Red Oak Pew for Small Chapel

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Project by JAAune posted 12-10-2012 02:41 AM 2559 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is part of a commission I’ve been working on for the past month as a result of a business venture I’ve started this year with a partner.

This is one of two pews (the other is longer and only has one kneeler) built for a tiny chapel. Since the room is so small and the client wanted to fit as many people as possible these pews were designed to require minimal space yet remain comfortable.

The seat and back angle use proper anthropometric data so people won’t slide forward while seated. The unusual kneeler design prevents people sitting in the front pew from kicking them down despite the narrow width of the pews. Narrow pews permit 36” spacing between pew to pew without making it too hard to walk between them. Short kneelers make it easier for people to move in and out of the pews even when they are being used by others.

-- See my work at

10 comments so far

View HorizontalMike's profile


7928 posts in 4079 days

#1 posted 12-10-2012 03:02 AM

I have always been amazed at how well built pews are. And it is obvious that you have carried on that tradition. Good Job!

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View StephenSchaad's profile


201 posts in 3344 days

#2 posted 12-10-2012 03:34 AM

Wow… Nice pew.. I always hated as a kid traveling to different older churches with awful kneelers and pews. I’ve been over six feet tall since middle school so squeezing into some old churches wasn’t fun!

View a1Jim's profile (online now)


118163 posts in 4743 days

#3 posted 12-10-2012 04:19 AM

That’s cool nice work.


View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 4630 days

#4 posted 12-10-2012 04:39 AM

Excellent work, keep up the tradition!

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 3354 days

#5 posted 12-10-2012 06:02 AM

Looks beautifully, and thoughtfully, made !

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30631 posts in 3504 days

#6 posted 12-10-2012 08:36 AM

Really incredible build. Beautiful

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Woodbridge's profile


3751 posts in 3583 days

#7 posted 12-10-2012 02:18 PM

great work. The pews look very nice and expertly constructed.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 4135 days

#8 posted 12-10-2012 07:14 PM

You’d think there’s not much could be done with a pew, but this is great, elegant but robust, a modern update to a traditional design. Absolutely stunning and pefectly executed. Thanks for posting.

View JAAune's profile


1971 posts in 3482 days

#9 posted 12-10-2012 08:36 PM

Thanks for the compliments.


Yes, a lot of older pews aren’t friendly to tall people (people were shorter then or something?). When I designed mine I had three people well over 6’ tall try out a mockup before committing to final dimensions. All of them were satisfied.

As a bonus, someone under 5’ tried one out and was comfortable as well. That’s likely due to the shorter than normal seat height. It’s about 16.5” between the front edge of the seat and the floor. For some reason the short height doesn’t bother taller people so long as the angles are right. I learned that from an accomplished chair-maker.

-- See my work at

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 4153 days

#10 posted 12-10-2012 10:40 PM

Wonderful work and pictures.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

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