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Home > Turning a Cherry Candle Holder
Making a candle holder is not that difficult, however the beginning can be a bit scary, at least for me. You cannot completely balance a 16-18" log prior to putting it horizontally on a lathe. So when you first turn it on, you get a few surprises, some good, some not so good. I obtained these cherry logs from some log splitting I was doing. I hate to burn cherry wood for fuel, but I cannot keep all the logs for turning. So, as you can see log #1/'the log' is pretty ugly but it turned out to be pretty balanced. I like to use a 0.75" angle skew chisel to straighten the log out on the lathe. We all have favorites and that is my preferred. Just the point will clean up the log real quick and make it turn smoothly and in balance, then I change to a traditional curved gouge of varying diameter. The first holder is easier to turn than the second because you have to match the second to the first. I do a few measurements but to me it is not meant to be identical, very close, but not identical. If you want it identical, buy a pair made from a factory!

For the second holder, log 2, I ran it through my thickness planer to make it easier for me. Otherwise it was the same procedure.

For these holders, I finished them with many rubbings of tung oil, but you want them to discolor, turn darker red with time, to give them that aged appearance. I drill the candle opening using my drill press and a center point bit. Lots of smoke even though the wood is dry. Then I do some manual sanding where the hole is and they are ready for plenty of use.