Incense Tower - Final Assembly

My Plane Hates Me

Incense Burner 4 - 01

My plane decided not to chamfer the top and bottom.

So, I took another block of wood, drilled four smoke holes, and glued it to the top.

The Bottom

Incense Burner 4 - 02

For the bottom, I used a chisel to scoop out a portion of the top face. The tower sits in this recession. I recessed the entire area because I thought ash would pile and get in the way if I had only made a groove. This is easier to clean.

Then, I drilled a shallow hole to insert the incense stick.


Incense Burner 4 - 03

Because this is nice maple, I didn't want to stain the tower; I wanted the wood's natural appearance to shine through. I did want to add some protection for it, though.

My polyurethane had hardened in the can since the last time I used it. It was fortunate, though, because it made me use an alternative. I used finishing wax.

Incense Burner 4 - 04

The wax filled in the gaps where my planing was off (read: every seam imaginable). I used a bamboo skewer to clean out all of the holes in the tower once I was done.

The finished project has a light sheen that looks nice. The wax has a similar color to the maple where it is thick, so the gaps are invisible. I was surprised at how hard the wax became, and it doesn't feel greasy at all.

This was the largest project I've done that didn't involve any power tools but an electric drill. Chamfering by hand is a lot more difficult than Paul Sellers or Roy Underhill make it look. I'm happy with the way it turned out, and it really gave me more of an appreciation for the craft.