Crucifix Restoration

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Project by ChefHDAN posted 09-05-2015 02:43 PM 1131 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A few weeks ago our Priest asked for another project. In his travels he acquired a Crucifix from a closed church somewhere in the archdiocese. The carving of the corpus is stunning, and quite old. I think it’s from the 70’s but Father thinks it’s much older, and it’s hard to say. When he first showed it to me the corpus was on a huge QS red oak cross 7’ x 3.5’ from 2” x 5” stock, and there was a finger broken from each hand. Removing the corpus from the QS oak cross I found multiple holes in the back, so perhaps it is very old and got the oak cross in the 70’s. Father asked for a scaled down dark cross for the corpus so that the scale would fit behind the altar in our chapel, and could I fix the fingers & also make a smaller INRI plaque. Cross, “No Problem”... carve and repair the hands and not make it look Mick Mouse…. Big Problem, I suck at fruit / food sculpture and I’m not about to try my hand at learning on this.

The cross was made from sapele from MD Select Hardwoods 5/4×2.25” stock that worked great for a glue up to get the dimensions. Dennis is great, always has great product and knowledge, my first time using sapele. Finish is 2 coats dark mission brown dye, 1 coat GF oil stain, 3 coats wiping poly.

For the carving, I got in touch with the So. MD Woodcarvers club and brought it all down to one of their meetings and their leader Burkey took on the project of repairing the broken fingers and carving the smaller plaque. He’s a true sculptor, and even put a near perfect match on the repair that makes it almost impossible to notice, incredible work for a decades old carving with as much patina as this one had.

Many thanks to Dennis & Burkey for their help with this, you meet the nicest people when you’re wood working, there should probably be something here about a famous carpenter…....

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

3 comments so far

View papajon's profile


54 posts in 2226 days

#1 posted 09-05-2015 03:07 PM

great job!

View ChefHDAN's profile


1415 posts in 3265 days

#2 posted 09-05-2015 04:03 PM

Thanks Papa,

It’s a bit spooky, my kids call my father Papa Jon, and I had to check your profile, and then there you are in TX too. Grew up in that area, went to Berkner before moving to NY. My dad’s up in McKinney now. Small world… Howdy!

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View greg48's profile


615 posts in 3172 days

#3 posted 09-06-2015 06:07 PM

Thanks Dan and the MD Woodcarvers for “resurrecting” this fine piece of art.

-- Greg, No. Cal. - "Gaudete in Domino Semper"

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