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1 Setting Up

Turn ordinary into beautiful with this classic rope pattern. Apply to anything cylindrical and you get an almost mesmeric appeal.

OK, so you don't want candlesticks. But how about a four-poster bed? What about one of those pedestal plant stands? Once you get the hang of carving the rope effect, which is a great little exercise in lines and surfaces by the way, you have the means to decorate a wide variety of things cylindrical. (I'm not kidding about the bed either! If you look at the download you'll see some lovely spiral bedposts that are made in a very similar way.)

In this lesson I'll go over the turning and holding.

Turning: You don't need to turn wood yourself; just find a turner who'll do it for you - and there are plenty out there.

Holding: You'll see I take the effort to make a special jig that helped in the marking out as well as the carving - details in the download. In the past, I held this sort of work in my lathe, so the jig is particularly for those of you without a lathe. Jigs are really only useful when you want to be highly accurate and/or repeat something, and are usually worth keeping. We'll use it again when we come to Barley Twist carving. If you invent your own way of holding, say for a one-off, remember: the wood mustn't move while you are carving and ideally should readily rotate when you need it to.

Warning: Never have a candle sitting directly in the wooden candlestick. If the candle burns down, the whole wax-soaked candlestick can go up in flames. Believe me - I've seen it happen twice! Search online for 'brass candle cups' or 'brass candle inserts'. As you can imagine, woodturners use them.

For subscribing members, below is my pattern, holding jig & tool list for the Rope Candlesticks Project.

Subscriber download: Rope Twist Candlesticks (PDF)
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