Friday, 25 February 2011

Hand turned candle stick (feeling smug) ...

Today was a good day, mainly because we managed to get out into the garden for a few hours, the kids love being out in the garden, and as we were out in the back garden they got to run around a lot more, much more room than the front garden.
The kids now have their own planting bed, which they can use for what ever they decide to plant, I'm sure it'll be interesting if nothing else, and we got some tidying done, so the garden is looking a little neater than it did.

It's not that I'm feeling a little smug about however, not that being in the garden with the kids isn't good fun, if not a little hectic :-) no the reason is I managed to finish off a piece of wood turning I started yesterday. I had picked out a nice chunk of silver birch and already fixed it to one of my chucks, with the intention of making a small bowl of some sort, however on closer inspection I found that the end of the wood was split quite badly, so I decided to make something else, and seeing as my wife had made some nature candles with the kids for Imbolc, and was in need of candle sticks to put them on. I went for candle sticks, although I still have one to make, I'm quite pleased with the over all look of the piece, the grain is really nice, even if I do say so myself ;-)

Here it is -
This side is nice, the grain is interesting.
And another -

This is my favourite side.
I did most of the turning yesterday, and today it had it's final finishing, which consisted of using finer grades of sand paper to get it as smooth as possible, then I sealed it with our home made wax, and gave it a polish while it was still on the lathe, mainly because it's easier.

It may not be every ones cup of tea design wise, but it has meaning to me for various reasons, not least because I'm making them for my wife to display the candles our kids made. Just got one more to make which will be different, I had no intention of making a matching pair, although if I was I'd make a jig from the design of the first one so I could get them both exactly the same, or as near as possible.

More pictures - 

I like the way the shadows fall on this one.

This one was taken in natural light.

I'm really pleased with the grain, it has a great look to it, even more pleased seeing as it's the first piece of birch I've turned, I've had a six foot length of tree in my shed for a while (I didn't use the whole six feet to make this) I'm glad I waited until I had plenty of time to give it some proper attention, though it didn't actually take that long to turn.

Some close up pictures of the grain - 

This section reminds me of a map.

This part almost looks like two different types of wood.
All in all I'm feeling a little smug about it, I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination but I think I did good, can't wait to make the other one and have a go at turning a piece of the pear I have in the shed.
It also feels good because for parts of it I used one of the Oland tools I made myself, as you can see it worked :-) 

If you have pondered having a go at turning wood I would recommend it, it's very satisfying. You could probably find places that run wood turning courses near to where you are by searching online, it's a great thing for kids as well, I first turned a piece of wood when I was in school, but now in my opinion overly cautious health and safety laws and other factors are putting paid to kids being allowed to put their hands and their imagination to good use in schools to create pieces of art, or functional items, it's a shame, we were given hands for a reason, and even though I'm pushing buttons to write this, it's not what hands are for.

If you want to read about the candles my wife and our kids made you can on my wife's blog ---> Decorating candles, (opens in new window) and just for the hell of it I'll leave you with another picture - 

Smiling smugly ;-)
Thanks for reading.


  1. It's absolutely beautiful, as is the candle. You are such a talented family!

  2. And so you should be, its fantastic!

  3. Thank you both :-) I hope the other one I have to make turns out as good.