Introduction: How to Make Soap Trivets From Scraps

About: I am the wood and metal shop foreman for the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub.

Learn how to make simple soap trivets from hardwood scraps around your shop.


Hardwood scraps at least 12 inches long

waterproof glue (titebond 3)

Step 1: Cut Scraps Into Thin Strips

Using the table saw take your scrap boards and cut them into thin strips. I used a table saw to cut them into approximately 1/8th inch strips. I didn't measure this, I just eyeballed the thickness. The scrap I had around the shop were some walnut, maple, and mahogany. I cut them to thickness and then trimmed them to 1 foot pieces. I cut enough pieces for the entire thing to be at least 4 inches wide.

Step 2: Glue Them All Up

Find a pattern that you like and glue them all up. I always recommend doing a dry stack of the pattern first. After you have the pattern you like keep them in that order. Take one piece and run a bead of glue down its entire length, make sure to spread the glue out evenly. Take the next piece and press it firmly to the glue. now add glue to that piece and continue on until you have the entire piece glued together. Now you can put your clamps on. Make sure to wipe off any excess glue off while its still wet. Its much easier to remove now. Also make sure that your piece is flat and level, you don't want any bowing in your piece and you don't want any pieces sliding higher than any others. Now let it set several hours, preferably overnight.

Step 3: Cut Out the Trivets and Cut Out Air Holes.

Now that your piece is dry cut them into 4 inch lengths. You will have one that is a little bit smaller than the other two. If you had any pieces that slipped up when you did you glue up now is when you will fix them. If you have a planer you can use that to make the top and bottom flush. Now that its just a simple glued up square you take it back to the table saw. Make marks every 1/2 inch. set your blade to go most of the way through your piece. Its very important that you leave enough that your piece will still be strong. Now flip your piece over and cut between the cuts your just made. This will give you an interesting pattern, and make your piece slightly bendable. Turn your piece 90 degrees and make marks every 1/2 inch. using the same depth on your blade cut out those marks. This will cut through on some parts of your trivet, but only small holes. These holes are important to allow your soap to dry. If your soap just sits in water and isn't allowed to dry it becomes a soft, squishy mess and you waste half your soap.

Step 4: Sand and Finish

Now is the easy part, sanding. I used a bench sander to put a small indention on one side of each piece but you don't have to do that. The indention just gives the soap an area to sit in and not slide around. After you have put the indention in start sanding the entire piece. Most of this can be done with an electric sander but you want to make sure to get inside the cuts you made and you have to do that by hand. Just make sure you run a few passes inside each cut. For a finish on these I used a homemade wipe on sealer. I mixed equal parts tung oil, paint thinner, and spar urethane. For projects that will be getting wet, like this one, I prefer spar urethane over poly. Let it dry and your done. Now go wash up.

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