Introduction: Keep Your Tea Warm With a Tea Candle Using a Bike Chain
Hate cold tea/coffee? Suspend your mug above a tea candle to keep it warm! (Surprisingly, it doesn't leave any mark on the bottom of the mug) This instructable will show you how to use an old bike chain to make a stand for your tea mug that fits a tea candle inside! It can hold any size tea/coffee container: one side has 3 long legs that can be extended to hold larger pots, or rearranged to hold very small cups. I prefer to use the long legs on the bottom so it's extra stable.
Step 1: Clean the Chain
This step is optional, although recommended. It will help the glue bond to the chain and will make it nicer to handle.
Using the chain degreaser, clean the chain to the best of your ability. I find it most efficient to put the chain into a gallon ziplock, spraying it with degreaser, then shaking it and massaging it. Use a rag or paper towel to then wipe off the grease.
Step 2: Divide Up the Chain
Using the chain tool, separate the chain into sections. Make sure each subchain has one end with a pin and one end without one. Look at the picture for reference, or as follows:
12 links/ 12 pins
24 links/ 24 pins
30 links/ 30 pins
If you haven't used a chain tool, the rough overview is that you use the pin on the chain tool to push one of the pins on the chain through the chain until it is only being held by one side of the outer link. Do not push the pin all the way out! When in doubt, stop often to try and separate the chain. The inner link should slide out easily.
Step 3: Reconnect the Links
Using the chain tool again, reconnect the links to form six loops.
Step 4: Make the Glueing Jig
Using a single 12 link chain as an outline, pierce the cardboard with six bamboo skewers just inside of the larger links. Then pierce the cardboard with another six skewers just outside outside of the same links.
Step 5: Dry Assemble the Stand
Now we'll put it together without glue. On the chain there are two types of links, we'll call them bigger and smaller. The bigger ones are where the pins terminate. The little ones are in between the bigger ones. We only want to have bigger links in between the skewers.
Place the largest chain on the bottom, putting every 10th link in between every other bamboo skewer. Make sure these are the bigger links. Then place the four smallest chains on top of it, placing the 6 bigger links in between the 6 pairs of skewers. Next put the 24 link chain on top, with every other bigger link in between bamboo skewers.
Finally put rubber bands on the skewers to keep them from splaying apart
Step 6: Mix the Glue
Follow the glue's instructions but generally you mix equal parts of the glue's two tubes on something disposable. Do this right before you start glueing. You are racing against the set time of the glue!
Step 7: Apply Glue
Starting at the bottom, spread apart each layer one by one and apply glue on each link that is between bamboo skewers. Use the popsicle stick to hold them apart while you apply the glue. Try to do this in one go before the glue sets. If, however, the glue starts getting too tacky, let it set for at least 12 hours and then mix up some more glue and keep going.
Step 8: Let It Be
Let the glue cure for 24 hours, or the cure time listed on the glue
Step 9: Use It!
Depending on the bottom of the mug, you may prefer to have the stand with the long legs up or down. For small cups, you can bend the long legs inward, as pictured, filling in the hole above the candle. For large cups or pots, you can spread the large legs out.
Once you decide which way is up, put a candle in to the base and light it.
Make some tea or coffee, put them in a mug, and put the mug on the stand!
Now you can sit with a book for hours and your tea will never go cold!