This candle holder is a perfect project for using those scraps you have laying around in the shop. Measuring 7 3/4" long x 5 1/2" wide you can batch out 2-3 of these using a couple of board feed over the weekend.
Step 1: Cut the Parts to Size
- At the table saw I cut the top, bottom and side rails to 1" in width.
- Using my cross cut sled, I take the parts down to their final length of 7 3/4" for the side pieces and 3 1/2" for the top and bottom pieces. With the stop block still set to 3 1/2", I also cut the shelf.
Step 2: Joinery for the Frame
Since this is a small project, I wanted the joinery to be quick but strong. I opted to use a simple doweling jig and one 3/8" dowel in each corner. I inset the top and bottom rails 1/8" from the edge and mark the reference lines for the doweling jig.
I set the collet on my drill bit to drill 3/4" on the side pieces and 1" on the top and bottom pieces.
Step 3: Dry Fit and Mark the Back for the Groove
With the dowels drilled, I dry assembled the piece and marked the back for the 1/4" groove for the back. The top and bottom pieces will have the 1/4" groove go all the way through but the side pieces will need a stopped groove. I go in to more detail in the video, but the I used a 1/4" straight bit set to 1/4" high and flush with the fence so it would make a 1/4" x 1/4" x 1/4" groove on the back of each piece.
Once the grooves were cut, I added glue to the dowels and assembled the frame.
Step 4: Adding Curves to the Front Shelf
While the glue dries on the frames I cut a curve in the front shelf. I used a round piece of plastic I had in my shop as a template. I cut the curve on the band saw and smoothed it out at the spindle sander.
Step 5: Final Sanding and Easing the Edges
With the glue dried, I found this to be the best time to do any final sanding of the frame. I used 80, 120 and 180 grit sand papers in my orbital sander to smooth the frame and shelf. I rounded over the outside edges with my 1/8" round over bit at the router table.
Step 6: Glue the Shelf to the Frame
After rounding over the edges, I glued the shelf to the frame and clamp it in to place.
Step 7: Making Shelf Supports
The shelf supports were made using a 1/2" radius cove bit at the router table. Since the dimensions of the supports are 3/4" x 3/4" x 3/4", I opted to cut them at the table saw using my cross cut sled. I glued them about 1/4" inset from the edge of the shelf.
Step 8: Applying the Varnish Finish
I applied a semi-gloss varnish from arm-r-seal using a foam brush. After the first coat dried (24 hours), I sand the piece with 220 grit sand paper and apply the second coat. I applied a total of 2 coats.
Step 9: Picture Frame Buttons and Hangers
I cut a piece of curly maple for the back (6" long, 4" wide) and I keep it in place with a couple of 1" picture frame buttons. I pre-drilled for the screws to prevent any stripping.
To hang this piece on the wall, I went with a typical brass picture hanger with 2 stainless steel nails.
Step 10: Mason Jar Candle
I picked up a box of mason jars for this project only to find out they are the "Heritage Collection", which have a purple look to them. After adding the tea candle, I like how they look. The purple tint only adds to the look of the piece.