Some years ago I found a podium set out into the rain, waiting to be thrown out. It had a horrible coat of dark varnish, was held together with wire, wobbled from side to side, and had one shelf replaced with an uneven, thick cut piece of wood. I loved it. My mom taught me how to strip the finish and together we found a beautiful oak podium hidden beneath many years of misuse. It was the single large item I brought with me when I moved across the country and the first piece of furniture I had in my new apartment.
These votive candle holders are built to be placed on a sloped surface and slide freely on and off the podium. This is a really simple project if you need something to do for a weekend and want to protect your lovely podium from candle wax.
Step 1: Materials and Equipment
-wood (I used ~1.5 feet of walnut)
-Drill press with forstner bits
-optional, but nice: belt sander, dremel, power sander, hand saw
Step 2: Glue Your Blocks
I was lucky enough to have some planed walnut lying around (thanks mom!). As always, if you are gluing planks it is best to have wood that is planed and square. Glue to the desired thickness (mine is 1.5 inches) and let the glue set for 24 hours before subjecting it to abuse.
Step 3: Cut Blocks and Drill Candle Holes
I used a jig saw and hand saw to cut the blocks only because my band saw was acting up at the time (and I don't have a table saw.) Regardless of what you use, keep track of all your fingers. I cut three blocks and staggered the candles. The candles are just about 1.75" in diameter. I used a 1 5/8" forstner bit and a dremel with a sanding drum to get the right size hole. I only drilled down about 3/8" because I will be cutting an angle into the blocks and don't want the hole to break through the bottom.
Step 4: Cut Angle
I used a T-Bevel to measure the angle of my podium and transfer it to the votive blocks. I cut out the angle with a band saw (this was the limiting step for the size of my votive candle holders - I only have a 10" bandsaw) and smoothed it out with a belt sander and dremel.
Step 5: Sand, Finish, and Light on Fire
Light the candles on fire, not the wood! I did a quick sand with 150 and 220 grit and put on two coats of 50/50 tung oil and mineral spirits. Once dry (and only when dry, wet finish is very flammable) light up your candles and enjoy.