Here are three great Kitchen Helpers…each of which can literally be built in minutes.
The Ceramic Tile Trivet
1. Start by finding some decorative ceramic tiles that you like. They’re typically available in 4″, 6″, 8″ and 12″ squares.
2. Next, locate some moldings that you like to “frame” your tile. If you can’t find a molding shape that meets your fancy, create your own using your Shopsmith Molding Package, Shaping Package or Pro Fence System Router Table with appropriate cutters or bits. Miter the corners.
3. Cut the plywood base to hold your tile. Be sure to make your base large enough to accommodate the tile and the edge molding you have decided to use. The edge moldings can either be cut to a height that matches the thickness of your tile – or you can add a wooden spacer under the tile to bring it up to a matching height. Another alternative is to leave the molding higher than the tile edges to form a lip that will prevent objects from sliding off the trivet.
4. Apply a sealing finish to the plywood base and molding pieces. NOTE: Do not apply a finish to the mitered molding edges of the frame prior to assembly.
5. Glue and/or nail three sides of your molding frame to the plywood base.
6. Apply a thin bead of silicone adhesive around the edges of your tile…and several spots of tile adhesive or panel adhesive to its back side and place the tile into position in your frame. Slide the fourth frame member into position and glue and/or nail it.
7. Attach four rubber feet to the bottom of the plywood base.
The Casserole “Fisher”
Here’s an easy-to-make project that will help the user avoid finger burns when moving an oven rack in-and-out. Just place the fish’s “mouth” over the front edge of the rack to push it in…or hook its gill cover over the edge to pull the rack out.
1. Use a photocopier or the grid method to duplicate the pattern shown here.
2. Attach the pattern to a 14-1/2″ x 3″ piece of stock. The stock could be anywhere from 1/4″ to 3/4″ thick, as you prefer.
3. If you’re going to be making more than one, attach a stack of workpieces together using double-stick tape in preparation for “pad sawing”.
4. Saw out the outer shape using your Bandsaw or Scroll Saw. Separate the fishes.
5. Create the “eyes” by drilling a shallow 3/16″ countersink or hole near the front of the head. Use the same 3/16″ bit to drill a through-hole near the tail for hanging the puller.
6. The scales are formed with a mallet and 1″ wood chisel.
8. Apply contrasting stain to the eye and scales, then apply the clear, protective finish of your choice.
The Finger Saver
Here’s a handy set of wooden tongs that will protect fingers when removing hot toast, bagels, pop-ups or waffles from the toaster.
1. Start with a suitable hardwood such as maple, cherry, walnut or oak.
2. Cut your stock into 3/4″ x 7/8″ x 6-1/4″ pieces.
3. Drill a 5/8″ hole in the center of the 7/8″ wide side of your stock, 1-1/4″ down from the top.
4. Remove the excess stock using your Bandsaw or Scroll Saw.
5. Use a small, 1/2″ diameter Drum Sander to smooth the inside edges and bevel the tong tips slightly.
6. Apply a non-toxic finish such Salad Bowl Finish or Preserve Oil Finish.