Thursday, 22 September 2016

I've been making tealight holders again...

It's well known that I will attempt to turn any old bit of wood I can mount on my lathe, recently I turned a couple of bits of pallet (there's a surprise) into tealight holders.

Here they are (all fourteen of them) -

As you can see they have cracks and nail holes and various other faults, some people like this kind of 'character' others don't but each to there own and I guess that's my point when it comes to turning.

I've been turning for a while and I've come across a certain shall we say snobbery when it comes to wood and turning, there are a lot of people who'll only turn stuff bought in as blanks, and then only certain types of wood, usually the more decorative stuff, like Zebra wood or Bubinga.

But I say all wood (no matter how depressed) deserves a chance, and I think that even the roughest piece of wood can look great if treated with a bit of care.

So here is what the tealights looked like before I started - 

Not the best pieces of wood in the world.

This a good starter project if you've just started turning, all I did was measure the width of the wood, and then measure out lengths the same size as the width, which gave me cubes of wood to work with, and I then marked the centre of each cube.

Wood marked, ready for cutting - 

You can just about make out the marks.

Once I'd cut all my blocks (I had fourteen to play with in the end) it was on to drilling out a hole so I could mount them onto my chuck.

Blocks cut and marked - 

More of the faults are visible after cutting.
Now on to mounting the blocks for turning, if you have an expanding chuck this is easy, using a 35mm forstner bit I cut out a small hole in each block, and then it's just a matter of sticking the block onto the jaws and tightening the chuck, you could also use a small screw chuck.

Mounting hole - 

Time to turn.

Block on the lathe ready for turning - 

Nice large crack bit of character in this one.

Now before I start turning I should point out that I've left the hole in the bottom of each tealight and turned out another hole for the actual candle, you could however just use a forstner bit or a spade bit and make a hole large enough for a tealight (around 40mm) and use that to mount the block, but sometimes I like to leave the mounting holes and such like on a piece, again this is something some people frown upon. 

And rather than leave just a hole in the bottom of each tealight holder I've turned a small three ringed detail into each one, I started adding three concentric rings to things I'd turned years ago for no other reason than it seemed like a good idea and now it's kind of stuck, and so I try to incorporate three concentric rings into every thing I turn where possible.

Here's a before and after type picture of a block and a finished tealight holder - 

I think they look good.

And here's another picture of the finished tealights again, the reason (in case you are wondering) why two are different from the rest is because one piece of wood split and a chunk came out and there wasn't enough wood left to turn a ball shape, so I made two straight ones, the perils of using gnarly bits of wood.

All done - 

And before I go here's a picture of a pen pot I made for my wife, from the top part of an old newel post, all I need to do now is figure out what to do with the rest of it.

Pen pot - 

It works well as a pen pot.

Any ideas ? - 

I have a few ideas.
Lastly here a short video of me making a tealight holder, some parts are sped up - 

Thanks for reading.

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