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I have many a childhood memory of "helping" to make a chanukiyah out of a block of wood and eight hex nuts glued down to it (often with 2 more stacked in the center for shamash); each hex nut was supposed to hold a candle, but with the standard size chanukah candles, you always had to force the candle or whittle away some of the wax and often the candle got broken in the process.

Is there a readily-available size of standard hex nut that will accommodate a standard sized chanukah candle? (And if so, why didn't any of my Judaica arts-and-crafts teachers think of that?) Is there a size that would fit a big white shabbos candle?

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I would avoid using big white Shabbos candles on a wood block. Once, on a Friday afternoon in college, I did just that, having melted the bottoms of the candles onto the tops of the hex nuts. My window happened to be near a radiator, so the heat of the radiator plus the heat of the flames made the candles melt down to encase the wood block. The result was a metacandle with the wood block as wick. Since it was Shabbat, and it was on foil, so it wasn't posing an imminent threat, I had to just watch it burn until a non-Jewish neighbor opened the window, and the wind put it out. –  Isaac Moses Dec 1 '10 at 16:45
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"metacandle"... wow, you have some way with words! :) –  Alex Dec 1 '10 at 19:46
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My memory tells me the hex nuts we used as children were the perfect size. I will have to examine a specimen this week. –  WAF Dec 1 '10 at 22:19

2 Answers 2

Perhaps a 3/8 - 0.3750 finished hex nut or a 3/8 heavy hex nut?

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shabbos_upvoter, Welcome to mi.yodeya, and thanks very much for this bit of research! I look forward to seeing you around. Unfortunately, the tables you linked to don't provide internal dimensions for the nuts. Any idea what those are? If we can get that, we can try to compare to the cross-sectional diameter of the standard candle. –  Isaac Moses Dec 9 '10 at 19:40
    
@Isaac: 3/8 is the internal dimension. –  Chanoch Dec 9 '10 at 19:42
    
Ah. I see. Well, according to (dimensionsguide.com/hanukkah-candles-sizes), the candles are 3/8", too. So, I guess it should be possible to screw them into a 3/8" nut. –  Isaac Moses Dec 9 '10 at 19:45
    
Isn't there a Gemara about how you can't fit an item of width X into an item with exact opening width X? If the candles are 3/8" and nuts are 3/8", I'm guessing something had to get squeezed a bit. I think the candles are also wider at the base. –  Shalom Dec 9 '10 at 20:54
    
I'm not sure you need a Gemara for that observation! :) The wax is soft enough that if you screw it in, I think the nut's threads will bite in. Someone ought to do the experiment, though. –  Isaac Moses Dec 9 '10 at 22:42

A 3/8" hex nut fits a 3/8" bolt, making the hole in the nut slightly larger than the bolt which would be about the size of a 3/8"candle. Now, if the candle does no fit into 3/8" nut or is a little bigger, then you could use a 7/16" hex nut. Avrohom Horowitz

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Avrohom, Please consider registering your account on mi.yodeya by clicking register/login, above. That way, all of your contributions will be grouped under the same account, even if you connect from different computers. –  Isaac Moses Feb 10 '11 at 21:19

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