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Old 07-11-2011, 11:52 AM   #1
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Default A menorah for my friend

A while ago, I came across a menorah in a Judaica shop that looked like it had possibilities. It was based on what turns out to be an old technique, making a candelabra with arms that pivot from one point. The arms can be arranged in a variety of configurations.

I found several examples of this type of construction online, as well as some instructions for making this type of project. However, no one seemed to have used it before as the basis for a menorah. I wasn't crazy about the original--the arms were vertical, and the base was disproportionately large and very plain. The finish was also very "commercial"--not nicely rubbed out. And, as is true of many specialty items, it was very expensive.

So, I decided to try my own "take". I completely reworked the arm design, to make it more graceful and vaguely reminiscent of Hebrew letters. I added a touch of color to the "shamus", the 9th candle, which is used to light the others. I carried that color into the base, which I shortened considerably, and made much thicker. I cut off the corners and beveled the top edge for interest, and added a small wood collar at the base of the pivot to keep the arms off the base. I also used a 5/16" hardwood dowel instead of a metal rod, for simplicity of construction. In my earlier versions, I glued on the top piece, but left it loose for this one so it could pivot, using some blue tape around the top of the dowel so it would fit tightly.

The candle holders were purchased from a Judaica store so they would fit standard Chanukah candles. I added some cork circles to the lowest arm, and to the base, to prevent scratching. Several coats of lacquer and a rubdown gave it an nice silky feel, and an attractive glow.

One of my friends saw my prototype and asked me to make one for him. Although he wanted to buy it from me, that was out of the question, so I guess I'll give it to him instead of a bottle of wine the next time they invite us to dinner.

It was fun to design, and gave me a chance to try out my new, aggressive 180 grit Mac mop for the edges, followed by a 220 grit sanding mop and a final sanding by mouse sander and by hand. I was very impressed with how well those two mops worked to soften all those edges.

Bit early for the holiday season, but I had the wood, and the time, so why not?
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File Type: jpg Selwyn's menorah, closed.jpg (57.1 KB, 50 views)
File Type: jpg Selwyn's menorah, staggered.jpg (55.7 KB, 49 views)
File Type: jpg Selwyn's menorah, opened.jpg (31.1 KB, 47 views)

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Old 07-11-2011, 12:44 PM   #2
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Absolutely beautiful, Carole!
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Old 07-11-2011, 01:38 PM   #3
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Another winner for sure! Your work is inspirational.
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Old 07-11-2011, 02:50 PM   #4
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Stunning! Thanks for sharing with us.
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:15 PM   #5
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You never cease to amaze me Carole .... congratulations.

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Old 07-11-2011, 09:39 PM   #6
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Wow that is something else.......love the quality of your work Carole.
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Old 07-11-2011, 09:48 PM   #7
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:02 PM   #8
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Carole!!!!!...That is just magnificent...!!!!!!!!
...And so much thought out into it....!!!!

I love your attitude about giving one to your friend who wanted to buy one. (85% + of everything I've ever made has been a gift for someone...)

I'm speachless....

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Old 07-11-2011, 10:59 PM   #9
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Old 07-12-2011, 12:11 AM   #10
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Excellent design and construction Carole. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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