A Classic Design Illuminated

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Traditionally I make small holiday gifts for employees and family members. This year I thought it would be unique to give hand-crafted candleholders designed with a yesteryear flair. My objective was to design a candleholder that could be actually used or just set out as decoration. It also should be fairly easy to make since my production run would be about 20 units. 

I turned two prototypes from which I was able to design and construct a couple of jigs that made the process much easier, more accurate and less time consuming. This project covers the candleholders themselves and the jigs I used to make them. 

I chose mahogany for its color and workability, but any wood will do. My prototypes were turned from hard maple. 

The basic holder consists of three pieces: a base, a stick, and a handle. The base begins as a 6"-square by 1"-thick piece. The stick is a 2"-square by 4½"-long piece. And the handle starts life as a ½"-thick piece whose finished size is 1¼" in diameter (only three sides are rounded). The finished holder stands 5½" tall, and the base diameter is 53/8". The base is tapered on the underside and dished on the face. The design of the stick includes tapers, a bird’s beak and beads.

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