Votive Candle Holder

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Project by DaveTPilot posted 12-31-2010 05:23 PM 3444 views 3 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife was looking through some projects on Lumberjocks to get ideas for me to build for Christmas Gifts and came across Ken90712’s posting. She loved the design. We looked up the original on WoodSmith and liked Ken’s variation better. I made three of these for Christmas Gifts and to my wife’s surprise…one of them was for her.

I used two of my favorite cutting board woods, hard maple and purple heart, and added a strip of cherry for the middle “line”. The cherry will darken with time for better contrast. I finished with Arm-R-Seal Gloss.

I don’t have a picture without the votives but the bottom on the holes are lacking the telltale dimple created by forstner bits. This was just a pleasant by-product of not having a powerful enough drill press to drill through the hard maple. I drilled just enough to give my pattern bit’s bearing a ridge to ride against and then plunged in carefully. I will probably make a template out of mdf the next time I build these.

-- How valuable is time to a person who spends his disparaging the beliefs of others? --David Berthelette

6 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile


17786 posts in 3748 days

#1 posted 12-31-2010 05:52 PM

Looks Perfect, I like the idea you came up using 3 different woods, nice touch. I have made 6 of them now & poor Blondie has yet to receive one. I think I need to get busy! LOL

Very cool that your wife looks through LJ’s like mine. Blondie even reads Handyman and Wood Magazine which can cause me more work,,, LOL. At least she never complains when I buy “TOY’s” as she puts it, for the shop.

Happy New Year !

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View HickoryHill's profile


235 posts in 4706 days

#2 posted 12-31-2010 06:00 PM

Looks good Dave. I’ve built 6 now, I think, and each time I always have problems with the dadoes for the legs. They always seem to be off.

-- Jim, Michigan

View Wingstress's profile


339 posts in 4075 days

#3 posted 01-01-2011 02:55 AM

Great job, I like the idea of using a pattern bit with the router. I ran into the problem that my 2” forstner didn’t leave quite enough clearance for the glass. Although they all fit, after burning the candles, the glass expanded and is now stuck. I went with less candles and a thicker inlay.

Great job. Keep up the good work.

Click for details

-- Tom, Simsbury, CT

View DaveTPilot's profile


282 posts in 3858 days

#4 posted 01-01-2011 04:52 AM

Ken, sounds like your wife is a lot like mine!

Jim, I was getting ready to post a dado tip, (or trick), on my blog site I haven’t had time to get to that yet but I can briefly describe what I did with this project.

First, I sand the legs up to 220 grit. That way, you are working with the final dimensions of the legs. I then setup my dado stack a little more than half of the thickness of the legs. Mark each leg with a piece of tape on the bottom with its own number. Use each leg as a guide to cut its corresponding dado.

Put the leg against the fence and the base against the leg then adjust the fence to line up the right side of the dado stack with the outside dado location. With the dado height set, cut the first part of the dado keeping the leg as a spacer between the base and the fence. I held the leg with my thumb and forefinger of my right hand, pushed the base against the leg and the fence with my left hand and used a miter gauge. You are not making a through cut so there shouldn’t be any risk of kickback using the fence and the miter gauge. That’s a personal comfort thing though. :-)

Then remove the leg “spacer” and replace it with a blade spacer (Described below). Run the base through the dado again and you will have a perfect fit. If it is a little too tight you can sand a little more or add a piece of masking tape to the blade spacer. Of course you want to try all of this on a scrap piece first to make your adjustments.

How to make a Blade Spacer:

1. Cut a 3/8” deep groove in a small piece of stock. I use a 4×4 piece of 3/4” plywood. This is your gauge that matches the exact kerf of your blade.
2. Cut a piece of hardboard the same length and height of your fence. Make sure the hardboard is a little thicker than your blade’s kerf.
3. Using a drum sander, thickness planer or hand plane, thickness the hardboard to fit snugly into your blade kerf gauge.

I hope this helps.

Happy New Year Everyone and thank you for your comments!!!

-- How valuable is time to a person who spends his disparaging the beliefs of others? --David Berthelette

View DaveTPilot's profile


282 posts in 3858 days

#5 posted 01-11-2011 04:09 AM

Oops…a little correction. I meant to say that if the fit is too tight, add tape to the dado spacer.

I also cut the dadoes in the legs the same way using the base as the dado spacer. Make sure to sand the base first as well.

-- How valuable is time to a person who spends his disparaging the beliefs of others? --David Berthelette

View crimsonwood's profile


22 posts in 3396 days

#6 posted 01-28-2011 07:12 PM

looks great Dave i made the mistake of buying to narrow of a piece but after i re-sawed the board to 3/4 it actually made the candle light shine through much nicer to leave that little extra mood setting in the dark

-- -Jaymes-

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