In this guide, I'll show how I made my tea light candle holder with a built-in matchbox area from a firewood log. I grabbed a few logs of wood from my parent's firewood pile a few months ago and have had them sat around trying to come up with an idea of what do with them.
I'm really happy with how the final thing came out, I love the natural knots and grain in the wood and think it looks great.
For this project you will need;
- Box of Matches (UK)
- Box of Matches (USA)
- Sharpies (UK)
- Sharpies (USA)
- Bandsaw (UK)
- Bandsaw (USA)
- Wood Chisel (UK)
- Wood Chisel (USA)
- 40mm Forstner Bit (UK)
- 1 1/2 Inch Forstner Bit
- Tea Lights Tins (UK)
- Tea Light Tins (USA)
- Soy Wax (UK)
- Soy Wax (USA)
- Candle Wicks (UK)
- Candle Wicks (USA)
- Slow Cooker (UK)
- Slow Cooker (USA)
Step 1: Log
I started with the log of firewood. I knew I wanted to use 2 x tealights, and integrate a matchbox. I had an approx side in mind, and marked this out onto the wood with a sharpie. I made sure I got the grain going the way I wanted before doing this.
Step 2: Cut
With this marked up on the wood, I took it over to the bandsaw and cut along the lines. It was hard to make sure that the cuts were straight as I had no flat surfaces on the wood. I did try making a jig to take advantage of the guides on my bandsaw, but couldn't get it working very well. So I just free handed it.
I was left with a block of wood that was mostly square, but I knew I would sand it all down later.
Step 3: Match Up
I took one side, and marked up where the matchbox would go. I made it so the box would sit flush inside the main wooden box. I took that over to the bandsaw and set up the fence to make a series of cuts along the length till it was as deep as the matchbox.
Step 4: Chisel
Once the block had a series of cuts the depth of the matchbox, I needed to clear out any of the remaining bits of wood. I used a sharp chisel to knock these out. I'm not very good at working with chisels, but got there in the end.
Step 5: Drill
I found the centre line along the length of the box, and marked out where the I wanted to drill the holes for the tea light tins. These are about 38mm to 40mm. I used a 40mm forstner drill bit to cut these out. I used my drill press to help make sure they went in straight, but you can use a hand drill if that's all you've good.
I kept going, then checked it was going deep enough for the tops of the tea lights to sit flush.
Step 6: Wick
I bought a pack of general wicks that already came with the bases attached. You can make your own wicks from scratch which works out slightly more cost effective, but I find this a bit easier to do. To fix the wick to the base of the tea light tins I use a hot glue gun. I added a dab of glue to the bottom of the wick and stuck it into place.
Step 7: Wood Polish
I sanded the whole piece down so that it was nice and smooth to the touch. I used my orbital sander up to 240 grit on the outside. And trimmed down a piece of wood that was the width of the matchbox to sand down inside where the matchbox goes. I left the inside of the candle holes as they were.
Step 8: Melt
For the wax, I'm using a Soy Wax. It is very clean burning and white colour. Soy wax is more eco-friendly than beeswax, and I tend to switch between the two when making candles. To work out how much wax was needed when it's in the pellet form, I poured it the tins, and then doubled it.
I added all this to the slow cooker and let it melt down for around 20mins. I like to use the slow cooker to melt down the wax, as it is slow and gentle and very easy to add it back to the slow cooker when working with it. Once melted I poured it into the plastic measure jug, to make it easier to pour into the tins.
I left this for around half an hour to solidify.