Canadian Woodworking

Candle stand

Author: Steve Siddall
Illustration: Steve Siddall
Published: February March 2003

This is a functional, easy-to-build project.

When it comes to special days, we all know that February 14, Valentine’s Day, ranks right up there next to birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas. Traditionally (if we know what’s good for us) it means giving something thoughtful to that special someone.

Unfortunately for me, I’m one of those people that prefer to give functional gifts.

Trust me, vacuum cleaners, new pots and pans, and lawn mowers do not make good gifts unless you are looking for a reason to live in the dog house!

So here’s my problem. What do I give someone who already has too many “functional” gifts? First of all, it has to be small. That’s good! Secondly, it has to look expensive. A little more challenging! What to make – I know – Cathy (my wife) likes candles. I’ll make a candle stand where she can display one of those big candles she found at the candle factory here in Embro!

In fact, if I use a design that looks like fire, I can use one of those corny lines on the accompanying card that goes something like “my hearts on fire for you”. That’s it! Let’s get to work!

To begin I needed one of those metal candle dishes they use on the stands in the gift stores. They’re 5” in diameter and ⅝” deep. With one of these in hand, I came up with the design you see here. You’ll need two pieces of the nicest wood you have. I used Purple Heart and I chose to orient the grain vertically. Look at the material you have and make your choice depending on the grain patterns.

Size the pattern to 5” as shown and trace onto the two pieces of material. Note that the ½” lines in the middle represent the two different cuts that you have to make for the two pieces to join in the middle. The easiest way to describe this is that they join just like you would interlock the fingers on your two hands if they were making a “V” shape. Point your hands at each other and slide the two “Vs” into each other. To accomplish this, you need to cut the top centre out of one piece and the bottom centre out of the other piece. I prefer to do this after I have cut the main outline of both pieces.

Trial fit the two pieces and trim as necessary for a snug fit. Place the metal base into the stand and trim the stand as necessary to get it to rest evenly on the wood and the wood on a flat surface. If all fits well, disassemble and sand all surfaces prior to permanent assembly. Sparingly wipe glue onto the mating surfaces and re-assemble for gluing. Don’t forget to scribe the year on it somewhere. It’s nice to know 10 or 20 years from now when you made it.

Do your final sanding and finishing. Don’t forget to put a finish on the steel candle dish. They are provided as bare steel and would rust under normal usage. A quick spray finish of the colour of your choice (I chose black) will provide the necessary protection.

Pack it in a box, wrap, attach a mushy card and there you are out of the dog house for another day!

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