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Just For Kids: Wood Trivet
Find a piece of scrap wood that's about 3/4" x 6" x 6" (remember that the first number is the thickness of the wood, the second number is the width, and the third number is the length). Next, find a shape that you would like to cut the wood into. A round shape like a pumpkin or apple would work great as well as tracing a leaf onto the wood. (Here's a tip on transferring a shape onto your piece of wood: If you have a picture of something that you want to trace onto your wood, simply lay a piece of carbon paper between the picture and the wood. Using a pencil or pen trace the outline of your shape. The carbon on the paper will transfer the pencil mark onto the wood. All you have to do now is use your coping saw to cut out the shape (see our book, "Woodshop 101 for Kids", for more information on using a coping saw.) Next, you need to drill some holes into the trivet to allow heat to dissipate (to spread out). You can incorporate the holes into your design such as wormholes in an apple etc. However you decide to use the holes in your design, you need to have 4-6 holes that are about 1/4" in diameter.
There's one more thing to do so that the heat of a pot won't damage your Mom's countertop (not a good thing). You need to raise the trivet up off the countertop with some small blocks of wood. Four square pieces that are 3/4" x 3/4" x 3/4" glued to each corner would work great.
Finish the trivet with stain, don't use paint unless it's made for high temperatures or the paint will start peeling off after a couple of uses. If you want to brighten it up, use color dyes (food dyes will work great also).