The Early American Candle Sconce

Here’s an attractive, early American style wall sconce that’s universal enough in its design to fit well with practically any home decor. Plus…you can sell them individually, or in pairs to grace both sides of a hall mirror, window, fireplace mantle or wall collage. We made ours from poplar with a walnut stain, but cherry, maple, oak, mahogany or virtually any hardwood will work fine for this project and look great when finished properly.

Begin by making the patterns for both the Back and Chimney Platform from pieces of 1/8″ to 1/4″ masonite or hardboard.

Cut out the shape for the Back pattern, using your bandsaw, scroll saw or sabre saw and sand the edges smooth with a small diameter drum sander. When making your pattern for the Chimney Platform, be sure to drill a small, 1/32″ diameter through-hole at the center point, where the Candle Cup will be mounted.

Trace the Back pattern onto your workpiece, cut out the Back and sand the edges smooth, as you did when making your pattern. If you have a bandsaw or scroll saw, you can pad saw multiple pieces at once (up to the cutting depth limits of your saw) by temporarily attaching them together with double-stick tape, then separating the individual Backs once you’ve cut them out.

Cut out the 4-1/2″ x 5″ blanks for the Chimney Platform. Use your Platform pattern to mark the center by inserting a small wire brad through the 1/32″ hole and tapping it with a hammer. Using a pencil compass with a soft, #1 or #2 lead, clearly mark the position of the 3/16″ deep circular groove that will hold your glass chimney (determine this diameter from the chimney you plan to use). Once you’ve drawn a dark, easy-to-see circle for your groove location, use a 1/8″ diameter drill bit to bore a pilot hole all the way through the Platform stock at the circle centerpoint.

Mount the Chimney Platform blank to your lathe screw center from the back side, so your drawn circle is visible. Using a parting tool, cut a 3/16″ deep by 3/16″ wide groove in the face of the Chimney Platform. Use some very fine sandpaper to lightly sand off any burrs or rough edges around the groove before removing it from the screw center.

Remove the Platform from the lathe, cut the semi-circular outer shape and sand the edges smooth with your drum sander.

Mount a 2″ length of 1-1/2″ square stock to your lathe screw center and turn the candle cup.

Shape the edges of the Back and Chimney Platform using a router with a 1/4″ rounding-over bit.

Attach the Chimney Platform to the Back with glue and two #10 x 1-1/2″ wood screws. Attach the Candle Cup to the Chimney Platform with glue and a #8 x 1-1/4″ wood screw. Apply the stain and finish of your choice.

Suggested retail price: $25 to $30 each — $40 to $50 a pair.

Desk Components
Back(1)3/4 x 6 x 30
Chimney platform (1)3/4 x 4-1/2 x 5
Candle cup (1)1-1/2 x 1-1/2 x 2
Glass Chimney 
Flathead Wood Screws (1)#8 x 1-1/4″
Flathead Wood Screws (2)#10 x 1-1/2″
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