No Lathe Necessary

I definitely have a soft spot for candle stands. They are usually quick to make and don’t require a lot of material. Maybe building these smallish tables appeals to my short attention span too.

The original table


This example I ran across in the MESDA database but was owned by a private collector. With the help of the folks at MESDA I was able get in contact with the owner, measure and document the original piece. The walnut candle stand originates from Randolph County North Carolina, dating from around 1800.

What I turned me on about this one was the post, not turned but hexagonal. It is shaped with hand planes. Considering how bad a turner I am, is a very good thing.

Below are a few pictures showing some of the tool marks that give some clues to the construction methods used to make it.

Tilt top mechanism.
Leg Detail
Underside of the post and legs; dog bites, rasp, gouge and hammer marks. The hammer marks are probably from when the other end of the post was driven against the bench dog.
There were several dog marks around the perimeter of the top.
Plane tracks from a cambered iron.
IMG_2832 (2)
A new table just completed, patterned from the original.

There will be more to come about this table here. It will also be featured in Popular Woodworking Magazine sometime in the near future.


-Will Myers



12 thoughts on “No Lathe Necessary

  1. I can’t turn to save my life and I have an odd(?) affinity for regular angles so this form appeals to me very much.

    Plus, I just love walnut.


      1. Two of the three joints had small nails thru the tenons. These were repairs from point in some time. Are they as good as dovetails? Both joints have their pluses an minuses, but yes, overall I would think so.


  2. Thanks Will! I love it. I am not much of a turner myself, though I haven’t really tried much of it.

    This table is certainly on my to do list.

    I look forward to more detail on your build.


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