I think one of the most rewarding parts of being a woodworker is the creative process. You start with an idea, either a request from someone or just something you want to build. It begins as an image in your head; a table, cabinet or in this case a candle holder. Now that “concept” can look a lot of different ways in your head and can have a variety of differing features. How many candles? What kind? What shape? Should it be simple and quick, or require a bit of engineering? My next step is to hit books and the internet to see what others have created. Sometimes a shape or clever concept grabs your attention and you tuck it in the back of your head. As woodworkers, most of us want to leave our mark on a design, so we’d rather adapt concepts than copy. Good for us! With some ideas in mind, I hit the drawing board, or in today’s reality – SketchUp.
You can use SketchUp to create an overall look for a piece, but it’s hard not to “build” it in cyberspace. That’s where the engineering comes in. You can start with simple blocks of wood and simply put them together, but most of the time we end up building the joinery into the design along the way (and that’s a good thing!). The design may change as you build because you conceptually build the piece in your head as you design, considering tools used to create the joinery, what should be done first, etc. Once you have a design, you’re ready to hit the shop. And then things start to change again because oddly enough building in your head or on screen doesn’t always exactly match reality. Glue doesn’t hold as well, pieces are smaller and more awkward when certain tools are used, so we adapt along the way.
And that’s the creative process. I know I enjoy it and I’m pretty sure it’s an important part of woodworking for most folks. Even though the projects we offer here at Popular Woodworking have had some of this process worked out for you, we love to share that process so that you can learn and understand along the way. And we definitely encourage you to interrupt our process and interpret our designs to fit your needs and preferences! So enjoy the journey, and we hope you’ll enjoy the process in making this Votive Holder.
– David Thiel
Thanks to our sponsors! Woodcraft – https://www.woodcraft.com & Titebond – http://www.titebond.com
Get the PDF plans & cutting list for the shelf here: http://bit.ly/ICDT_Votive_Holder_Plans
For the SketchUp file: http://bit.ly/ICDT_Votive_Holder_SketchUp