Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Make It. Cork trivet [Gift Guide].

Looking for something for a friend who loves to cook? This project is one that has been in the making for quite a while. At first, I was trying to save up corks from bottles that I've drank, but I can't go through them quite as fast as I wanted to make the trivet, so I dropped in to the local wine bar and asked if they had any extra corks there.

What you'll need for this project is a power drill, a coil of small-gauge wire, wire cutter, and about 24 wine corks. I also used beer and champagne corks and the mushroom-shaped lip at the top actually made kind of nice feet at the ends of the trivet. Make sure not to use plastic corks, as they might melt when in contact with a hot surface.

I also used a portable vice to hold the corks steady when I drilled through them (I definitely wouldn't recommend using your hands to hold the corks while you're drilling). Although you may not own a portable vice or power drill there are a few sites where you can borrow them from neighbors for free and there are a few rental sites out there, where you can rent power tools easily enough.

One of the problems with using cork is that it flakes and is unbelievably messy. Also, drilling a perfect hole that is straight is going to be tough because of how cork is. You'll want to have the vice positioned low so that you can get a good handle on it; it just makes drilling a bit easier.

Drill a hole through the corks the long way (come to think of it, I guess you could drill them through the short way and string them together sideways). For those who haven't used a power drill before, never stop drilling half way through. Continue drilling even while pulling the drill out. Otherwise, you will go through a few drill bits. I found this out the hard way when making a clothespin doormat.

When all the corks are drilled, string them together on a thin or medium-gauge wire. You will have to twist the wire to get through the cork because the stoppers flake when the drill goes through them and obscures the hole.

I strung four corks together and made six rows. I used three beer stoppers and one champagne plug at the ends to make feet; it actually came out pretty nice.

Connect the different lines of cork together with more wire, wrapping the wire around the middle parts. This is where the thin gauge wire comes in. It's a bit less conspicuous.

It is a little time consuming, and certainly messy, but you have a nice trivet in the end.

-- Lauren Williams

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