Monday, February 22, 2016

Building the Candle Holder Rack

The actual candle holder rack for the offering luminary table posed a problem for me because I wasn't unsure how I wanted to approach it. I knew I wanted it to be a stepped up rack with different levels, but what it would really look like escaped me.

My well thought out plan of attack

So as I often do, with the barest of ideas in my head, I plunged forward on building something. Had I successfully performed the brazing the other day I might have made it out of more of the aluminum square stock I have on hand. But again, because my skills in this area are sorely lack, and I plan on having live fire burning in the candle holders, I didn't want to have to worry about the joints failing, the candles falling, and the haunt going up in a blaze of fire.So instead, I made it out of wood.

I took some rough measurements of what I thought would be a good size for the candle holder rack and then started trimming some MDF plywood down to size. I wanted it to have a somewhat light and airy appearance, yet also be sturdy enough to hold dozens of candles, so I used 3/4" square pieces, which would ultimately be held together by shelf planks that I would cut holes into.

The next design consideration was how many candles to add to a shelf. My limitations were the spacing between the 3/4" cross members. and the length of the shelf. Because I chose to have three shelves for the most interest, and with the shelves being a bit under 4" wide, that meant the opening that was available to me was around 1-1/2" or so. While I initially thought that would be undersized, I think it will work well in the end.

I laid out the spacing of the holes so that it gave me 9 openings per shelf. I chose that number for a reason.

In religious theology, numbers carry significance. Three, for example, the number of shelves on the candle rack, of course represents the trinity: the father, son, and holy spirit. Nine, however, also has significance as it represents divine completeness: Christ died at the ninth hour; according to Leviticus, the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) begins at sunset on the 9th day of the seventh Hebrew month; nine people in the Bible have leprosy; and nine people are stoned to death.

Of course, 3 shelves of 9 candles each gives use 27 candles: John the Baptist's 30th birthday was reputed to be on March 27, 27 A.D.; Mormon leader Brigham Young had 27 wives (what was he thinking?!?!?); Genesis 1:27 is God creating man in his own image; Matthew 27 is Jesus's crucifixion and resurrection; etc.

It's just one of those minor details that no one will ever pick up on but I want to add in. I recall reading once that there's a scene in Disney's Haunt Mansion where there's a book, maybe a dictionary, opened to the letter G, for ghost. The book is actually far away from where any tourist can actually see it, so it's a detail without purpose, other than Disney's penchant for completeness and depth.

I'm nowhere near willing to go to that level with everything, but where I can I think it adds a fun element to the haunt, even if no one else is in on the joke.

But back to building the candle rack: I measured out the spacing of the openings and used a Forstner bit to drill them out, then attached the shelves to framework and gave it two coats of black spray paint. But MDF plywood soaks up paint without a primer, so I'm going to need tout an additional coat on. I was using spray paint but I think I'll put the final coat on in regular acrylic because it will get the best coverage. I also want to add some wood trim to the face of the rack to hide the plywood edge. 

I'm going to hit up a dollar store to see if they have small tea light candle holders, preferably red, that will fit the holes, and I want to fashion a crucifix out of some flat steel stock I have to give it an added touch. But other than that, I think this candle offering luminary is complete. 


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