Dress up your mantel for Hanukkah with a menorah made using plant hooks.
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From the 2 x 2 board, cut the base (A) 10 inches long (Plant Hook Menorah Project Diagram) and the top (C) 2-1/4 inches long. From the 1-inch square dowel, cut the pedestal (B) 8 inches long. Smooth each piece with 120-grit and 180-grit sandpaper.
Because the top trim (D) and the base trim (E, F) involve miter cuts on short pieces, avoid the usual step of cutting oversize pieces of square dowels to be cut to size. Instead, you’ll use the length of the dowels to keep fingers safely away from the saw blade while cutting miters.
Drill a countersunk 1/8-inch pilot hole centered on the length and width of the base (A). Then drill a centered 1/8-inch pilot hole on one end of the pedestal (B).
For greater accuracy when drilling into the end of the square dowel, make a simple guide by using the drill press to bore a vertical hole in a small piece of scrap wood. Transfer the bit to a handheld drill and place the scrap on your drill bit with just the tip exposed. Press the tip into the wood where you’ll drill the hole, and force the bottom of the scrap against the end of the dowel. The scrap will guide the bit just enough to start the hole. After you drill as far as possible, remove the scrap and finish drilling the hole.
Apply glue to the end of the pedestal. Drive a #8 x 3-in wood screw through the base and into the hole in the bottom of the pedestal, pulling the pieces together. Check that the sides of the pedestal are parallel with the edges of the base. Set the assembly aside to dry while you work on the top.
Cut a 45-degree miter on one end of a scrap board to use as a stop on your miter saw. Then cut a miter on one end of the 1/2-inch square dowel. Hold the inside edge of the miter against a corner of the top (C) and mark the second cut at the opposite corner. Clamp or tape the mitered stop to the saw using the mark as a guide, and miter-cut the first piece of top trim (D) to length. Because the dowel is square, you can flip it upside down to place the miter against the stop to cut the second top trim piece. Repeat for the remaining two pieces.
Measure 7/8 inch from one end of the top. There, glue and clamp the first mitered top trim piece in place centered on the top -- use a square to help with the alignment. After the glue dries, add the remaining pieces one by one.
Miter-cut the front and back base trim (E) to fit the base. Then cut the end base trim (F) to length. Glue and clamp the trim to the base with the bottom faces flush. After the glue dries, sand as needed and fill any gaps at the corners.
Center the top assembly (C, D) on the pedestal (B) and mark its position on the bottom end. Glue and clamp the top assembly to the pedestal.
Spray-paint the assembled wood parts with at least two coats of paint (Deep Sea Diving shown). Lightly sand the factory finish of the two plant hooks and paint both to match the rest of the assembly.
Center one plant hook on the side of the pedestal (B) as far up as it will go without touching the top trim (D). Then screw it in place with #8 x 3/4-in machine screws. Repeat for the other plant hook.
With hot glue, fasten a chrome flange centered on the top of the pedestal. Then glue a flange about 1 inch from the top and one even with the curve of the plant hook. Glue the two remaining flanges evenly spaced between the inside and outside flanges. Repeat for the other plant arm.
For added safety, use only LED candles inside glass holders instead of wax candles.