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A tapered (not turned) submit units this stand aside from contemporaries.

I’ve a factor for candle stands. These small tables are fast to make, don’t require a variety of materials to construct, and are helpful furnishings to personal. They make for glorious bedside tables, finish tables and work nicely as a standalone piece, too.

I ran throughout a photograph of this candle stand whereas trying to find one thing else—isn’t that once you discover the great things?—on the web database of Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Most candle stands have a turned submit. Other historic varieties I’ve seen that weren’t turned weren’t very engaging and are typically on the crude facet. This one, with its tapered hexagonal submit and comely legs had a singular look and I used to be taken with the desk instantly. Best of all, no lathe is important to make one.

1. The unique candle stand from Randolph County NC. Dating from round 1800.

The unique desk listed within the MESDA catalog was privately owned. After contacting MESDA, they kindly helped me get in contact with the proprietor who let me measure and doc the unique desk. The desk, described under, is a precise copy of the unique.

Tapered Hexagon Post

2. Pace out the hexagon on the big finish. Use a straightedge to attach the divider factors across the circle.

The unique desk was comprised of walnut, that’s what I’m utilizing right here, however any comparatively arduous species will work simply high-quality.

The hexagonal submit for this desk gives the look of a tough piece of furnishings to make, nevertheless it’s fairly easy to put out and form. Start by milling out the submit clean straight and sq.. Once that’s executed, lower it to remaining size being positive the ends are sq. as nicely.

3. Almost executed, planing the ultimate facet of the hexagon form to measurement.

Find the middle of the clean on each ends by utilizing a straightedge throughout the corners. Use an axe to make a mark the place the strains cross. Decide which finish you wish to be the highest, and utilizing a pair of dividers make a 2″ circle.

4. Set a chopping gauge to 1″ and gauge across the finish of the legs to put out the shoulders.

Use a straightedge and make a line from the middle mark to at least one nook of the clean. Using the purpose the place the road crosses the circle as a place to begin, use the dividers, identical setting as you simply used to make the circle, and tempo across the circle six instances.

5. To lay out the width of the tenon, a double-tooth mortise gauge set to the width (half″ on this case) of the chisel you’ll be utilizing works nicely. You’ll additionally must mark about 3/16″ from the highest and backside of the tenon to create a small shoulder.

The giant finish of the submit structure is an identical however utilizing a bigger 23/4” circle. Be positive to make use of the identical nook of the submit clean to make the starter line on the decrease finish as you used on the highest. This will guarantee the sides, or the 2 hexagons, are aligned between the 2 ends.

6. Cutting a V-groove on the waste facet of the chopping gauge mark makes for a clear and straight begin for the shoulder saw-kerf.

Clamp the clean to the bench and use a jack airplane with a closely cambered iron to hog off many of the waste on one side of the submit. Once you’re near the structure strains, end with a jointer airplane. A protracted straightedge is helpful to ensure the side is straight over the size of the clean. With the primary side full, flip the clean over and do the side reverse the one you simply accomplished. Continue on across the submit on this manor till all six are completed.

7. Saw the 2 lengthy cheeks first, then the shoulders.

I do know you’re most likely considering that’s a variety of wooden to airplane away, nevertheless it’s solely 30-40 minutes of labor to finish the submit with simply handplanes. Using a hatchet or drawknife to tough out the submit near measurement could be completely acceptable then end with planes.

Curvy Legs

8. Last, lower the tenon to size.

Using the illustration, lay out the leg blanks. Be positive to align the sample with the grain of the wooden in order that the grain is straightest by the curve simply above the foot. This is the smallest portion of the leg and thus the weakest; cross grain right here would possibly make for a tragic and quick life on your desk. After the leg blanks are lower to form we have to get the joinery out of the best way earlier than we do any of the shaping.

Tenons and Mortises

9. The eyeballed mortise structure works nicely on this case.

The legs connect to the submit with a easy mortise-and-tenon joint. The finish of the legs the place the tenons shall be lower must be sq. and straight.

10. The high and backside of the mortises are laid out with a machinist sq. to ensure the vertical location of mortises is identical.

Three mortises chopped into each different side across the backside of the submit connect the legs. There’s no nice methodology that I do know of to put out the leg mortises that doesn’t require making some form of jig. I had good success utilizing the 1/2” chisel I set the mortise gauge to to be able to lay out the mortise width.  Simply lay the chisel on the side the place the mortise shall be, eyeball it for heart and straightness, then hint down both facet of the chisel.

11. Most of the waste is bored out of the mortise with a 7/16″ auger.

You can measure and discover the middle of the side, mark 1/4” on both facet of heart and sq. off the underside of the submit to put out the mortise sides. This will get a bit of trick, as a result of there isn’t a lot space on the underside of every side to register the sq.. A small sq. is useful. Take your time and double verify your structure earlier than you chop your mortises.

12. Complete the mortises by paring the partitions to the structure strains.

Fit every leg to their mortises and quantity them; go for a comfortable match. The legs are tough to clamp in place as soon as the glue is utilized at meeting time. If they match tight and maintain themselves in place, you gained’t need to attempt to clamp them. The higher a part of the mortises will intersect so you will have to chamfer the ends of the tenons to maintain them from contacting each other contained in the submit.

13. Guidelines are drawn on by hand leaving about 15/16″ thickness on the narrowest level.

After all of the mortises are full, dry-fit the legs and submit. On a flat floor verify to ensure the ft are sitting flat. If they aren’t, you should utilize a block airplane to degree them. Also, with a framing sq. verify the straightness of the submit. If it has a lean, the ft or the highest of the tenon will be trimmed permitting the offending leg to maneuver up.

Legs and Feet

14. Set your marking gauge to three/16″, and with the fence towards the underside of the foot lower a deep line across the foot.

Even although the legs seem like they’d be tough and time-consuming to form, there isn’t a lot to them. Don’t fear about getting the three legs an identical to at least one one other (the originals aren’t). Once they’re mounted to the submit, slight variations within the form of the legs are virtually invisible.

Start by thinning the edges of the leg with a spokeshave simply above the ft.

15. Saw proper within the knife line to a depth of 1/8″ or so across the foot utilizing a fine-tooth noticed.

The facet taper goes up the leg from the skinny space about 3″ and down the edges of the ft leaving the very finish of the toe full-width. When you take a look at the underside of the ft they need to look trapezoidal. Using the spokeshave, spherical over the topside of the leg from just under the place they meet the submit, rounding progressively extra on the toe. Pay shut consideration to the grain and reverse route as wanted. A high-quality rasp can be utilized to remaining form the sharper radius areas. A card scraper works nicely on the edges and less-curved areas.

16. Finish shaping with a high-quality rasp.

The ft have neat element on the backside; a bit of pad that’s carved from the decrease a part of the foot. Again, that is simpler to execute than you’d suppose.

Use a chisel to around the areas above and under the lower. Here once more, preserve a detailed eye on the grain as you’re employed to forestall chipping the foot or the pad. The backside fringe of the pad is rounded over as nicely.

The undersides of the legs are flat so there’s not a lot to do right here. Shave, scrape and rasp them easy. Once all of the shaping is full, sand any areas which might be nonetheless tough. It’s a lot simpler to sand the legs now earlier than they’re hooked up to the submit.

Alternative Legs

Don’t be afraid to experiment with this design.

Variation A

I name this variation Falcon 9. (My eight-year-old mentioned this desk seemed like a rocket!). These are a straighter, less complicated profile with beveled edges. They embody a little bit of rounding to maintain from being too angular. Another plus is that the grain runs straight by, making them very sturdy.

Variation B

On this model, I additionally did sliding dovetails to connect the legs. The flat sides of the submit make chopping the socket and tail simpler than in a spherical submit.

Candle Stand Cut List

No. Item Dimensions (inches)

t w l

1 (A)  Post Three x Three x 22 5/8

3 (B)  Legs 5 x 15/16 x 13

1 (C)  Top 11/16 x 20 x 20

1 (D)  Top mount 7/Eight x 5 1/2 x 7 1/2

2 (F)  Battens 1 1/4 x 7/8 x 15 1/2

1 (G)  Toggle 7/8 x 5/Eight x 2 1/8

Round Tenon

17. The tip of the auger bit usually wants some downward strain to chunk into the top grain.

The high of the submit has a 1″ diameter tenon that attaches the highest. This will be made by utilizing dividers set to a 1/2” radius, and scribing a circle on the top of the submit. Reset the dividers to 1″, and with one leg on the top of the submit scribe throughout the sides to create a shoulder line. Saw the shoulder line first, after which chisel across the circle eradicating the waste to create the tenon.

18. This wedged dowel joint will proceed to carry even when the glue fails in some unspecified time in the future.

The submit I used right here had funky grain on the high that I used to be afraid would compromise the tenon. To repair the issue, I bored a 1″ gap about 21/2” deep into the submit and used an oak dowel with a wedge set into the underside for the restore. After making use of glue, the dowel was pushed in. When the wedge bottoms out within the gap it expands the dowel and locks it into place.

Tilt-Top Mechanism

19. Once the spherical tenon is full, apply glue to the leg mortises and tenons and assemble them.

The unique desk has a tilt high and that’s how I made mine. When tilted into the vertical place, the lean high saves house by permitting the desk to be saved nearer to a wall. In the case of this specific desk, the advantage of the lean high is negligible. With the highest horizontal it tasks 20″ from a wall, tilted vertically, the ft mission 15″. So, in case you wished to make yours with a rigidly mounted high it will be high-quality and would simplify the construct a bit. The tilt high does get a couple of further factors for “coolness.”

The high pivots on two 1/2” diameter spherical tenons which might be formed from the again fringe of the highest mounting block.

20. A pleasant element on the unique desk was a set of three small coves on the sides between the legs that have been formed with a gouge or rasp.

The tenons need to be flush with the highest of the block and again edge. Set a marking gauge to 1/2” and gauge all the best way round each ends of the block. Using the identical gauge setting, gauge from the highest and again edges to make a sq. the place the tenon shall be situated. From the entrance, noticed down the gauge strains on each the sides stopping 1/2” from the rear edge. Now you may noticed the opposite two strains leaving a 1/2“-square tenon.

21. Pare the tenon right down to a circle. Bore a half″ auger gap in a scrap to check the tenon as you get near measurement. Plane the highest again nook of the mounting block to the radius of the tenons after the tenons are formed.

The mounting block attaches to the spherical tenon on the highest of submit. After discovering the middle, bore a 1″ gap to simply accept the tenon.

The 1/4” vast mortise is 11/2” lengthy and about 1/2” deep centered on the thickness of the block.

22. The mounting block has a mortise lower into its entrance edge for the locking toggle to have interaction.

The top-mounting block attaches to 2 battens which might be screwed to the underside of the highest. The battens additionally serve double obligation by holding the highest flat and stopping warping. The battens on the unique desk prolong all the best way to the sting of the underside of the highest. For this desk I shortened them in order that they cease about 1″ shy of the sting of the highest, thus making them much less seen.

The battens have a taper on both finish; these are fast to do and lighten the look of the elements a bit. It’s greatest to put the battens out as a pair. First, discover and mark the middle, then measure both facet of the middle 23/4” and sq. the strains throughout. Next, measure or gauge from the highest of the battens down 3/4” on both finish. Use a jack airplane to take away the vast majority of the waste and end with the jointer.

23. The pivot holes are bored half″ deep, proper on the highest fringe of the batten. Be positive to bore as shut as potential to the sting as a result of if the auger breaks out the facet a bit that’s no drawback.

The ends of the battens are rounded to match the curvature of the highest, and angled again a bit too. Rough out the ends with a chisel and end the shaping with a rasp.

The pivot holes are uninterested in a 1/2” auger 21/2” from the centerline you made earlier. If the pivot gap is away from the sting the highest shall be set flat on the mounting block inflicting the highest to lean.

To full the battens, bore and countersink for the screws that mount the highest. There are three #12 screws in every batten, one 13/4” screw within the heart and one 11/4” screw at both finish. The outer screw holes are elongated barely to permit the highest to increase and contract with seasonal humidity modifications.


24. The block is hooked up to the spherical tenon with glue and two wedges.

The high is 20″ in diameter comprised of two boards I edge-glued. Lay out the round form of the highest with a big pair of dividers and lower it out. 

Next, on the underside of the highest, use a straightedge aligned to the middle mark on the underside of the highest, and make a mark throughout the grain the width of the highest. Make a parallel line 3″ on both facet of the primary line. Assemble the mounting block and battens, align the within edges of the battens with the structure strains. Slide the meeting so the middle mark of the highest is within the heart of the 1″ gap of the top-mounting block. With every thing in place, mark the screw places to the highest and bore the pilot holes.

Mounting the Top

25. With the desk and base the other way up, place the toggle about 1/4″ into the middle of the mortise on the mounting block. Mark the screw place on the highest, bore a pilot gap and set up the screw.

When the highest is tilted vertically it must be instantly over a leg to forestall it overbalancing the bottom. To accomplish this, the pivot facet of the mounting block must be aligned or “clocked” to the bottom. There are a few methods to do that. One method is to set the mounting block on the submit and eyeball the facet with the spherical tenons over one leg. The second method is to put in the block, after which on a flat floor lay the bottom meeting on its facet with the latch facet of the block down. This will align the tenon facet of the block with the only leg sticking within the air. Make a witness mark between the tenon and mounting block as soon as aligned.

The wedges should be oriented to place strain alongside the grain of the mounting block. Be positive to be aware of this when sawing the kerfs within the spherical tenon to start out the wedges in.

After the glue has dried, noticed the remaining portion of the wedges off and airplane flush with the mounting block face.

Assemble the battens to the block and screw on the highest.

To lock the highest within the horizontal place there’s a toggle that mounts to the underside of the highest. Use a marking gauge set to 1/4” and mark all the best way across the block. On the underside measure in 5/8” from each ends and sq. the strains throughout. Saw away the waste, then spherical the middle portion and ends with a chisel or rasp. In the middle of the toggle bore and countersink a gap for the pivot screw.


I like to make use of a end that has a good water resistance on most any form of desk I construct. We have children and pets; ultimately one thing moist will find yourself on it. My favourite end for items like it is a wipe on 50/50 Danish oil and satin poly combine. Simply rag it on, wait 15 minutes, and wipe off the surplus. Let it dry for 3 days or so, scuff and reapply. PW

Will Myers is a author, trainer and period-furniture maker in North Carolina.

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