This project should be of particular interest to woodturners. It makes both an attractive and functional piece. I used Brazilian mahogany although its decorative grain would make walnut a superb choice. As an alternative design option, you could centre bore the stick to accept a cable and use the design as a table lamp. In addition to the waterleaf decoration you will use the berry moulding skills, as covered in previous projects. You will also use a form of decoration known as
gadrooning (sometimes referred to as lobing, knurling or nulling) which became popular on furniture during the early 1600s.
You can prepare the candlestick blanks by photocopying or redrawing Figs. 19 and 20 on pages 111-12 to scale. Turn your piece of timber on a lathe to the recommended size, bearing in mind that the circumferences must be the same as those in the plan drawing. Then mark one straight line running through all the sections to be carved, dividing the candlestick exactly in half. This is known as a line of symmetry (see Marking out Turnings, page 38). If you have centre bored the candlestick to accommodate electric cables, temporarily bung the holes with a dowel or cork, which will allow you to fix the nails for marking purposes.
Set the dividers to 10mm (%8in) and use them to gauge upwards from the bottom ridge of the section to be carved, forming a series of marks around the circumference. Then link the marks with a pencil to form a horizontal line. Now set the dividers to approximately 16mm (%ein) and mark nine equal divisions around the horizontal line.
Start from the symmetry line and finish exactly where you left off, Next realign the string (see page 39) for each dividing mark to aid drawing vertical lines down the entire length of the top section. Using the same method, divide the nine divisions above the horizontal line, forming 18 equal divisions above and nine below.
Set in a circle formed by the curved cutting edge of chisel No. Gl on a scrap piece of timber. Then
set the dividers to the diameter of the circle, which should be approximately 6mm (Vain).
Use the dividers to mark equal divisions where the berries are to be carved, taking care to do this at the base of the area rather than on the top of the ridge otherwise you will end up with inaccurate spacing. Start and finish at the symmetry line. You may need to re-adjust your dividers several times before getting this stage right and to use the string to ensure accuracy when marking the divisions in full.
Set the dividers to approximately 13mm (1/2in) and mark the largest circumference of the area to be carved. Complete the marking using th string to form vertical lines
Set the dividers to 13mm (1/2in) and measure downwards from the ridge where the leaf tips will meet the shoulder. Make a series of marks around the circumference and then link the marks with a penci to form the upper horizontal line. Reset the dividers to 11mm (7/16in) and repeat this process for the bottom horizontal.
Measure up from the bottom valley formed between the area to be carved and the turned ring. Next, set the dividers to a measurement of 21mm (13/16in) and walk them around the circumference of the top horizontal line, forming approximately 10 equal segments. Once again, start and finish in exactly the same position on the symmetry line. You may need to adjust the dividers slightly before using the string to help form perfectly straight vertical lines. Divide the segments exactly in half between the top and bottom horizontals, forming 20 even sections between the horizontals and leaving 10 above and below.
- A. Top waterleaves
- B. Berry moulding
- C. Gadrooning
- D. Bottom waterleaves
CARVING: STAGE 1
Select chisel No. 4 and gently set in the natural curve of the cutting edge from the bottom of the nine division lines to the bottom of the 18 division lines, stopping at the horizontal mark.
Carve the division lines away with chisel No. 5, ensuring that the bottom of the valley is in the exact same position as the pencil mark.
Carve a series of V lines in place of the pencil lines using chisel No. 5. Once again, ensure that the bottom of the V is located in exactly the same position as the pencil line.
Set in the leaf tips with chisel No. 4 starting at the top of the smaller division line where it joins the upper horizontal to the top of the longer division line. At this stage it is only necessary to mark the timber. Next form a series of tiny drill holes on the bottom horizontal where it meets the smaller division lines. These should be approximately 3mm (1/8in) in diameter and at a depth of around 5mm (3/16in).
CARVING: STAGE 2
Use chisel No, 4 to slice downwards from a halfway point between the leaf tips towards the leaf profiles which have previously been set in. The aim is to create a high central ridge which runs in line with the smaller division lines above. This series of cuts should be carefully repeated around the entire circumference.
Set in the cutting edge of chisel No. 2 along the top and bottom of each division, making the berries prominent.
Gently push the cutting edge of chisel No. 3 into the end of each segment to produce a rounded shape.
With chisel No. 4, form a high ridge line between the tips of the larger leaves. The ridge should run in a direct line with the smaller vertical division lines and should be formed using the same process as required for the top leaves.
Remember to slide the chisel blade towards the set in profile of each leaf, using the full length of the blade to make a clean cut. You may find it necessary to set the profile of the leaves in a little deeper so that you can more easily remove the waste timber from each of the segments.
- A. Top waterleaves
- B. Berry moulding
- C. Gadrooning
- D. Bottom waterleaves
CARVING: STAGE 3
Gently carve a V shape in place of all vertical lines with chisel No. 5. Once again, it is essential that the bottom of the valley you have created is in the precise location of the pencil line. The tapping technique is useful here.
Remove any waste fragments from between the berries using the pointed tip of chisel No. 1.
Chisel No. 4 is useful to carve away the waste wood from between the lobes at their base where they join the candlestick.
Use chisel No. 5 to create a valley in place of all vertical lines. Remember, accuracy is essential and take extra care as you approach the drill holes to avoid cutting past them. If you find that you are marking the timber surrounding the holes with the sides of chisel No. 5, stop your cut just before you reach the hole. The valley can then be completed by making two cuts with chisel No.1.Carve down towards the valley from either side, using the point of the chisel to connect with the hole.
CARVING STAGE: 4
Chisel No. 4 is ideal for creating the smaller leaves between the larger. After gently setting their profiles you will find that chisel No, 3 is a handy size to clean away the surplus timber underneath the leaves and around the bulb.
Round the surface of the leaves into the valleys using chisel No 4. Try to slide the chisels wherever possible as this will maximize their cutting efficiency and then with chisel No. 1 remove the waste from around the tops of the leaves.
Hold chisel 2 in the fist position and round the berries over. Refer to the techniques used in the berry moulding project and try to use both hands.
With chisel No. 4, round over the surface of each of the segments. Use chisel No. 1 to remove the waste fragments from the decoration’s uppermost rim. This chisel is also particularly useful for rounding over where awkward grain is encountered.
Form the smaller leaves between the tips of the larger ones using chisel No.4.Set in the profiles, forming a point for each end and remove the waste with chisel No.1. Use chisel No. 1 to elongate the drill holes into teardrop shapes which point upwards into the valleys. Use shaped punches to help define the tear drop shape further (see Making Your Own Tools section).
As above, round over the surface of the leaves into the valleys using chisel No, 4. Chisel No. 1 can be used once again to slice free the surplus timber.
After initially making a bung which sits in the candlebase hole, providing a plug for the screw to wind into, secure the base firmly to the bench using a bench screw. Then fix a nail with string attached in the centre of the bung to help you mark accurate and evenly spaced radii.
Set the dividers to 20mm (3/4in) and walk the points around the turning’s bottom shoulder where it meets the area to be carved. You may need to re-adjust the dividers slightly to ensure that the points finish in the same position as they began. After ensuring that all divisions are exactly equal, use the string to help convert the divisions into straight lines which radiate from the centre.
Use chisel No. 5 to replace each pencil line with a valley, taking particular care not to mark the top and bottom shoulders with the chisel, The fist position and tapping technique are both necessary for this procedure. If the valleys need to be straightened slightly, use the valley tool (see Making Your Own Tools section).
Set in the curve of chisel No. 4 along the front edge of each lobe where it meets the bottom shoulder to produce a rounded shape. Use chisel No. 1 to clean away any shavings that are still attached.
Round over the square edges of each lobe into the valleys using chisel No 4. Chisel No. 3 may also be of use to help round the lobes where they become thinner near the top shoulder. The waste timber still attached to each of the shoulders can then be trimmed away with chisel No. 1. To perfect the appearance of each section, a gentle sanding may be necessary to remove the tiny marks left by the chisel blade which only become exaggerated when polished.