Monday, June 28, 2010

Candle Rack - Part V

Okay, time to get this candle rack finished. Well, almost finished :)

The front of the case has two rails: one at the very top and one at the bottom of the candle till...

Wait! Stop the presses! That's it! Candle till! CANDLE TILL! That's what this thing is! The name has appeared! Yes!

...just above the drawers. I decided to mould the inside edge of both rails for some visual interest, but I didn't want to get too complex because the candle till :) design is rather understated, in a "Shakerish" kind of way. In the end I went with a simple side bead, and was quite happy with the result.

Here's the tools I used for this step:

The #3 smoothed the surface and edge prior to the moulding being stuck. The 1/4" side bead plane by Andruss (Newark, NJ 1821-41) did what it was made to do over a century and a half ago - amazing!* The Veritas medium shoulder plane I used to clean up a little tear-out in the quirk shoulder by adding a very tiny bevel to the arris. In front of the planes is the finished rail.

* Side note: I'm pretty sure this is one of the original group of planes that started me down the moulding plane path in a big way. You can click on the new "Moulding Plane" link in the "Post Categories" section in the left navbar for more on this topic.

The rails were glued to the case while it was being held in the front vise, allowing easier clamping. Here's a shot of the bottom rail being attached.

The next step was the pediment. In my original plan, the pediment was going to be an ogee or cyma curve. But now I was reconsidering.

I created the blank...

...and toyed with the idea of just going with that. But it didn't feel right - too plain and it didn't fit with the curved front of the case.

So I wanted a curve, which I could have worked out with a batten, as I did with the front, but instead I reached for some curve templates:

What? Doesn't everyone keep a Crock Pot lid and an angle food cake pan handy in the shop?

After tracing both curves on the blank and looking at it on the case, I chose the elliptical curve (Crock Pot). Then it was just a matter of shaping the curve with a drawknife and spokeshave.

After that, it just needed to be glued in place. The only tricky part was I wanted it to be attached before the back went on, so I could use the underside of the top to clamp it. As I wanted the back and the pediment to be flush, this meant I needed to make the back so that I would know how thick it would be and then give the pediment the appropriate overhang.

So, time for the back. I brought the thinner stock left over from resawing the case sides (roughly 1/4" - the sides are 1/2" thick) over to the bench and transferred the dimensions directly. I left it slightly oversized and would plane it flush after it was attached.

I also needed the thin stock for the angled back of the till section, so I made a cardboard mock-up to determine the correct size. The short hunks of dowels, with orange paint streaks from their days as part of a pipe clamp rack, are standing in for candles.

Once I was finished adjusting the cardboard to get the correct angle and fit, I used it as a template and cut the stock with a knife.

This worked great, much better than trying to saw the flexible wood, but I was a little to aggressive and split off a chunk that ran inside the line - drat! Oh well, the candles will hide that reminder to take it easy.

I glued cleats across the back of the stock to stiffen it and flatten out some cupping it was developing. Because this was cross grain, I only glued the middle couple of inches - a bit of an experiment really, we'll see how it works out.

You can see the pediment, waiting in the background, asking "Weren't you just about to glue me on about an hour ago?"

Yeah, yeah. So I did - and then the back.

The back was nailed on, and here's the tool set for that job:

"What's that? Why yes, that is a 30.06 On A Stick™ and serial #000001 to boot! A true collectors item - thanks for noticing!"

And there it is - just waiting on the drawers...

Final Part VI coming SOON!


  1. Nice! I particularly like the tiny dovetails on the top, and the mouldings. It's those little details that really add a personal note.

    I'm, however, not quite sure why one would need a candle till - I'd store saws in it. But then, the adored one might have a strong opinion on that, she usually has, on candle-related stuff.



  2. Michael - Thanks! I feel the same way about the little details - and often times I find that "less is more". As far as the saws - they'd have to be pretty tiny, and besides, I don't think they'd burn that brightly... ;)

  3. Looks like it's come together nicely. Look forward to the next project.

  4. Hello Dan:
    From the north of Spain.
    Nice tails, and one question.Why didn´t you insert the rails also with tails ?, the pice sames very nice and also in the art and crafts style.
    ( sorry for my english )

    cheers, Anxo Mosquera

  5. Daniel - Thanks! I'm not sure yet what the next project will be. I have some work to do on the shop itself, and several repair type projects in the hopper...

    Anxo - Thank you! As for the rails, I wanted them proud of the surface to match the overlay drawer fronts (next Candle Till post). If the drawers were going to be inset, or I didn't want the whole front face of the final product to be flush, then I think dovetailed rails would have been a great option. Thanks for the idea, I'll have to try that on a future project.

  6. I thought I was the only one that used everyday items to find the perfect curves for my projects. Five gallon bucket lids and coffee cans are a couple that I use fairly often.