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Friday, January 7, 2011

The Italiante

This is the Italiante Chandelier. Anyone interested in building one of these can purchase the plans for it here. If you are used to ordering plans and decide to order these, I would like to warn you that you may be in for a surprise. When you look at these plans, if you do as I did, you will immediately think there is no way you'll ever be able to complete this. The plans offer very little instructions, and what there is of instructions are written in italian. There are no clear photos to help with construction. The only photos are on the plans themselves and are basically photocopies. If you've ever seen a color photo that has been photocopied, then you already know that it does not produce a picture with any kind of detail. If you still want to do this though, contact me and I can offer some advice if I can. Once you get started building, it isn't nearly as hard as it seems if you like giant jigsaw puzzles.
Now, all that being said, I would like to say next that this is, by far, the most challenging project I have ever attempted. This project challenged my skill, my tools, and most of all, my patience. According to what I read, you are supposed to have a minimum of an eighteen inch scroll saw to complete this project. I cut it on my old sixteen inch Delta with Flying Dutchman #3 spiral blades. So it can be done on an old cheap sixteen inch machine. It is not easy though. The largest pieces are eighteen inches wide and close to two feet long and need to be stack cut six high of quarter inch material. So, be ready to go through some blades. After completing this project, I realized I had used up over four dozen blades.
For the one I built, the main assembly is made of luan plywood. I don't necessarily like plywood, as some of you may know. I couldn't find any other source though for thin wood large enough for these pieces. The curves pieces of the domes and right below the domes is made of ten mil birch veneer. Everything else is cut out of cottonwood. I redesigned the candle holders to where I could put flameless candles on top of them. These can be moved by taking off some round bases I have on it so that you can use regular candles of you desired.
Upon completion, the Italiante is four feet tall, thirty six inches wide at it's widest point, and holds twenty four candles.
I'd also like to tell that I bought the plans for this project back during the early summer. I had been saving it for maybe a winter project. I had no other reason for building this besides the fact that I wanted to challenge myself. I built another chandelier sometime last year I think. While it was also a nice piece, it had turned out to be much easier than I had expected. Also some of my other projects had become sort of mundane at times. I had made up my mind that I wanted to do a project that challenged me at the scroll saw. This one did. I enjoyed it enough though that I'm already looking for something even more challenging! Give me some time and we'll see what I can come up with.