A Collection of Contrast.....

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Project by JL7 posted 180 days ago 2300 views 27 times favorited 37 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Or it could be titled, ”One Thing Leads to Another”

I have a cousin getting married soon, and wanted to build a gift. So I did a LJ search on “wedding gift” and found THIS project from Todd2010. Thanks Todd for the inspiration.

I really like the clean lines of the cutting board and tea light holders that Todd made, and I proceeded to build a pair of boards, and the square tea light holder (pics 3-6).

During this time, I was also playing around on the lathe and was thinking about segmented bowls and things and the turned candle holder idea bubbled up. The picture in my mind was “scallops” like the paint job on this ‘49 Merc:

Well, as they say, things don’t always go to plan. But it was a fun experiment. After turning the first holder, I wasn’t really satisfied with the outcome, so the decision was made to make them all unique.

Material for all projects is Hard maple and Walnut, plus the cutting boards have Wenge boarders (all end grain).

Some quick details:

Cutting Boards:

Two long grain blanks were made where both elements of the pattern were in each blank. This is easier to handle in the planer:

Mineral oil finish.

Square Tea Lights:

Simply 3/4” boards glued together leaving the hollow center:

Turned Tea Lights:

These are basically “reversible” as they are counter-bored the same on each end and connect to the base using a loose tenon (turned dowel):

Started with 2 blanks (2-1/2” square):

Not shown, but ripped the 4 corners off each blank of the table saw to form octagons.

Used a bull nose bit in the router table:

EDIT Adding a few more photos by request:

Keep in mind that the blank in the photo above was an octagon (I just didn’t take photos before cutting the grooves).

First – to conserve the number of dowels required, route the bull nose grooves (in the step above) less than 1/2 the thickness of the dowel plus leave enough material for your band saw kerf. It’s hard to tell, but these blanks used a combination of 3/4” and 1” dowels, and the grooves were routed ~1/4” deep. So I initially added the contrasting dowels to 4 sides of each blank.

To keep things accurate, you can only glue one dowel to each opposing side at a time, because I run the blanks through the planer after each glue up and you always need a reference face.

This next photo is confusing, because you first glue a full dowel into the groove (just don’t have the right picture of that) but imagine these are fully round dowels!:

Then I set the band saw fence and rip the other half of each dowel off:

If you do everything right, you just leave your planer at the same setting to clean up each glue up:

Use the half dowels you cut off earlier and glue them to the opposite sides (similar to the glue up photo above). And run them through the planer, etc….

You now have this:

Then I used the bull nose bit at the router table again and you have this:

Repeat all the gluing, bandsaw, planing steps:

And you should have this:

Then I turned each full blank round:

And you should have this:

Blanks are cut to length and I counter-bored them (both ends) before turning the final shapes:

In process:

The loose tenons were turned 0.015” oversize and sanded to the final 1.5” diameter. They have a slight press fit.

The bases were made similar with half dowels in the top face and then sanded to shape to get the scallop effect:

All the tea light stuff was finished with the Beall wood buff (wax). This really preserves the natural look of the Maple, but I am interested to here from you if you think this is a bad idea…...

Anyways, I don’t plan on giving my cousin ALL this contrasting stuff, but will narrow it down soon….

Thanks for looking…...

-- Jeff - I have not failed. I've just found 10,002 ways that won't work.

37 comments so far

View harrywho's profile


112 posts in 1858 days

#1 posted 180 days ago

Cool, as always!

-- Harry, Indiana

View patron's profile


13001 posts in 1967 days

#2 posted 180 days ago

bongo lights

‘cest boards et cool !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Doe's profile


948 posts in 1456 days

#3 posted 180 days ago

They are really amazing – I was wondering how you did it. I like the look that the Beall system produces and agree that it preserves the look of the maple. I’m only starting adventures in finishes so I can’t give you a more educated opinion.

Yours are much better than Todd’s.

-- Mother Nature talks, I try to listen

View lightcs1776's profile


3511 posts in 280 days

#4 posted 180 days ago

Amazing, Jeff. That’s some real talent. Thanks for sharing it with us.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

View DIYaholic's profile


13266 posts in 1301 days

#5 posted 180 days ago

A great little collection!

Impressive, as always.
Thank you, for taking the time to document and explain the process.

Is there a way to “post” a standing ovation and request an encore!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procratination a bad thing?

View Handtooler's profile


1071 posts in 758 days

#6 posted 180 days ago

WOW! Very creative you are. Nice work, Sir.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343

View Roger's profile


14318 posts in 1430 days

#7 posted 180 days ago

Those are all super-sonic! I’m into the 2-toned stuff like this. Way cool.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View steve_in_ohio's profile


1041 posts in 236 days

#8 posted 180 days ago

very cool, Love the contrasting colors, great work

-- steve, simple and effective woodworking---

View Sandra's profile


4250 posts in 701 days

#9 posted 180 days ago

Wow! While I like the two toned tea light holders, the boards struck me as very classy looking. I’ll be copying those forthwith.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View jeanlowry's profile


27 posts in 2095 days

#10 posted 180 days ago

I was following along until you skipped a few steps. what happens in those steps? Also, I have been looking for information on how to laminate blanks like these. Would you be willing to provide me more information. Thanks.

I love these by the wy.

-- Jean, Colorado, find time to make some dust!

View JL7's profile


7103 posts in 1591 days

#11 posted 180 days ago

Hey folks…..thanks for all the nice comments!

Jean – I have a few more photo’s I can add….hang on….

-- Jeff - I have not failed. I've just found 10,002 ways that won't work.

View gfadvm's profile


10721 posts in 1316 days

#12 posted 180 days ago

Jeff, These are all just beautiful! Both the boards and the candle holders. I really envy your ability to visualize this stuff in 3D. My brain just doesn’t work that way!
The finish looks great from here!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View boxcarmarty's profile


9127 posts in 986 days

#13 posted 180 days ago

Jeff, That was nice of you to give your cousin a ‘49 Merc as a wedding gift…..

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

View CFrye's profile


2803 posts in 466 days

#14 posted 180 days ago

What a fun bunch of tea light holders Jeff! Thanks for sharing the project and the process.

-- God bless, Candy

View SPalm's profile


4784 posts in 2508 days

#15 posted 180 days ago

Jeff, you did it again.
That’s a lot of tea lights. Good job sir.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

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