Cutting the “turbine” proved to hard for the children expected at the workshop (mainly 6 to 9 year olds) so I ended up doing a lot of the work in preparation. Keeping it simple was still important, as I had about 20 to make. The kids had still plenty to do making the base and decorating the sides with holes.
UPDATE: I did another workshop with a small group of four girls aged 10 to 13, and apart from sharpening the bearing tip, they managed to do it al by themselves (with guidance).
I included some do’s and don’ts in this Ible. A VERY important one is to keep a large enough gap between the top of the candles and the bottom edge of the can (at least 2.5 cm). When it is not large enough the candle wax can get overheated and start burning all over of the surface, not only at the wick (Yes, I learned from experience). At that stage you can no longer blow out the candle and you risk spilling burning liquid wax.
Of course, never leave candles burning unattended, especially in a self-made construction. Also be very careful with tools and the sharp edges cut in to the can and with hot surfaces. Obviously I can not accept any liability.
If you like this Ible, please give it your vote.
Step 1: Material and Tools
- A tin can at least 10 cm diameter. You also need it to have some height to have it hang in balance easily.
- A long nail or steel rod at least 4cm longer than the height of the can + the thickness of the base. With a 2cm thick base and a 12 cm high can I used a 6.5 x 180 mm nail.
- A base plate capable of carrying three theelight candles. I used an OSB triangle with 10cm sides. You should be able to make hole in it, tightly fitting the nail or rod. Casting the nail into a plaster base could be a good alternative, as it completely non flammable.
- 3 theelight candles. It works with 2 also, sometimes. 3 makes it more sure.
- A can opener.
- An old wood chisel about 3cm wide and a mallet (not shown) to use with it. Do not use your good chisel on metal (as that is what is done in this project).
- A Phillips screwdriver.
- A file (not shown) to make the tip of the nail or rod very sharp, as it has to serve as a bearing. Using a nail saves work, but it needs to be really sharp, so you will need a file. I used a power file (a small belt sanding machine), but then I had over 20 to do.
- To make the nail or rod fit in the base you will need drill bits of the same diameter as the rod and in case of a nail also of its head.
- Some more drill bits and a columnar drill to make the decorative holes.
- Safety glasses.
- Some sanding paper (not shown).
- Some scrap wood and screws to make a drilling support.
- A sturdy work surface, capable of sustaining a blow. I used cork flooring panel, but any scrap wood panel should do.
- Some measuring gear, a pencil and a permanent marker.
- A long-neck candle lighter instead of matches (an ordinary lighter tends to burn your fingers when lighting candles).
- Some silicone glue.
- A tiny amount of grease on the bearing can improve the working. Any lubricant that is somewhat heat resistant should do.
- Solvent like nail polish remover and cloth (both not shown) to remove permanent marker drawings.