Intro to fabrication – Week #2 – Hanucake (חנוגיה)

This week we had to make multiples of one object, using order of repeated methods. I knew that I wanted to try the circle jig with the router, so I thought what I can make with a circle? or a few circles? because of the holiday season that’s coming, I thought why not doing something for Hanukkah..that can be useful eventually..So I’ve decided to create a cake that will be a Menorah for Hanukkah. It need to have 9 parts, one for the “Shamash” which you light the candles with, by the jewish religion you need to transfer light to the Hanukkah candles, and not light then straight from a source of fire. And I need to have another 8 parts for another 8 candles that symbolize the 8 days that an oil tin can lasts when the Maccabees liberated the Temple from the hands of the Greek invaders. They found only a small cruse of pure and undefiled olive oil fit for fueling the Menorah. The problem was, it was sufficient to light the Menorah only for one day, and it would take eight days to produce new pure oil. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days and nights.

I started by going to Prince lumber,  I knew that I’ll need to have at least 3 pieces of wood and stick them together, so I needed wood glue, also was interested to see how the place looks like and what they can offer –  and maybe some free wood left overs..

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When I arrived it was great to check out all the different router bits that they have, and I found the guerrilla glue the Xialong from 2nd year recommended me when I asked him about this. I went to the wood shop and talked to some guys about the different materials that I need, one piece that they cut was  really rough because they use large saw for large wood plates, it’s not good for small pieces and I wanted to get just 8″*8″ pieces. I ended up getting 2 MDF’s and one pine wood pieces. When I went to pay, they gave me the MDF’s for free saying it’s a small piece and that I can just have it…I also got a few pieces from their left overs.

I sent back to ITP and started to set my area for the router work. I got some help from Aaron, from 1st year, after we spoke about it and he told me he already did this, and had a sacrificial wood plate that I can use under my materials.

So I placed the circle jig, and I wrote down which bit I used, it was one of the most used in the red router box, I used drill to make the circle center pin hole, but basically the first problem that I had, till the end of my cuttings was where to place clamp in order to keep small area in place, while using the circle jig. This is the set up:


This is the first tryout:

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I first started with the pine wood because I had large piece in case something will fail:

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I ran through the sacrificial surface but I guess that was it meant to do…

I continued to the MDF which was way smoother!…


I held it with two clamps and just did it in stages, moved it along the router circle direction..I guess that I just needed to get a large piece instead of a small one..:


The best part was to sand everything:

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All three pieces didn’t had the same exact measurements, but I guess that after they will be in one piece I can sand everything to match it..

I followd the instruction on the glue bottle and set my working space for it:


I used a bit of water on the surface, and kept it for night with two clamps on it.

This is how it looked in the morning after, although it takes only 2 hours to dry:


The glue actually multiples it’s capacity… I wend back to the sanding machine:

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Now it looks like a cake!

Next stage is actually the multiples part- how to saw it evenly for 9 parts..After printing an example of the parts, I measured it on the wood cake:


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I had to basically hold the cake for each piece. The saw was not that accurate, and I ended up lining up the cake for each cut. In one piece, I held it in straight line but not in the accurate line so I needed to go back and cut the piece, so I ended up having there two cuts accidentally…

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I tried to make a temporary jig- it didn’t help 🙂


Next thing I did was to paint only the top side of the cake, I hope it will add to this cake and not ruin it, anyway most of the cake will keep the slices feature visible. First I tested the color and the finish spray I got from Blick art store, I wanted it to have a shiny look to have contrast with the wood material.


By covering the wood i was able to paint it easily:




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After I painted it in 3 layers of red, I taped paper all over the pieces so I can spray the glaze on it:

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Nest step is drilling the candles holes.

I got Leon help with the Forstner bits he already got. I know we shouldn’t lend to others, but Leon was kind enough to let me try the bits. I made some tryouts on the pieces that I tested the color and polish on:


What looks like the perfect size for the candle- was not, the two smallest sized in the kits was or too small or two big. I decided to go with the bigger one and just melt the bottom of a candle and stick it to the base of a hole. I then measured the same distance for the candle for all the pieces.


I made a little jig so I could slide the pieces in and hold them in place..I needed some more woods to make it not move at all, but it helped more than I thought.

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And this is the final piece for now:

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I also got a nice cake box for it..I’ll post it soon.

Happy Hanukkah!




1 comment.

  1. These look great. I’m impressed the slices came out so nice on the bandsaw.

    Glad going to Price Lumber got you some free material. It pays to actually visit.

    Don’t you want to paint the outside of the cake too.

    One thing I had a problem with is you clamping to the CNC bed. Don’t do that. The CNC is not a work bench and clamping to it can actually damage the machine.

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