In this Instructable you will see how to make a large (1.7 m or 67 inch) steel tree tea light stand. Everyone who tries this project will end up with a totally unique looking tree tea light stand! Therefore the materials needed will vary slightly for everyone. I used approx : 1 meter of 16 mm steel rod 2 meters of 10 mm rod 4 meters of 8 mm rod 6 meters of 6 mm rod. The total cost of this was approx €17 / $20 US. For the curved base I used the bottom of a steel tank which I had left over from another project but piece of flat steel would work just as good. The glass tea light holders were from another light holder I had which had passed its use by date :-) The metal primer and the black satin paint I used cost €20 / $23.50 US and there is loads of the black left over for other stuff. It is an easy project to do its just cutting, hammering and very basic welding. Just use your imagination and see what happens! and if you don't like how a piece looks just cut it off and go again.
Step 1: Have a Look at the Video Below.
Have a look at the video above or follow my step by step guide below.
Step 2: Where to Start.
I started by welding the 1 meter length of 16mm steel rod to the base. I am by no means a good welder and a project like this is great as the welds don not have to be very neat. It actually adds to the look of the tree stand if they are a bit rough!
Step 3: Distressing the Bar.
I put the bar on an anvil a hit it a few time with a lump hammer to slightly bend it in a few directions.
Step 4: Forming the Tree.
I cut some of the 10 mm bar hammered it like above and then welded it on top of the 16 mm bar then grinded the joint to a tapered finish. This finished the main part of the tree to which everything else will be attached to.
Step 5: Bottom Branches
I cut 4 pieces of rod and also distressed it on the anvil or hard surface. The widest rods were used for the bottom and get narrower as you move up. The layout is something like this, 4 main branches about a third of the way up and another 4 about another third of the way up.
Step 6: Welding the Branches.
This where you can start to get creative! I just tack welded the 4 pieces to see what they looked like. If i was happy I finished welding them if not I cut them off and adjusted them until I was happy.
Step 7: Welding the Branches.
On the bottom set o branches I welded on approx 100 mm pieces of a narrower rod. This was to try and show the branches narrowing as they extend out like on a real tree
Step 8: Forming the Holders.
As I said above I had these glass holders from an old tea light stand I had. I reckon they can be found easily online if you do not have any. I found a piece of tube steel that matched the glass holders so I used this to form them. I started buy clamping the rod (6 mm) to the tube with a vice grips and then just twisted it around as in the photo. It was pretty easy but it probably could be made easier by heating the rod first.
Step 9: Forming the Holders.
I then cut off the excess with a grinder and tapped it with a hammer to line everything up. When it was all lined up I welded it to hold it all in place and grinded the joint smooth.
Step 10: Forming the Holders .
To finish forming the holders I clamped on the vice grips again and twisted it. I think they look better this way. I did this ten time for all the holders I was using. I had ten of them but obviously you could use more or less depending your taste.
Step 11: Cutting and Attaching the Holders
I then cut all the holders at different lengths and distressed them in the same way as previously and started to weld them on.
Step 12: Finishing Welding and the Base.
I continued tack welding the holders on and checking what they looked like before finishing welding them. Again if they didn't look right I cut them off and adjusted them until I was happy.
On the base I cut 6 pieces of the 6 mm rod, distressed them and then welded them to base to make it look like they roots as I thought the base looked a bit plain.
Step 13: Painting.
When I was happy with everything I cleaned it all up with a grinding, flap disc and a file for awkward spots. I then applied a coat of primer before applying a few coats of a black paint. When all was dry I the put in the glass holder and tea lights.
Step 14: That's It.
The finished steel tree tea light stand! If you have any questions just let me know and I will try and answer them.
If you would like to see more projects from me you can subscribe to my YouTube Channel here:Eamon Walsh DIYThanks.