 3: Adding the corks

Picture of Adding the corks
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Make sure the glue of the frame is sufficiently dry : when squeezing in the corks, they will apply pressure onto the frame, and if the bonds break you will have to start all over again...

Take 8 corks and trim their length with the cutter knife if they would be longer then the frame's height. Warning : cutting a cork is not that easy, and so you need to be careful. I found that this works  best : cut the cork as deep as you can, then roll the cork so it rotates about 45 degrees and cut again, repeat this until it is cut completely.

Then put the 8 corks into the frame : keep the cut side up (so they all align with their top side at the bottom)
In case there is too much pressure to fit the corks, you can slice off a bit of one or more corks that seem to be too big..

Then apply glue to corks : glue to where they touch the frame, and glue to where they touch each other.
Use a leftover pice of wood to temporary keep the corks in place. Check the pressure, alignment. Let it dry

Remark : some glue may/will drip through, so be carefull about the surface you are assembling this on...
Wood glue can easily be removed with water as long as it has not dried completely.

Step 4: Finishing

Picture of Finishing
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Remove the pot holder from the mold.
Remove exces of glue by cutting it away with the cutter knife
Sandpaper the outside frame until it is smooth.
Apply wood oil and let it dry. I often use wood oil from IKEA, which is good, cheap and doesn't smell.
SparkySolar1 month ago

Thank you for your nice Instructable.

Rima

This is such a great idea.
slamonella2 years ago
Neat little project, but that's a trivet, not a pot holder.
strooom (author)  slamonella2 years ago
Well thanks slamonella, as I'm from Belgium, I'm not native English speaking and so I didn't know the exact word for it, but nowI know ! thanks
Your English is better than many native speakers, don't sweat it too much :)
It's actually a pot holder, not a trivet.

I know, I invented them 4227 years BC.

So there.
CatalinRO2 years ago
I have a question: how to cut easy the cork? I used a sharp blade, I used a saw blade, but there are 2 problems: cork is kind of elastic material and the friction stops the blade. Thanks!
strooom (author)  CatalinRO2 years ago
I added an animation to step 3 that shows how to cut it nice and easy :-)
Good luck !
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OK, I saw it after reloading the page, initially I thought it's only an image, after reloading, I saw the animation. Thanks :)
sgarner12 years ago
Nice trivet. If you lay them on their sides, you not only get to see all the various winery names and designs, but you don't have to cut them.
andro0002 years ago
*versital
andro0002 years ago
Cork is such a beautiful and celestial material. Thank you all for sharing.
This is a wonderful pot holder, maybe we could ask Slamonella to come fishing with us and catch a herd of salmon, or a gander of trout, or even a flock of whales.

Then we can cook them all up in your pot and when it's all yummy and ready to eat, we can park the pot on the pot holder while we make pallets of toast, applicated with a stratification of toasted cheese, shooken all over with cracked black pepper.

Dolphin patties or fish brane soup!!!!!!
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Nice! And thanks for adding the video regarding the cutting of the cork with a sharp utility knife.
One could hang this or a perhaps larger one on the wall and use as a traditional cork board.
strooom (author)  tencentdress2 years ago
"One could hang this or a perhaps larger one on the wall and use as a traditional cork board"

Great idea ! You would need a lot of corks : eg for a 60 * 40 cm you would need ~527 corks,  but know that most restaurants have a surplus of corks they don't know what to do with.. So you could give them a box, write your phone-nmbr on it and then wait for a call when the box is full.
scooterdad2 years ago
this is a brilliant idea. I can imagine the acquiring of materials is as enjoyable as the manufacture of the pot stand. Have you tried auto weld ?
It can take quite high temperatures and I have seen some people using it to fix parts in alcohol stoves so will probably be quite good in the heat tolerance area, Worth a try I think
strooom (author)  scooterdad2 years ago
Well, in fact corks are good thermal insulators, so I never had any problem with the glue not withstanding the temperature. To me the idea was simple and straightforward. Still I am very glad that many people like it. Don't forget to vote : I'm in the reuse contest :-)
tbrugada2 years ago
nice
RainDog072 years ago
I made four cork boards this week so I thought I'd pass on some notes. Corks are not all the same diameter although most I have in my bin are the same - approx. 3/4 in. The only glue I've found to be satisfactory on synthetic corks is a two part epoxy, but a hot pot may melt them, so only use natural corks for this project. The easiest way I found to trim a cork to length is a disc sander with a dust collector attached - they make a LOT of dust. I'm going to try this idea, using the wine-stained ends to make a pattern. Thanks for the instructable!