As stated in the show and tell thread
here are the plans.
First picture is the finished items. I made 5 and 7 candle holders. The larger one was a request from my sister in law.
Next 3 pics are the shop drawings. I used 7/4 Jatoba but any hardwood would be fine. You could probably make acceptable ones out of 2x4 stock.
There are 2 templates shown (well, 3 if you make both sizes). The first is for the votive wells. I bought my votives from Michaels ("Ashland" brand, 16 for $10, you can find cheaper on amazon). Be sure to measure the bottom of yours - mine are 1 3/4". Change the plans if yours are a different size. Make the template holes 1/4" larger than your intended well size to accommodate the router bushing.
I drilled 2" holes in the first template and then marked it with several lines to aid alignment.
The second and third templates are for making the bottom curves really smooth. These aren't strictly necessary. I used a band saw and the cut came out rougher than I'd like. You could just sand the cut smooth but I used Jatoba which is a notoriously hard wood to sand and my bandsaw skills are still, er, "improving". Lots of ways to avoid these templates if you are so inclined.
The next pictures are of the process.
- Cut your blanks to size.
- Use DS tape to mount the blank on the well template and secure to a bench. A vise works great.
- My votive wells are 1 3/4" so I used a 1/2" mortising bit and a 3/4" bushing in my plunge router. Set the depth to 1/8". You may need to do a trial run to make sure your votives fit properly.
- Route the wells. Never stop moving the router or you will leave marks. Some will be inevitable and they are hard to sand. After I finished, I lowered the bit just a hair and went back over the wells again. That removed almost all the marks. My mortising bit is plungable (is that a word?) but if your's isn't just keep moving it around and you'll get there.
- Next, cut the bottom on the band saw. If you don't have a band saw, you could use a jigsaw though the band saw is a lot more accurate. If you do a great job, all you need to do is sand and you can skip the next step.
- If you opt to use the template to smooth the bottom cut, mount it to the side of your piece with DS tape. The holders are 2 1/4" wide so we will be pushing the limits of the bits. I have a 3/4" pattern bit (with a top mounted bearing) with a 1" cutting height and several trim bits (with bottom mounted bearings) that have a 1" cutting height. We need to use the pattern bit to get our cut to a little over 1 1/4" down. With the longest pattern bit you have, make a pass. I found this easiest to do in the router table. Lower (or raise if using a table) as high as you can and make another pass to get to around 1 3/8". Now, remove the template and install a trim bit with at least a 1" cutting length. Trim the remaining. It sounds more complex than it is.
- Round over the top of the candle holder. I used a 3/8" bit. Route the ends first and remember to use backing to avoid tear out.
- Sand, sand, sand and then finish. I love minwax wipe on poly. At least 3 coats and sand 220, 320, 600 in between. Then buff and use a paste wax for a really beautiful sheen.
A note on materials. I love Jatoba but it's uncommon and hard to work. Walnut, maple, cherry or oak would be great for this and easier to find. Plus, you might be able to avoid the second template trimming of the bottom cut.
Last picture is of some simplifications.
You can use a forstner bit instead of a router to cut the votive wells. That will leave the pilot hole and circular marks. They are acceptable but short of perfection.
If you don't have a band saw, you can use 3/4" stock for the top and separately shape the legs and glue them on. Use care to match the grain to hide the joint line.