Making a 1/12th scale Brass Candlestick


This is a brief step by step photo essay on how I make a miniature candlestick. These are machined out from brass stock as opposed to being cast. This process makes each one an original. The subject for this essay is a circa 1760 English candlestick. It features a cove molded square base with concave corners.


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Starting with measuring the original candlestick a drawing is made and the dimensions reduced to 1/12th scale.

Sawing 1/2” diameter round brass stock to length.

Turning base on a larger lathe to rough shape while being held in a collet.

Using a ball end milling cutter to shape cove molding on base. This is done in a milling machine with the work held in a rotating indexing fixture.

Turning a detail on the base in a small lathe.

After turning a bead with hand held gravers.

Hand filing the sharp machined edges to match the softer rounded edges of the original.

Drilling the hole for the nozzle in 3/16” brass stock that will become the stem.

Turning the stem to rough shape.

Hand turning the nozzle details with a graver. Note both original and drawing are used as a constant reference.

Cutting screw threads on the bottom of the stem with a 0-80 size die.

After hand turning the stem with gravers. Note the original is within line-of-sight to the miniature being made.

Adding the fine details like turned beads and smoothing all the surfaces.

Filing 8 facets on the stem just below the nozzle.

Polishing with jewelers rouge.

Signing with a .012” name stamp.

Screwing the stem into the base.

The finished miniature next to the base of the original.

A matched set of four miniature candlesticks.

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William R. Robertson | Kansas City, MO

"Details Matter"