Who doesn't love to dine in the magical elegance of floating candle light? This project needs basic woodworking knowledge and access to certain machines. It is simple and fun and absolutely magical! Please enjoy!
-Wood (dimensions described below)
-12 battery operated tea lights
-Ceiling hanging hardware
-12 beads (wooden preferred, any work!)
-One tall candle for dripping (or hot glue gun)
-Access to tools: chisels, hand saw, mallet, table saw, band saw, belt sander (or sanding block), miter saw, spoke shave, drill, drill bits (1/16" for fishing wire holes, 1.5" forstner bit for tea lights, multiple sizes for lightning bolt fitting)
-Love, Care, and PATIENCE!
Step 1: Making the Lightning Bolt Frame: Rectangle Frame
First you'll need to dimension your wood. I started with Ash (a lovely hardwood to work with. Sturdy, not too hard or soft):
(quantity @ length x width x height)
2 @ 36" x 2" x 3/4"
2 @ 12" x 2" x 3/4'
1 @ 30" x 3 " x 3/8' (-ignore this piece for now)
Then you need to make lap joints which will connect the corners of the main rectangular frame:
-First measure the width of the wood (2") down from each end of the wood. Then run it through the table saw (cross cut) at the correct depth (half the thickness of the wood-5/16")
-I then cut into the end grain with a band saw to finish cutting out the piece. (Cut slightly away from your line and use a belt sander or sanding block to get it perfectly to the line.
**In final assembly, you'll want the shorter sides to be face up and the longer sides face down to best work with the gravity of the candles.
Step 2: Making the Lightning Bolt Frame: the Lightning Bolt
Use the thinner dimensioned piece:
1 @ 30" x 3 " x 3/8'
-Cut at a slight angle down the center making this into two pieces of wood
-One piece will be cut to be the top and center of the bolt, simply lay out the pieces to make the best lightning bold and trace it out to fit together on top of the original frame. These cuts were all made with the band saw and sanded straight to fit perfectly.
**The next step would be better done with a router and jig, if these tools are available, do that!
-Drill holes to get the bulk of the material out of the sections that the lightning bolt occupies
*The depth to drill is the thickness of the lightning bolt wood (3/8")
-Then chisel out the rest along the traced line using a square, straight piece of wood as a guide for the chisel.
*Put a small piece of fine sand paper (220 grit) on the bottom of the guide piece of wood to avoid slipping.
-Use a saw to get the longer triangular end pieces (continuing with the help of the guide)
[[work on your living room floor because sometimes that's all you have! :D ]]
Step 3: Making the Lightning Bolt Frame: Glue-up! and Holes!
-Make sure things are perfect before applying glue, this is SAVE you from any TRAGIC mistakes
-I used regular Titebond wood glue and small pieces of scrap ply wood (some wrapped in tape to avoid it being glued to the piece) to put between the clamps and the piece. This eliminates unwanted dents from the clamps and increases the range of the applied pressure. (each clamp applies pressure to 45 degrees around it.. the higher/taller it is, the wider the range of the 45 degrees reach)
-Leave clamps on for 24 hours, the sand down to perfection. If there are any cracks (nobody's perfect!!) fill them with glue and saw dust from when you are sanding. Start at 120 grit. (if there is a lot to clean up, maybe start with 80 grit), then 180, then 220.
-Drill 12 small holes for the fishing wire.
-Apply finish/oil/paint/whatever you like to this part of the piece and it's complete!
Step 4: The Candles: Drill Holes and Round Edges
I took Poplar @ 8/4 width (roughly 2 boardfeet)
[The tea light candles are 1.5" in diameter so I used a 1.5" forstner bit to drill the holes into the end grain]
I then used a a disk sander to shave off the corners and make them as cylindrical as possible. (if you are good with a lathe, this would have been your next step!)
I added hot glue to create a dripping wax appeal to the candles and some grooves to give it a creepy wizarding feel.
Then paint!! (a candle-like color)
Step 5: Install Ceiling Hardware, Hang & ENJOY!
I used simple loop and hook screws for the frame and ceiling, connected by three rounds of fishing wire.
Each candle as a hole running horizontally just below where the tea light sits, where the fishing wire is run through and tied above the frame with a small bead ensuring it's stability. (refer to the picture!)
I hung them one by one while the frame was suspended by the ceiling so I could really see where I wanted each one to land.
I hope you enjoyed this magical DIY chandelier!! I certainly enjoyed making it!
Runner Up in the