Out of the scrap pile and into a gift #4: Arched Candle Holder - gettin' jiggy

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Blog entry by sras posted 12-20-2009 11:12 PM 1411 reads 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Arched Candle Holder - It's all about adapting Part 4 of Out of the scrap pile and into a gift series Part 5: Arched Candle Holder - On to New Heights »

Now, it’s time to cut the recesses for the candles. I had originally thought of using a Forstner bit, but it does not leave a smooth flat bottom to the recess. Instead, I used the Forstner bit to cut a pattern for use with my router. I plan to use a pattern bit with a bearing. Looks like it is time to build a jig! Since I am only building one of these, I’ll build a temporary jig. The same elements can be used to create a smaller, but permanent jig.


I have two hole sizes so I can figure out which to use. I’m going with the 1 7/8” size. Now I need a way to position the pattern in an accurate, consistent and rigid manner. My plan is to use a fixed position jig and move the arched piece. I need to start with a reference edge. I found a fairly large piece of MDF in my sheet stock inventory (that’s fancy talk for a pile of plywood and stuff).


To this I added a reference to keep the pattern perpendicular to the reference edge.

Alignment fence

The next step is to add blocking to set the pattern at the right height. Then add a stop block to center the pattern over the arched piece.

Complete setup

You can also see I have blocks against the sides of the arch to hold the piece against the reference edge and at each end.

You can see a piece of oak under the block that holds the pattern up at the near end. There is another one under the other end of the pattern. As I get near the end of the arch, I need to lower the pattern to get my router bit to reach. I’ll remove these pieces of oak when that time comes.

I need to figure out a resonable number of candles and a spacing. I know I want one candle at the center so that means an odd number. After playing with numbers for a while, I take a detour into the house and fire up Excel. A couple of equations and I come up with 9 candles and a center-to-center spacing of 3.18” (a little less than 3 3/16”)

Excell image

I cut a spacing block to this dimension. After I cut the center pocket, I release the right hand end block. Then I slide the arch to the right and put the spacer block in.

Spacer Block in place

I then push the arch against the block and re-clamp the right end block. Next I pull out the spacing block and reposition the left end block and the side blocks. After I cut the next pocket, I flip the piece end for end to cut the same pocekt on the opposite end.

Here is the end result. Nine evenly spaced pockets with smooth flat bottoms!

Pockets done!

That’s all for now. Next up is making some feet to raise it up a bit…

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

5 comments so far

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3328 days

#1 posted 12-20-2009 11:22 PM

Great blog and a solution applicable to a lot of different types of tasks. This was great. Thanks

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3681 days

#2 posted 12-21-2009 12:44 AM

Thank you for all of this very helpful information : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3282 days

#3 posted 12-21-2009 12:58 AM

sweet pics of a very nice project

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3552 days

#4 posted 12-21-2009 01:30 AM

Looking good. Can’t wait to see the final results.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View sras's profile


4795 posts in 3123 days

#5 posted 12-21-2009 03:59 AM

Thanks for the comments guys! I am managing to keep the blog up to date. Slows the woodworking down a bit, but it’s fun!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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