Monday, April 29, 2013

Candle stick holder

Hi Everyone,

Well, spring is busting out all over here in Minnesota-everything is turning green, little buds are forming on my trees and the birds are singing up a storm. We've made it through another winter.

A perfect day for a project-let's make a candle stick holder.

Candle stick holders are a common wood turning project and if done nicely, they make a lovely and useful gift. They are also a good way to use up small pieces of wood in the shop. For this project I'm going to make a holder out of some firewood that I happen to have in the shop currently. The holder will simply be a small turning with a large cove in the center, a broad base so it won't tip over, and the top which will be drilled to accept the base of the candle.

This project is going to consist of two parts: making a turning blank and turning the holder.

Making a blank:

This is a simple and straightforward process that you've seen me do many times. I've mounted a block of firewood on the lathe and turned it to a cylinder about 3" wide:

Here is a photo of the cylindrical section above. I've cut it into two sections:

Now I'm going to create a tenon by drilling one end with a Forstner bit:

And I've remounted it on the lathe between centers:

Turning the holder

I want to make sure I have enough wood for the bottom and the top of the holder so I've marked out those two areas and I'm going to turn the center cove first. The line in the center marks the deepest point of the cove:

This type of turning is an example of a spindle turning and to cut the cove into the center I'll use a spindle gouge, which is shallower than a bowl gouge. The spindle gouge is on the left and the bowl gouge is on the right of the photo:

Here is the turning after about a minute of turning. I'm going to put the camera down and finish turning the entire holder:

Here is the nearly completed holder. I'm going to drill a 13/16" hole in the top of the holder for the candle:

I'm going to place a wood screw in the center of the holder:

Here you can see the tip of the screw just protruding into the hole where the candle will sit. This will allow the candle to be screwed down into the holder so it will stay in the holder securely. You could also use a smaller diameter candle in this holder by just screwing it onto the screw:

And the turning is completed. It just needs to be sanded and oiled. 

If you're wondering what to make for Christmas this year, this is a very doable project for any level of turning experience


Our next project is the Mother's Day Marathon. I'll get back to you later this week with details.


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