This past winter, we had a terrible storm. It knocked out the power in such a large area that it took almost a week to get it totally fixed. We only lost power for 4 days. At that time I realized just how useless a single candle is. I have been working on this idea ever since.
After taing the PVC class here at Instructables, I think it may be my new favorite material to play with. My son called this 'sweet' and 'red neck'. I think my other son is looking forward to the next power outage.
Step 1: Pieces Needed
1/2 inch T connectors--6
1/2 inch Elbow connectors--4
1/2 inch End caps--4
35 inches of 1/2 inch PVC pipe
PVC adhesive (optional)
Paint for plastic (optional)
Step 2: Cut the Pipe
You will need to cut the following pieces of pipe:
--6 pieces that measure 2 inches
--1 piece that measures 5 inches
--6 pieces that measure 3 inches
You can cut the pipe with a saw but I used a pipe cutter because I already had one. There are no burrs to clean up afterwards. It can be a challenge to use the cutting tool a lot at one time (arthritis, rainy weather--not a great mix). I passed it off to my son half way through.
Step 3: Connecting the Pieces
You want to test fit all the pieces before you glue anything.
The 3 inch pieces, 3 T connectors, and the 4 end caps form the base.
The 2 inch pieces, 3 T connectors, and the 4 elbows form the top.
The 5 inch piece is the stalk that connects the base to the branches.
I like the stability of the wider base but you can make the base and the branches the same length. I would be careful if you decide to make the top branches wider than the base. Lit candles can be dangerous and we are not as accustomed to this danger as previous generations were. I saw how uncomfortable my children were when the power went out and we needed candles for light. A wide base adds some stability.
If you want more candles, you can replace the top center T connector with a 4 way connector and make an additional top layer. If you do this, you should rotate the second top 45 degrees so that the candles do not interfere with each other. I would also recommend that you keep the base wide to accommodate the new height.
Step 4: Glue the Pieces
The pipes that I have fit very tightly in place. I am not planning to glue the pieces at this time. If you choose to permanently attach everything together, pick up some PVC adhesive and follow the package directions.
Before you allow the glue to dry, be sure that you check and make sure that the elbows point straight up. You do not want your candles leaning over.
Step 5: Finishing Touches
I was originally planning to paint the entire project but I am having trouble choosing a color. I will probably wait until I finish painting my walls and then choose a color. Because I have not glued every thing together, I will be able to color different pieces different colors if I want.
Add 4 candles. You can store a few strike-anywhere matches in the center stalk--as long as you don't glue both ends of this piece.
Now I am ready for the next power failure. (Fortunately, they do not happen all that often around here.)