Tips for Candle Holders, Please

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Noot17

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Mar 8, 2017
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Hello,

My sister-in-law would like some large candle holders. I'm wondering if anyone has advice or thoughts on where I could find wood for these, or if they should be turned from different pieces and then glued together, i.e. the base and top turned separately from the "stick."

The largest they want is 8"x16". The others will be smaller and I think I can find wood for those. But for the 8" diameter one, would my best bet be to find a dried log without too much checking? Would I have to drill out the pith and fill it with a dowel or something?

Here's the style she's thinking, except probably fatter.

Thanks,
Eric
 
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monophoto

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An important question is how will these candle holders be used?

Considering the size, I have to speculate about some kind of ecclesiastical use - I can't imagine using a very large candle holder in a home, but certainly that size might be appropriate in a church. In that case, I would suggest not mixing species. For that application, the candle holder is only a supporting actor - using a mixture of species would draw too much attention to the candle holder. And I would suggest something with a more subtle grain - white oak, elm, walnut or maple. I would avoid woods with a prominent grain (such as myrtle). Probably a domestic wood rather than an exotic.

For practical reasons, if it were up to me, I would make the candleholders in three pieces - base, cup and shaft. You weren't very clear about the dimensions, but given the proportions that would be appropriate for candleholders, trying to make them from solid timber would result in a lot of unnecessary waste, and would also present some technical challenges in turning. I wouldn't worry about trying to get a grain match where the shaft meets the base (at the bottom) and the cup (at the top). In fact, I'm not even sure that it is necessary that the grain in the three pieces be in the same direction. The shaft is clearly a spindle with the grain running along the long dimension, but I don't think that there is anything that would prevent making both the base and cup from face-grain timber (as long as it is the same species, and therefore the same general texture and color). And taking that approach would certainly simplify both the process of turning and the selection of materials.

Finally, if you make the shaft from a log, it would probably make sense to drill out the pith. I don't think you would need to plug the hole with anything. In fact, if you are making a set of very large candleholders, you might consider using staved construction rather than solid wood (again, presuming the timber to be something like white oak or elm that doesn't have a prominent grain pattern).
 

jttheclockman

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Eric

Open your mind up:smile: Let your creative senses take over. If we tell you how to do it what you have is our interpretation and we might as well stamp our names on them. So many ways you can go. You can do some segmenting and build your blank that way. You can do sections and cut and use dowels to secure pieces together. The base will be the largest diameter piece so why buy that large a blank and turn away all that waste unless you have a source for such wood. Mix in different woods and add character. You are stepping into turning larger items other than a pen but the technique is the same. Do a google search for examples of shapes and sizes. There is no right or wrong way to do them. I will caution you if you plan on using real candles then you better put in a glass container to catch wax. If using battery candles then have at it. the sky is the limit. Surprise us and see what YOU come up with.

I know these are not candle holders but the use of different woods worked into the design to me gives the piece character. Unless the wood is a beautiful burl then I can see the entire holder being the same but for fun I would mix it up.
 

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PenPal

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In this country there are legal concerns involving metal sleeves in the top to prevent fire etc,certainly being sold a shows etc there are stiff regulations.. In our Church one night a Pacific Island group used tea lights in a dance routing. That night on returning home the son of one member lit a tea light and put it in an open roll of carpet.,went to bed. Half the house burned down.

Enjoy making the candlestick mate,remember caution in the desgn and stand.

Peter.
 

Woodchipper

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My wife put a scented candle in our oak bookcase. My brother in law and I smelled something. Now we have a charred spot on the bottom of one shelf.
BTW, I don't care for scented candles, anyway. If she goes before me, they are going into the trash.
 

Noot17

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Mar 8, 2017
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Location
Oregon
Thanks for the pointers.
I will definitely get creative with it, and I think making each in 3 parts makes the most sense. That will also help with my lathe because it can barely handle 16" long, and doing it this way will save me a couple inches.

I'll post again when I finish them, but it'll probably be a few weeks.

Thanks again!


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