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Make a centerpiece or mantel decoration that holds small vases using just one piece of wood.
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Locate three glass cylinder bud vases from a craft store (or you can use 6-inch test tubes). Select a drill bit slightly larger than the diameter of the vases.
From a 1/4-inch-thick oak or poplar board, cut the top/bottom (A) to length. For the sides (B), cut oversize blanks and trim them to size by cutting a 45-degree angle on each end (Project Diagram). Then trim 1/4 inch from one corner; the second corner will be trimmed later.
When cutting small parts, carefully lay out the shape prior to cutting using a very sharp pencil and a combination square.
Drill three evenly spaces holes in the top board to match the diameter of the glass bud vases(Project Diagram). Sand all of the parts with 150-grit sandpaper.
Assemble the vase by first making two halves. Glue the edges of each side (B) where the corner was trimmed and secure to a top/bottom (A) with painter’s tape. Support the side by clamping a scrap of the material used for the project to the top or bottom to support the parts.
When the glue has dried, remove the clamps and painter’s tape and assemble the two halves with glue and a clamp. The tips of the sides should extend beyond the top and bottom by 1/4 inch.
Where the remaining tips of the sides extend beyond the top and bottom, cut the material even with the top/bottom using a handsaw with fine teeth. Sand the cut marks smooth with 150-grit sandpaper.
Lightly sand the assembled project and apply masking tape to the bud-vase holder so you can paint the inside faces. Once masked, prime and paint the boards and allow to dry. Remove the tape and mask off the painted areas. Apply wood stain to the remaining raw wood. When the stain has dried, remove the painter’s tape and apply semigloss polyurethane to the entire assembly to protect the finish.
Lightly sand the polyurethane with a fine-grit sanding sponge and apply a second coat.