Candleholder with Matchbox Slot

Sometimes the power goes out when it is too dark to see. And if, after you’ve stumbled around looking for a flashlight, you find one with dead batteries, you’ll need to stumble around some more until you find a candle and matches. By now, you’ve probably got several bruised toes and may even have let some profanities slip.

Good news, Popular Mechanics October 1957 (pg. 194) has the answer. This simple candleholder has a slot for a matchbox in the bottom so you’ll always have them both together, and the handle makes it easily portable. Unfortunately, if what I heard from the garage while Gordon made it is any indication, you may end up just getting the profanity out of the way before the power outage. But once it’s made, as long as you don’t lose it or bury it beneath other things, all frustration is gone by the time you actually need it.

The instructions for this project were very sparse:

A lot of assumptions are made here about the skill level/experience of the person making the candleholder. And unless you have a matchbox of those exact dimensions, you may need to change those as well.

Here’s what Gordon did:

1: Measure your Matchbox and Cut Sheet Metal to Match

Use the diagram as a guide and adjust the measurements as necessary. You’ll need to leave enough wiggle room to be able to slide the box in and out. You’ll want to cut slits on at least one side to expose the striker. You can also change the size on the socket to match the size candle you’d like to use.

2: Bend/Shape the Metal

You’ll want a wood block or other straight, ninety degree edge to bend the box around and dowels for the candle socket and handle. Gordon cut a 2 x 4 block to size and used a ball-peen hammer to shape the metal.

3: Rivet Everything Together

Once you’ve made sure the matchbox fits, use small nails to rivet all the pieces together.

Now you are ready to insert your matchbox and candle and put it in easy reach in case of emergencies. Or throw it out because you are so frustrated with it.

Exactness of Instructions: 5/10

The measurements are all very precise, but everything else is left up to the imagination/skill of the builder. Gordon did fine. I would not have.

Ease of Build: 7/10

There was a lot of swearing from the garage. The steps aren’t terribly complicated, but can be really frustrating to work out.

Relevance: 8/10

If you need a candle, you need a match. It’s nice to have them together. But if you’d rather use flashlights, you’ll need to make a battery box instead and the relevance of this one goes way down.

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