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Hawaiian Koa Live Edge Votive Holder

We have had a tabletop votive holder on our ‘to do’ list for a while and finally got around to making one.  We wanted to do one that was a little wild and crazy, so we selected a beautiful chunk of gnarly Koa to work with.  First, we did a lot of clean up on the wood, which had a lot of dry ‘tissue’ adhered to and running through the beautiful hardwood areas.  After that, we made use of the wonderful revealed live edge to stair-step the layout of the votives.  We used an adjustable spade bit to rough out the openings for the votives, and then cleaned that up with a Forstner bit and lots of sanding.  We then tapered those openings to blend them in and did lots and lots of sanding, with drill attachments, the orbital sander and the belt sander to get the surface of the wood as smooth as possible while retaining some nice rustic quality.  Once this base was satisfactory, we cut discs of Cocobolo to use as inserts for the dramatic flair of the contrasting wood and to better hold the votives in place.  They also helped us to stagger the heights of the votives for more visual interest.  Again, lots of sanding on those pieces, and then they were finally glued in place.  The entire piece was finished with hand rubbed Minwax wipe-on polyurethane and Armor Seal polyurethane.  These finishes brought out the dramatic streaks of red in this particular piece of Koa on its top surface and the golden tones on the sides and bottom.


This votive holder measures 15 1/2” long x  5 1/2” deep x 4” tall (at its highest, including the glass insert).  It includes the five glass inserts.  These inserts are standard size and can hold tea lights (wax or LED) or mini wax candles (although candles without the protective metal holder will obviously stick to the glass).  This item includes a total of 10 wax tea light candles—5 for right now and 5 backups for later. 

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