Lectern for Departing Pastor

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Project by Scott Oldre posted 06-27-2016 12:25 AM 2827 views 6 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After 16 years of faithful leadership and pastoral duties at our church, our Pastor was moved to accept a call to a new church that needed his talents.

Like usual I find these times of transition a time to look to the stash of treasured woods I’ve collected and paid way too much for, and determine that this is the time to use it. Gifts always make the pain of letting go of those precious woods a little less difficult.

What we have here is a absolutely unique Lectern. The top is a single plank of 7” solid 4/4 paduak cut and glued so it’s now 14” x 20”. There are 3 hand shaped ebony pieces mortised into the top to hold papers and books. It sits on 2 hand shaped standoffs of Bocote. which are lodged into dadoes in some Sapele that came from some old boat rib parts from a failed boat build in Charleston SC. The picker I bought it from told me it was Mahogany, comparing it to some sapele I had at home confirmed it was the Mahogany cousin, due to the color, light dark, wide stripes, and the heaviness.

I had several pieces of this, and originally I was going to use a perfectly curved piece of it to make the upright. Had both ends angled the way I needed, and then created the tenons, put it all together and found there was a twist in the wood, which if I tried to take it out, I would have lost too much of the strength due to the thinning of the board itself. So I did what I had to do and went to my local wood store, which I knew had a few 8/4 pieces. How fortunate that was. Both the top sapele piece and the bottom are morticed and tenoned together, but I also did not glue them, and instead used some serious outdoor 4”, like 3/16 diameter, wood screws with the torx heads. Amazing holding power and no worry about splitting anything.

The bottom was again, chuncks of the orginal boat wood, cut on a bias and gluded to the center piece with 2 biscuits on each side. I then chucked up a Harbor Freight, carbide cutting head into my check grinder and shaped them from 8/4 at the head to slightly over 1/2” at the tails. Just enough to screw in some rubber feet on the bottom.

Finished it in serval coats BLO/MineralSpirits/Poly. On the final coat, I upped the amount of poly, just to give it a little more protection.

Now I have a Vicar leaving in August and one more lectern to do. Since we’re getting a fresh new Pastor from seminary, we won’t be seeing any vicars (student pastors) for a lot of years. So, I think the next one will be my last.

Thanks for looking.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

8 comments so far

View pottz's profile


26534 posts in 2475 days

#1 posted 06-27-2016 01:08 AM

scott what can say but wow over the top,what a way to send your pastor off in style,truly a gift from god through your hands.this was heavan sent my friend.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View JPJ's profile


821 posts in 4111 days

#2 posted 06-27-2016 03:57 AM

I’m in aw

View Ivan's profile


17323 posts in 4358 days

#3 posted 06-27-2016 04:01 AM

Wow! The bootom part of leg is outstanding. Beautiful design indeed.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4825 days

#4 posted 06-27-2016 10:55 AM

Wonderful design and a great gift.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4357 days

#5 posted 06-27-2016 02:48 PM

I love the design and what a nice job that you did on it. It’s a wonderful gift for a pastor.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View GR8HUNTER's profile


9692 posts in 2203 days

#6 posted 06-27-2016 03:13 PM

a wonderful gift…..... he will be able to enjoy for years to come GREAT JOB

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View oldguy2's profile


340 posts in 2919 days

#7 posted 06-27-2016 04:47 PM

You made an excellant gift for the long term pastor you cared about. Please think about the new pastor you will meet and find a way to see what can you make for him or her after awhile as an appreciation. New pastors need ends, gavels, pens. desk set,bench Not all leave with your support, being the pastors spouse our last move out was less than fun. I even sold cherry planks to a member since I could not move them. Check my site.
Maybe they would love to work with you in your shop. I moved and left a 24 by 28 to go to a one car garage shop….

View zrodimel's profile


3 posts in 2066 days

#8 posted 10-28-2016 08:51 PM

This lectern is incredible. I’m thinking about building one similar for my father-in-law for Christmas. How did you go about determining the angle of the neck? Did you just have the top centered on the center of the feet? I’m worried if I get it wrong then it will be prone to tipping over.


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