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Tri Hex Votive

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318 copies
Eric Pavey

Project by

Eric Pavey
Belmont, USA

General Information

Create a simple 3-votive candle holder out of some scrap wood, using a 3-part cut. The first two use a V-bit for the hexagons, and the second an endmill for pocket clearing. All from Easel.

Like this project Open in Easel®
Material Description Price
Red Oak

Red Oak

6" × 12" × 1/2" Red Oak


Material prep

I used a piece of scrap redwood: The Easel design expects something at least 10" long by just under 4" wide, and the deepest cut is 1/4" (completely adjustable by you of course). At minimum, I’d go 11" long, just to provide space to help hold it down on either end.
Note, redwood is very soft: I’d recommend a harder wood to help hold the fine details easier.

For the below cut, I used a 90 deg V-bit & and 1/4" 2-flute upcut endmill. I had my DeWalt 611 set to speed “2” the entire time.

I also used more aggressive cut settings than Easel’s defaults since redwood is so soft: If you have any concern, for each of the Easel “Workpieces” you’ll open in the below steps, you can change the “Cut Settings” from “Custom” back to “Recommended”, and go from there.


Cut #1 : V-bit border

5 minutes

Load the Easel project, and select the ‘vbit main’ Workpiece from the bottom of Easel.

Home and start this cut, should only take a few minutes. Upon completion you should have the border of each major votive holder cut out.


Cut #2: V-bit detail

5 minutes

Select the ‘vbit detail’ Workpiece from the bottom of Easel.

When you go to cut this, choose the “last home position” option. The cut should only take a few minutes.


Cut #3 : Pocket clearing with the endmill

8 minutes

For this step, you need to swap bits: This is the technique I use in Easel:

  • At the end of the last cut, it should have re-homed the machine.
  • If you have a dust-shoe like me, you’ll probably need to move the toolhead away from the stock to make room for shoe removal and new bit insertion.
  • I jog the machine a certain number of ‘steps’ away to clear the stock, remembering how many times I pressed the jog button on the X/Y axes.
  • I then remove the shoe, and swap bits. If you’ve jogged the toolhead, the steppers should be enabled, meaning it should be hard to intentionally move the toolhead by hand. But care should be taken while removing the bit to not move the toolhead.
  • With the new bit inserted & tightened, jog the toolhead back the ‘same number of steps’ as before: You’re now at home XY, but Z has most definitely changed.
  • To re-home Z, I jog the z-axis down until the bit just touches the stock. If you want, you can have a piece of paper between the bit & the stock, and slowly wiggle it while jogging down on z: When the paper starts to scrape\rip, you’ve got it.

You can now select the ‘Endmill’ Workpiece from the bottom of Easel, and start that cut, using your new home position. It should only take a few minutes to cut the pockets.


Cut, sand, stain

15 minutes

You can now remove the piece from the wasteboard: I trimmed off the ends with my table-saw, and liberally sanded all sides with some 200 grit. From there, I applied some “Natural” Minwax stain to make the redwood grain pop, and let it sit out for a few days to get rid of the smell.



1 minute

CAUTION: When using this candle-holder, only use self-contained votives that come in the little metal tins: Do not use candles similar to my example photo (I was simply out of votives at the time) that have no metal protection : You do not want a candle to burn all the way down, and ignite your nice, stained, wood, candle-holder, and everything else around it! Use caution around fire at all times!


How I designed this

  • For the large hexagons, I used Apps → ‘Polygon Generator’ by Eric Dobroveanu. Then moved, rotated, scaled, and aligned them with each other.
  • For the small hexagons, I used Apps → ‘Honeycomb’ by Dan Marshall, doing a bit of back and forth trying to figure out the right settings to properly fill my stock.

Cannot simulate "vBit detail" says out of bounds. How do we fix this ?
I am trying to use on carvey
Eric Pavey
Good questions, not something I can answer since I've never had that issue on any cut I've had before; I'd suggest asking your question in the Inventables forums for better help.
Eric Pavey
Patricia Barnard
We are bee keepers ~ I LOVE this!!
Patricia Barnard
Eric Pavey
Thanks Patricia!
Eric Pavey
robert A carlson
nice I have two Oak trees in slabs and new Ex carve to play with be good start with thanks
robert A carlson
Eric Pavey
Can't wait to see it Robert, post some pics! :)
Eric Pavey