Introduction: Carved Candle Box

About: I have been working with wood since I could stumble into the shop with my dad. About a year ago I moved into a house with no space for a full shop so I decided to take up all hand tool wood working. That start…

So I made a box for my wife a while back and everyone kept asking how I made it so I thought I would make a second one slightly differently and show what all went into making this small Dovetailed Candle Box.

For more detail here is the build video

Tools needed Back saw: Dovetail saw: Fret Saw: Carving V-tool: Carving Mallet: C-Clamps: Marker: Hand Plane:

Supplies Red Oak ¼” X 4” : Blue Tape: Glue stick: Wood Glue: BLO: Spray Shellac: Two sidded tape:

Step 1: Cut Boards to Size

I started off but cutting squares that were about 4” X ¼” This can easily be done at the bench with a back saw just following a line. If the edge is rough then it can be trimmed with a hand plane on a shooting board or even the bench hook used to cut it.

Step 2: Cut Dovetails

There are many tutorials on cutting dovetails so I will not go into this in great detail here. I gang cut all the tales so the match and it is faster. Then Gang clean out the waist. Then one by one transfer the marks for the pins and gang clean them out.

Step 3: Apply Pattern

The Pattern is Applied with Blue tape and a glue stick so that it can be easily removed from the wood. I start by putting down a layer of blue tape. The glue that pattern to that. Repeat this for all 4 sides of the box.

Step 4: Cut Fretwork

Once the pattern is applied we can cut out sections to let light through from the candle. I drill a hole in each section I want to cut out so that I can put the fret saw blade through. I used a raised birds mouth to cut the fretwork but it could be easily done on the edge of the bench.

Step 5: Carve Face

Next, Apply the sides to a scrap of wood that can be clamped to the bench. You could tape them to the bench but then they are there till you are done. Then, use the V-tool and carving mallet to follow the lines and carve in the pattern. This may sound daunting but after 15 minutes of practice, most people can do a great job. Trust me it is far easier than it sounds.

Step 6: Assembly

Use the wood glue to glue together the 4 sides of the box. You may not even need clamps on these small parts. But if they need a little bit of pressure then you can use some C-Clamps with light pressure to hold it until the glue dries.

Step 7: Cut and Fit Bottom

Once it dries you can use the sides of the box to trace out the exact shape of the bottom. Then just like the sides it can be cut out and fit to shape and exact fit with a plane. If you make the fit clean and tight you will not need any clamps. The glue will hold well. But if needed then C-clamps can be used.

Step 8: Smooth and Finish

Once it is dried, I use a finely set hand plane to smooth out all of the joints and make it feel perfect. To bring out the color some Boiled linseed oil works wonders. Then for a protective top coat, I used spray shellac to give it a finish. Then it is done and ready to give to a friend.