Large Candle Holder Question
Turned my first project from an aspen a neighbor cut down last week. It’s a 23 in. tall, 7 lb. candle holder. Most of my turnings will be candle holders this size and larger. Threw it on the lathe with a 1 in. spur center and live center without much planning. Not sure how I’ll bore the top out to hold a candle.
Can my future candle holders this tall be mounted in a large chuck (don’t have a chuck yet) and the top hollowed like you would a bowl? Or is it too long to be stable in a chuck? If possible, I would like to turn them from one piece rather than two separate pieces.
Any advice greatly appreciated and happy 4th of July weekend!
You are going to have to hold it at both ends in any case but you can get a 4 jaw chuck to hold the square at the drive end that would save time in marking, centering and cutting the base. To drill the top end, it’s easy to pop the live center out and put a drill chuck and drill a one inch hole with a fostner bit using the feed screw of the tail piece. I wonder about putting a candle directly in a wooden candlestick however, wouldn’t that make a torch at one point ?
There are as many ways to do this as there are wood turners. Nice design BTW.
Before turning is easiest - drill your hole in the end of your block, then use a jam chuck inside the hole - this will ensure that the subsequent turning will always be concentric with the candle hole. You can either just hold it in a chuck and use the tailstock with a Jacob's chuck to hold the bit or drill off the lathe.
After turning, you can of course use a forstner bit or an auger bit hand held or in a drill press if you have the capacity.
Another way to do this is with a steady rest (easy enough to make out of inline skate or scooter wheels) - you will need a chuck for this, but spin the holder in the chuck with the tailstock in place. When running true enough, line up the steady rest wheels then pull back the tailstock and pop in a suitable forstner bit.
What I have done is to take my blank of wood, mark the centers at each end, and use a multi-spur bit in the drill press to drill about 3/16" into the top of the blank at a size for your candle. (The multi-spur bit is similar to a Forstner bit but with a longer center spur. My Forstner bits have only a small nub in the center; the multi-spur bits have a small sharp point.) I then put the blank in the lathe and insert the tailstock center into the small hole the center point of the multi-spur bit created. If you have a small diameter tailstock center that fits easily into the drilled hole, you can drill the hole full depth before you turn it; otherwise you need to drill shallow enough that the tailstock center can reach the little center hole to center the blank properly. After turning the candle stick, finish drilling the hole to final depth on the drill press (be sure to figure out a secure way to hold it, as if it starts to spin it can be damaged.)
It is also possible to mark the centers, turn the candle stick, and then use a drill chuck with an appropriate taper to fit into the tailstock to drill the hole. What I found from experience is that sometimes the tailstock center enlarges to hole too much for the center point of the multi-spur bit to be accurately located, leaving a wobbled or off center hole. If you first pre-drill a shallow hole, that locates the multi-spur bit accurately. Without a drill press, you can mark the centers, put the blank between the headstock and the multi-spur bit in the tail stock, drill a shallow hole, switch to the tailstock center, turn the blank, and then finish drilling the hole using the chuck in the tailstock as before.
Every unique thing speaks matter.
That's very wise.