Instructables
A handmade tea light holder, crafted from a log.

I shaped a log from our firewood pile into a slab, and drilled holes for the tea lights. Its pretty simple really- but the most important part is picking an attractive piece of wood, and paying attention to nice finishing.

You need:

a log
a shaping tool. (bandsaw, hand saw, chainsaw, hatchet, plane, belt sander, mill, your teeth etc..)
a large forstner bit (either 1 1/2" or 1 5/8" - I'll explain the importance later)
drill

Optional:

bike

Disclaimer- use common sense or succumb to evolution.

 
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Step 1: Aquiring Materials

Ok, so for the wood, you have a couple of different options, but in general you want a hard wood (i.e. not pine 2x4) with nice grain, points of interest, like a knot, or a rough edge with some bark.

It can be any shape or size you like, as long as it is wide and deep enough to fit a tea light with a little extra on either side, as for length, it could be long enough for 1 to 100 candles.. but I think odd numbers of candles looks best.

I made two, one from option 1, and one from option 3

1) Firewood from your woodpile. Make sure it isn't rotten, nor does it have woodworm or other defects unless you think they may look good.

2) Go to a lumber yard or equivalent and tell them what your trying to make, they can probably give you a scrap for very little or free.

3) I met a tree surgeon who was working on a street near my house. I asked him for a fresh log, that was in the back of his truck. I had to call him a number of times as he was an old guy who seemed to be hard of hearing- don't give up! He gave me a maple log for 2 bucks.

- This is where the bike comes in, I was riding home when I met him, so I carried the log home bungee corded to my bike. Be careful, as its impossible to steer, and you become a very nice projectile.

gwb12522 years ago
I like to see young people interested in doing this sort of thing, but a old mans word of caution, if I'm correct I see in your video that you are passing a piece of wood over an upturned electric planer, your fingers are so close to the high speed rotating blades, not such a good idea, be safe and try and keep all of your fingers so that you can enjoy doing nice projects in the future
Jesus105557 years ago
How old are you, no offense you look young (around 14-22) just wondering because your lucky to have a nice workshop like that.
sam (author)  Jesus105557 years ago
Thanks. I love my shop, and yes I'm fairly young. I guess the difference between most people and me is that they spend money on games, or mp3 players, etc.. but I spend money on tools. Being a good dumpster diving scrounger doesn't hurt either!
darkclaw42 sam4 years ago
Gah! Finally someone that understands! I thought I was the only one that perfered a new Dremel over Call of Duty..
You're not alone on that!
omg yes. i dont understand all the rage about video games. i mean i play them occasianaly but i would much rather have a new tool that will last me 10-15 years ratehr than a video game that becomes out dated after 6 months
I'm jealous of your shop............. and your tools

Awesome instructabe man.


ROCK ON!
i have an equal budget for both, like ima buy a new multimeter
Jesus10555 sam7 years ago
haha, I love it. I'd be somewhat the same if I had money, lol. But I love the shop! I'm trying to clean out the garage, and make that my shop. Also, my Dad just went out of bussiness :( and now works on salary (for someone else) and he was throwing out a bunch of stuff I was able to grab. I was to late to get the 3/4 plywood though. I wanted it so bad, It was some cherry, maple, oak, and some other nice ones I cant remember. although they were scrap, they averaged at a size of at least 4 feet x 4-5 feet damn, that woulda started my hobby.
Damn! - that was going to be my second 'ible! - exellent job and nicer than what I had planned to be honest.
zilcho3 years ago
Nice, we used to make these in my high school woodshop out of oak slabs. This design looks even better. Great work
i just made something like this! and now i just found this one. i made mine with a pine branch though because theres alot of snow so i couldent go out and get a nice oak or maple log. but the pine works. my pine log was a little wet/fresh though so i put 3 coats of shellac to seal it.
Broom7 years ago
OK, I'm going to sound like a ninny here, but I gotta relate a story.

I had a brass-rimmed, wooden candleholder that I used as a nightlight at a historical event onceuponatime. A friend of mine was crashed for the night, and I went out to the campfire outside, and forgot about the candle.

Came back hours later to discover the candleholder was now completely turned to charcoal. Had it been sitting on something flammable (like a wooden table), who knows? I *never* thought that the candle, retained by the metal insert, would catch a fire like that. Could have killed my friend with my stupidity... < shudder >

So, ever since, I've scrupulously avoided candle holders made of wood. The fact that the tealights are retained by thin metal obviously doesn't matter to me.

Preaching over with. Please be careful.
mskogly Broom6 years ago
I agree, a wooden candlestick is a great way to burn down your house, even with the aluminium. Those things gets HOT if you forget them and let them burn down. Perhaps some sort of glass lining would be a good addition?
You could drill the holes a little bigger then needed and add your own 'aluminum cap' in the wood with a little spike to keep the candle in place. Almost like an 'extra' safety preventer.
I guess I should add: the wooden candleholder *did* have a metal insert to hold the candle. Amazingly, the wood caught fire, anyway.

I never would have believed it would have happened, but it did.

NO WOODEN CANDLEHOLDERS FOR ME. No exceptions.
Yea. But maybe a teacup for the teacup candle would work, something made of Glass or Aluminum. Definitly thicker then the teacup candle's barrier.
Just get a larger bit (you can use a spade bit which is cheaper and runs larger, since the finish won't matter) and then line the larger inside with something that insulates, like ceramic or glass. Probably the easiest way to find something like that is to cannibalize an existing tealight holder. A thick piece of wood with a ceramic insert and a tealight lined in metal will NOT ever burn.
guyzo354 years ago
 Love the shop, currently trying to expand mine.  Very impressed with the project and especially your using the jack plane
bobdole7 years ago
Using youtube is nice for illustrating techniques, but remember, people who have javascript turned off, or refuse to install flash, people who live in UAE or Qatar, (or several other countries where youtube is blocked for political reasons), people browsing from work (whose IT department has youtube filtered) cannot see the videos at all. The very least you could do is put in some descriptive text for those who just see a blank white page. (like me!)
sam (author)  bobdole7 years ago
I experience the same problems with youtube being blocked at my school.. there are a few workarounds, but I won't get into that here. My Instructable was intended to be usable without the videos, as I did include many pictures, and also text. That said, on the next one I'll try to make it more universally accessible!
gilleseg sam5 years ago
Still great job.  I followed what you did and I also stained the top side of my wood.  Looks great.
linshigroup5 years ago
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great for power outages
frazeeg7 years ago
This would be a great project for a beginning carpenter. It's not too complicated, doesn't require lots of tools, and teaches some fundamentals of woodworking (sanding, planing, finishing, etc). Something a dad and son can bond over. Of course, when I was a beginner, I ended up with so many nails sticking out of my projects that I'm surprised I didn't get tetanus. Too bad I'm in school / it's getting cold, otherwise I'd start writing up some projects I've been meaning to.
sam (author)  frazeeg7 years ago
Thanks! Although I haven't contributed much to instructables lately due to other commitments, nice comments like this make me want to get back in the swing of things, and crank out some more instructables! You should definitely write up those projects you've been meaning to do.. Cheers!
Mr. Rig It7 years ago
Very good use of the material that you had, it cam out really nice. I can smell the candles now. Great job.
Vendigroth7 years ago
Nice. Cheap, pretty and simple. Gets my + sign How's about gluing some strips of different coloured woods together neatly to make a stripy one?
sam (author)  Vendigroth7 years ago
Thanks! I like the stripy idea. I might try that out, when I get some time...
ungood7 years ago
Probably cheaper to buy candles to match your bit than the other way around. :)
I really like the finished look of your candle holder. And this is a great Instructable too! Nice use of video: if a picture is worth 1000 words and you're shooting film at 32 frames/second... (: I was going to suggest lightly editing the film but if your money goes towards tools for your shop, it should stay that way. I hope to see more!
sam (author)  StepsoftheSun7 years ago
Hey, thanks. thats really appreciated. In future videos, hopefully my shop will be a little cleaner, so the video will be more clear. The candle holder hasn't caught fire yet, and we've been through one set of candles already.. maybe PetervG wasn't being sarcastic.. who knows.. Your lamp is really nice.. lamps are popular projects. I think I'm going to make one.. I've had a couple of ideas already..
PetervG7 years ago
Wooden candle holders. . smart.
This from a guy who posts fireworks Instructables...? I guess it was a strange brand of humor.
matt7 years ago
so thats what you were making for your mom!! you wanna come over and embed a gun safe in my wall?? possible cement it permanently... thatd be sick
brob7 years ago
nice project. Your bike chain needs some oil. It looks kinda rusted.
sam (author) 7 years ago
oops.. Looks like I posted one of the vids twice. There are actually 3 videos
Jesus105557 years ago
Also: Beautiful project!
That came out really nice, BUT, remove all loose clothing or jewelry when wood working, the strings on your hoodie are just begging to catch on something and pull you face first into a power tool..
sam (author)  Tool Using Animal7 years ago
thanks. I'm glad you pointed that out. I only saw how bad that could have been when I watched the video!