Tea Light Holder Router Profile Fixture

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Project by OakHill posted 09-29-2013 01:29 PM 5447 views 12 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Once the shape of the tea light holder was determined, a template was made for the profile and was also used to locate the candle pockets. The profile was roughed out on the band saw with a 3/16 wide blade leaving minimal stock for the profiling operation.

The next operation was routing the profile using the template and a 2’ long flush trim bit.

The fixture was designed to route ½ of the profile at a time. The blank with the template attached (with double sided tape) butts up against two short dowels. Because of the 1-1/2 inch thick blank it needed to be securely clamped.

Two “De-Sta-Co” (Model 227-U) low-profile hold down Toggle Clamps, with extra hand clearance and a 500 lb max holding capacity were incorporated. The ‘U’ shaped bar adds to the flexibility of adjustment of the hold down tip, in both the horizontal and vertical positions.

The De-Sta-Co brand was chosen because of my past experience with them designing fixtures in the machine shop environment. The quality and reliability has never been a problem. The rubber tips take up any minor variation in thickness of the blanks.

Two ½ inch diameter dowels were positioned on each side of the base to help guide the fixture through the profiling operation, keeping my hands safely away from the cutter.

The router bit used was an “Eagle-America” carbide tipped down shear flush trim bit. This style was chosen for its characteristics of eliminating chipped or splintered edges. It also is good for routing end or cross grains on hardwood and produces a smoother finish compared to straight flute cutters.

The next step was to remove the work piece with the template still attached to it with double sided tape and bore out the candle pockets with a 1-5/8 diameter carbide Forstner bit.

Tea Light Holder / Candle Centerpiece:
De-Sta-Co Clamp (Can be purchased from McMaster-Carr):

-- John, Illinois,

6 comments so far

View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

629 posts in 2564 days

#1 posted 09-29-2013 04:12 PM

Cool jig, cool project! Thanks for sharing!

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.

View kiefer's profile


5654 posts in 3030 days

#2 posted 09-29-2013 04:20 PM

That is what I expected ,a very professional looking and built Jig .
Very well done and will it easy to make more holders .
Thanks for sharing !

-- Kiefer

View a1Jim's profile


117616 posts in 3940 days

#3 posted 09-29-2013 04:35 PM

Good idea nice work.

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 2187 days

#4 posted 09-29-2013 11:19 PM

I really liked those tea light holders when you posted them John and now we get to see how you made them. Great jig and thanks for sharing…

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View Woodbridge's profile


3688 posts in 2781 days

#5 posted 09-30-2013 01:16 AM

Nice looking jg. Routing thick profiles like that is a whole lot easier and safer when you are using a nice jig like the one yo have built.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View laketrout36's profile


200 posts in 2389 days

#6 posted 09-30-2013 12:57 PM

Great explanation of your jig and materials.

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