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Intro to Fabricaiton

Week 5: Candleholder

My goal this week was to mix two materials that would not normally go together into one cohesive project.  I designed a candle holder that would combine maple wood and felt together to create a colorful cross section (Figure 1).

Figure 1 : Materials

Figure 1: Materials

First I used the miter saw to cut the wood into various sizes.  These pieces of wood came together to form a box with a pattern on the side (Figure 2).

Figure 2 : Initial Pattern

Figure 2: Initial Pattern

Then I cut pieces of felt to fit between the pieces of wood to add color to the pattern (Figure 3).

Figure 3 : Felt Pattern

Figure 3: Felt Pattern

I attached all of the pieces together using wood glue and allowed the block to dry with clamps (Figure 4).

When this was drying I realized some features of the build that would make completing the rest of the project difficult. First, the glue was not properly holding the wood and felt in one solid piece.  Since the felt is a soft material, the glue dried in an inconsistent way so the block was far from square.  Also, the felt and wood surfaces were not flush with each other so I new I would need to cut a bit off the edge to make this a clean surface.  Then I realized it would be difficult to sand the piece since the felt was embedded in the cross section.  At this point, I decided that the felt was creating too many fabrication obstacles. so I decided to start over.  This time instead of felt I used 1/8” cedar wood (Figure 5).

Figure 5 : Cedar Pattern

Figure 5: Cedar Pattern

This way I would still have the cross section pattern effect I was aiming for but with a different material.  Figure 6 shows the piece after it was glued. I used the miter saw again to trim the edges and sanded the piece until it was relatively square.  I had some trouble squaring off the piece particularly with the belt sander.  Then I drilled two holes in the top of the block with a spade bit. Perhaps because of the hardness of the wood, the spade bit had trouble drilling a deep enough hole for the tea light candles.  In the end, I did not want to break the drill bit, so I left one of the holes shallower than the other.  Ideally, both of these candles would fit in the holes and sit flush with the surface of the holder.

Figure 6 : Glue block

Figure 6: Glue block

The final result is shown in Figure 7

The process to create this candleholder created the most challenges I have faced in a build yet this semester.  Next time I would manipulate the design in a way that was more conducive to the tools I have available.  In another prototype I may want to try colored plastic instead of the cedar wood in order to get the color I was initially intending on having.  Overall, I think that this design needs to be fully reworked before I try another iteration.  I definitely, however, learned a lot from the mistakes I made this week and understand my limitations more clearly.  

Eva Philips1 Comment