Introduction: Tea Light Chandelier

I like the double tea light chandelier from http://www.lightsfortents.co.uk/candle, but I didn't like the shipping charge they were asking. What's a maker to do? Well, make one obviously!

Materials:
21 Tea light holders (I'm using IKEA Sommarmys)
Plywood (I used 18mm thickness, because that's what I had lying around)
Chain link 3 meters.
6 screws with a large head.
6 pieces of felt for use under chair legs.
1 Carabiner

Tools:
Router (or jigsaw if you don't have one)
Drill press or hand drill
Circle cutting bit
Sander or sanding paper
Compass
Calipers
Rulers
Screw driver

If you have access to a laser cutter, that could be used instead of the router, drill press and circle cutting bit.

My plan is to take the chandelier with me when we're going camping and hang it in a bell tent. As it packs nice and flat it should be relatively easy to transport.

Step 1: Buy Tea Light Holders

For the tea light chandelier I bought tea light holders at ikea for 29 cents a piece (yes, I got ripped off ;)). I'm going to make a chandelier using rings with these holders on them. To keep the rings balanced I'll use three chains. To do this, it looks nicest when, for each ring, the number of tea light holders can be divided by three. I'll use 12 and 9 for mine, so I need 21 tea light holders in total.

After buying the tea light holders, arrange the holders for the largest ring in a circle that looks good to you and measure the diameter. You'll need this measurement for the next step. For my chandelier 60cm will be about right.

Also measure the base of the tea light holders, as you'll be cutting holes to match this size. For mine 50mm.

Step 2: Cut the Outer Ring Circumfence

I used a router circle cutting jug based on instructable https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Router-Circle-Cutting-Jig/.  You can also use a jigsaw, but the result will probably be not as smooth.

First measure where you want the center of your circle. Draw a centre line across the whole circle to be, this will make the next steps easier. Drill a centre hole and cut the outline. The diameter should be what you measured for your tea light arrangement. I'm using 60cm.

Step 3: Mark Where the Tea Lights Go

Use a compass to mark the width of the rings. As the base of my tea light holders was 50mm and I want the chandelier to be strong enough to take with me while traveling, I'm using 90 mm.

As my router bit is 10 mm wide I'm marking 90 and 190 mm from the edge. This should give me two 90 mm rings and 10 mm of dust between them.

After marking the rings the spacing of the tea lights can be marked. This is easier to do while the rings aren't cut yet. On the outer ring there'll be 12 lights, so 360 degrees / 12 lights = one light every 30 degrees. On the inner ring I'll put 9, so one every 40 degrees (360/9=40).

I didn't have a protractor, so I printed one from http://www.ossmann.com/protractor/ and cut it out.

As you can see on the last picture I almost forgot to mark the middle of the rings with my compass. Don't forget this bit, as you need that line to determine where to drill.

Step 4: Cut the Rings

Using the circle routing jig cut the rings.

Step 5: Drill the Tea Light Holes

Now you've got two rings and are ready to start drilling the holes. I'm using a circle cutting bit for 50mm holes in my drill press. First use an awl to mark a starting point for each hole.

Unfortunately the cutting bit burned the wood a bit. Since the tea lights will hide this it can be our little secret. ;)

Step 6: Sand the Edges

First I sanded the inner edge of the rings with a sanding bit (flap wheels) I found at the hardware store. Then I sanded the outer edge using my hand sander. I put the rings on an old blanket to prevent them getting scratched by dirt on my workbench.

Step 7: Round the Edges

Next I used my router to round the edges, just to make it look a bit friendlier. You could just sand the edges round of you don't have a router.

Step 8: Sand the Flat Sides

Now's a good time to sand the flat sides of the rings. I only used 80 and 120 grit as I'm using plywood and sanding too much will show a different color wood. All previous markings should disappear now. I'm using the old blanket to prevent scratches again.

Step 9: Applying Finish

I like using wood oil as a finish. It's quick and easy to apply and really makes the wood stand out. Just apply with a brush on one side. Wait about 15 minutes. Remove the excess oil with cleaning paper or an old rag. Then apply on the other side. After 24 hours you can apply a second layer if you want.

Take care with the paper or rag. Oily paper or rags can self combust, so soak the paper in water before throwing it away. And if you're using rags, don't bunch them up. Spread them out before letting them dry.

Step 10: Attaching the Chain

To attach the chain I bought screws with really big heads. I was afraid they still might slip through, so I also bought some felt discs for putting under chair legs. Using callipers I measured the thickness of the screws between the threads: 3mm. Then I drilled a 3mm hole in the felt discs. Followed by pre-drilling holes in the chandelier rings. For the outer ring I drilled one in between every 4 tea light holder holes. For the inner ring one between every 3 holes. Pre-drilling the holes makes the wood much less likely to split, which would be a shame after all this work. Finally I screwed the chain to the rings. I use a carabiner on the end of the 3 chains to hang the chandelier. Once this is done the tea light holders can be put in the chandelier holes and the tea light chandelier is finished.

Wait for dark and test them. :)

Comments

author
MemeMartin made it! (author)2013-09-30

I like that you included the link to see the item you recreating. It helps others to visually compare which is necessary for "makers". But, the link you shared is one I've not seen before. So lots of new maker eye candy! Also, I'm very picky and feel its all about the detail. Most posts I feel are attempts, not knocking them. *Your chandelier was top notch! Much better than the others on the link provided. Your design also appears very stable, which is needed for camping and safety. *Very nicely done!

author
sharbabe made it! (author)2013-07-02

WOW, how cool. Thanks for sharing such a cool, innovative idea ; >

author
Eh Lie Us! made it! (author)2013-07-02

Right on. I can see myself building a 3, 4, 7 story chandelier. Heck, even making a Christmas tree version with a stake in the center to the ground. I like the steps you documented. Very nice. Truth be told, I bristled when I read "buy tea lamp holders" because it reminded me of some Instructables that start with "turn on your $3,000 3D printer.." Yeah, no. But after reading the description you scored big on those. Thanks for posting.

author
wardwouts made it! (author)wardwouts2013-07-02

I'd love to see pictures if you make a multi story or christmas tree version! Thanks!

I'm loving all the comments! So thanks everyone. :)

author
onemoroni1 made it! (author)2013-07-02

This came out very cool! If I had room I would make one too.

author
vivaladawn made it! (author)2013-06-30

this is so beautiful :D

author
paneer65 made it! (author)2013-06-29

Beautiful! P.S. you didn't get ripped off....lol Ikea now sells those tealights for $0.99 each. I'd say you got a better deal than that!

author
wardwouts made it! (author)wardwouts2013-06-30

Yeah, I got a pretty good deal. The tealights were about 7 euro's, the wood also 7-ish and other bits also 10-ish. So in total I spent less than 25 euro's. Which would be about $32.

author
l8nite made it! (author)2013-06-29

that looks AWESOME !

author
Tarun Upadhyaya made it! (author)2013-06-29

This is very beautiful :). What an Idea :). Thank you for sharing.

author
sarahlynnmurphy made it! (author)2013-06-29

Beautiful Hob!

author
Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)2013-06-29

Oooh! This is so pretty! I love colorful things and I bet it gives off beautiful lighting at night!!!

author
wardwouts made it! (author)wardwouts2013-06-29

Thank you. It finally got dark enough to take some night pictures. Have a look. :)

author
Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)Penolopy Bulnick2013-06-29

Oh yes! Just beautiful! Thanks for putting up the pictures :D

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