Tree Recycling: Incense Burner



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A few days ago I broke my ceramic incense burner. I decided to make a new one using part of a limb from my recently cut down backyard tree. It's a simple design and easy to make!

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Step 1: Gather Wood & Tools

You'll need:
  • a thick piece of branch (about 2.5 inches in diameter) that is 10-12 inches long. The branch should be able to rest comfortably on one side without teetering from side to side. 
  • saw
  • hammer
  • drill with a thin bit
  • sand paper
  • thin wood chisel 
  • stick of incense for testing

Step 2: Drill a Hole

After you've cut your wood you'll need to drill a hole near one end. Begin holding the drill at a 90 degree angle, as the bit bites into the wood, shift to about a 45 degree angle. You want the hole to be fairly deep, use an incense stick to test the depth and drill more if needed. 

Step 3: Chisel a Trench

Use the chisel to start a trench about 1 - 2 inches from the hole you drilled. Gently tap the chisel's base with the hammer to start cutting into the branch surface. Wood will begin to lift in sheets if you're slow and steady. The trench should be a bit longer than the length of the incense stick inserted in the hole. 


Step 4: Deepen the Trench

Continue to chisel, deepening the trench until the first section of your finger rests comfortably inside. 

Step 5: Smooth It Out...

Use sandpaper to smooth the trench and the cut edges. 

Step 6: Test Time!

Your new incense burner is complete. Give it a try!

  • As with any burning object, don't leave it unattended and keep out of the reach of kids & pets. 

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