Wooden Tea Light Holder

Adam Gabbert
by Adam Gabbert
This was a black walnut log that I pulled out of a friends orchard about a year ago. I re-sawed (re-sawing is cutting wood to smaller or thinner dimensions) a few months back.
I figured, ironically, that I would use the live edge (A live edge is the actual tree, under the bark, that isn't cut by a machine) to make something for our home. And a tea light holder came to mind.
When I cut it open, I found some beautiful figuring. (Figuring is the movement in the texture of the wood I'm pointing to.)
I ran it through the jointer to get a perfectly straight edge on one side of the workpiece. This is imperative because running wood that doesn't sit tight to the table saw fence is very dangerous.
Then holding that edge to the table saw fence, I cut off the live edge for the tea light holder.
I measured some tea lights, so I knew what diameter and depth hole to drill.

I measured some tea lights, so I knew what diameter and depth hole to drill.
I set up a temporary fence on the drill press. And marked center.
Then I laid out three holes on the tea light holder. And drilled out the sockets for the tea lights with the right sized Forstener bit.
I then sanded all the machined edges starting at 150, working up to 220 grit sand paper. And cleaned up the live edge.
Then I applied three coats of wipe on polyurethane.

Let it dry. And it was ready to be handed over to my wife.
And this is what it looked like, the finished live edge tea holder.

Thanks for checking this out, and we'll see you on the next one!

— Adam
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2 of 3 comments
  • LABrown LABrown on Jan 10, 2017
    Beautiful! Unfortunately, we don't have any walnut trees but I will definitely try it with our native oak!

  • Whitley WoodWorks Whitley WoodWorks on Jan 12, 2017
    Very Cool looking. I really do like tea light holders. I have made many over the years.....Nice work..