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Project Information

This Lectern was built on Commission for the St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Strong City, KS.

If you would like something similar, please email me at

[email protected]

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Project Story:

Knowing that God's Word would be proclaimed from the Lectern was an encouragement to work hard and do my best effort

I was at first confused about whether to refer to this project as a Lectern, or a Podium. After looking up the word "Lectern" in the Americanized English dictionary, I decided it was the proper terminology.

I took a piece of my inspiration for this Lectern from some other podiums/lecterns shown on lumberjocks, and so I appreciate the help from the other jocks. I did not spend any other time on the internet confusing my mind with other people's designs. I am trying hard to focus myself toward a "DeCou-style" and leave my years of copying other people's work behind. I feel that my future as a professional woodworker depends on finding a unique niche in this vast world for my work. It is a challenge, but it is what I am currently striving to achieve.

Karson and Obi both had Podium/Lecterns that I saw on lumberjocks, but there may have been other podiums, it is hard to remember every project, now that we are getting so many projects that have been posted. I feel that this Lectern is an original design, although the commission forced me to develop the styling to match the look and feel of the other historic church furnishings.

The church is a Roman Catholic church located in Strong City, Kansas USA, and so if you are ever in the area, you are welcome to stop in and view the church and the restoration work. Father Nick will gladly give you a tour, and take your confession if you need to catch up on that. He's been fun to work with, and a great encouragement to all of us working at the church, praying over us, singing hymns, and showing God's love and appreciation to us.

I think the church board told me that the church was built in 1888, and it has now been through a large historical renovation to take it back to the original look and feel of the church when it was built, except for the wonderful new lighting and coooool modern air conditioning.

I attend a local, small, rural non-denomination Protestant church, but my new friends at the Catholic church treated me great, and the whole project has been a real blessing to me, and a chance to challenge my abilities in many ways. I will post the other parts of the commission in separate project postings, and tie the whole process together in a Blog coming up, so stay tuned.

The Lectern has a lift up top (the primary reason it is called a Lectern), a door on the back, and a pull out cubby-hole step on the bottom.

The reason for the step? The children participate in the Mass service, so I built the 4" step for them. Underneath the Podium, I added two large oak wheels I made so that the heavy podium would be easier to move around on the carpet.

I did all of the work on this piece myself, including casting the carved column tops, turning the posts, carving the gothic style front panel, the gold trim work, the crown molding, described in my BLOG), and all of the trim/molding pieces. I couldn't find a single piece of trim in a store that fit the historic look of the other furnishings, so I had to make every piece myself.

Now that I have worked out the concept, I hope to get the chance to build other Lecterns in the future. It is funny though, now that I've finished this Lectern, I don't think I can ever watch television the same again, as I am always noticing the podiums that are used. This country needs a serious Podium/Lectern-Revival, amen!

My commission on this project was to build the two new Side Altars, which are shown in the final photo under the statues, and to restore the High Altar and the front Sacrifice Altar. I have a Processional Cross that I will finish up this week, and hopefully a Hymnal Board, a Baptismal Holy Water Stand, and a restoration of the Wedding Kneeling Stand. These last three projects haven't been awarded yet, but have been discussed. I'm working on the photos for the other aspects of the commission, which I will get posted soon.

Here are the posted projects from this Commission:
  1. Hymn Number Board
  2. Speaker's Lectern
  3. Processional Cross
  4. Matching Side Altars
  5. Restored Sacrifice: Altar: not yet posted
  6. Restored High Altar: not yet posted

I have blogged about this commission if you want to read more:
  1. Developing Authentic Expectations While Working With Commission Customers
  2. Commissioned Church Side Altars Complete
  3. Hanging Homemade Crown Molding: Suffering Through Mistakes & Learning Life's Lessons
  4. Crown Molding: Crafting Your Own Trim
  5. Arrival of the Historic Church Altar; Restoration and Making two Matching Side Altars
  6. Commission Award for the Church Altar Restoration and Matching Side Altars
  7. Church Altar Restoration and Matching Side Altars Project Bid Submitted

Thanks for looking,
Mark DeCou
www.decoustudio.com

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P.S. Here are some additional photos and sketches

The original concept sketch I quickly drew to communicate with the church board about what I had in mind.

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Here is a more refined sketch, after I had some time to think about the concept a few weeks.


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Here is a third sketch I used to figure out the proportions, and bring the design to scale, before cutting up the wood.


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The final idea is coming to the point that I can think about cutting wood.



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Here is another sketch which shows a more realistic version of a detail that I had to figure out.


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Here is a photo showing that the drawing is coming to "life."


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Here are two photos with the oak wheels on the bottom shown.


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Things are coming together at this stage, and I am cutting the round oak posts on the sides to length. I turned the side posts on my Legacy Ornamental Mill, and easily milled the flat side on the back. I don't know how a person would do this operation effectively without a Legacy Mill.


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Both side posts have now been fit to the cabinet middle.


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The front after delivery to the church.


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Here is a shot of the lift up top.


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Here is a detail shot of the corner posts I made on my Legacy Ornamental Mill. They are round, with a 90 degree notch cut out of the back, and small pointed flutes along the side.



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Here is a detail shot of the front ornamentation. The pieces were cut out of Oak veneered MDF, cove routed, and carved to get the details, and then painted with gold/bronze powder mixed with glossy polyurethane (the only good use for poly in my opinion, but that is another subject).



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Here is a detail shot of the turned column base. This part is made by gluing pieces of Poplar together, and using both my Oliver Lathe and my Legacy Ornamental Mill to do the work.


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This is a detail of the casting used for the column top. To do this work, I had to make a business decision about whether I could most effectively copy the carved work on the historic Altars, or do a casting. After months of worrying about which path to take, I chose the casting method, as I thought it would be the most economical, while giving me an exact copy of the original. It was a toss up whether I could make a better copy by carving a Poplar block, or learning to do a casting. The casting won. I used Polytek's silicone material for the mold making, and then their Polyurethane casting material for the copies. It was a lot of fun to learn a new skill, so at some point soon, I will blog the process I went through.


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This final detail shot shows the routered and carved gothic-style panel (also called tracry). I used Oak veneered MDF for the material, carefully made a template, flush trim copied the template, and then did the pointed corners with a carving knife set. This was a lot of fun to learn how to do, and something I will be adding to my work in the future in some way.



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This was the old Podium the church was previously using. When I was commissioned for the Side Altars and the restoration work on the High Altar and Sacrifice Altar, I went to the church and took a lot of photos. After seeing this little Podium, I asked the board members if they had planned to do something about the Podium. They didn't have it in their plans, but they did want one that better fit the restored church. So, I proposed the new podium I sketched in the first sketch. After getting their "nods" I went to work on the Podium.



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Want to See More of my Furniture Work?:
If you go to my Mark DeCou Website you will find that I have not updated my website in quite some time. I realize that I need to invest in improving my website, but until that is accomplished, here are some more Lumberjocks related lilnks with updated postings of my furniture work, sorted into categories. Thanks for your interest in my work, and your patience with my website.

Arts and Crafts, Mission Style Related Projects:
  1. Arts & Crafts Entry Table; with Carved Oak Leaves
  2. Arts & Crafts Orchid Stand w/ Wine Bottle Storage
  3. Arts & Crafts Style Morris Inspired Chairs
  4. Arts & Crafts Display Top Coffee Table
  5. Arts & Crafts Style Inspired End Table Set
  6. Arts & Crafts Style Inspired Prairie Couch
  7. Table Lamps
  8. Arts & Crafts Carved Entertainment Center
  9. Mission Entertainment Center

Church & Worship-Art Related Projects:
  1. Carved Communion Table
  2. Carved Roll Top Sound Equipment Cabinet
  3. Fancy Church Side Altars
  4. Processional Cross
  5. Fancy Speaker's Lectern
  6. Church Hymn Number Board
  7. Communion Chalice (Cup) and Paten

Art-Furniture Related Projects:
  1. Sam Maloof Inspired Walnut Rocker
  2. Original Art Carved Tilt Front Desk, inspired by Birger Sandzen
  3. Natural Edge; Nakashima Inspired Coffee Table
  4. Decoratively Painted Box End Tables
  5. Birch China Cabinet for Cut Glass Collection

Rustic, Western, Cedar Log, and Cowboy Related Projects:
  1. Naughty (Knotty) Refined Rustic White Oak & Black Walnut China Hutch
  2. A Kansa Indian and Buffalo Accent Art-Chair
  3. Refined Rustic Dining Chairs
  4. Refined Rustic Dining Table
  5. Cowboy-Western Style Suitcase/Luggage Support Racks
  6. Fun With Cedar Logs #1; Sitting Stool
  7. Fun With Cedar Logs #2; Coat/Hat/Spur Rack
  8. Fun With Cedar Logs #3; Western Style Hat/Coat Rack
  9. Fun With Cedar Logs #4; Entryway Stool

Outdoor Furniture Related:
  1. Kennebunkport Style Adirondack Chair
  2. Outdoor Garden Wedding Arbor
  3. Outdoor Project: Cedar Wood Double Settee

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Still Want to See more of my work?

Start with each of these links, and they will take you to other organized lists of my other niche products:

  1. Custom Knives

  1. Custom Walking Canes and Walking Sticks

  1. Artisan Hat Making Tools

(All text, photos, sketches, and design is protected by copyright 2007, by the Author, M.A. DeCou. No unauthorized use is permitted, in whole, or part, without the expressed written consent by the Author.)

Gallery

Comments

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That is a fantastic piece. Did you make the other pieces in the background as well? It looks like a matched set. Great job. They are blessed to have found you.
 

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Absolutely fantastic Mark!!! Its a pleasure to see your work and craftsmanship.

your Ontario buddy Phil.
 

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Man! They sure picked the right person for this project. It looks like you put your heart, & soul into it.
I'm sure you've found your calling, after this project, & I'm sure there will be a huge demand for more like it.
 

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Great Job Mark. I appreciate the trip through your thoughts.
 

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Lol. I started to post 3 times and came to the conclusion that I am speachless. What a wonderful item.
 

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Mark, you amaze me with your talent(s). Beautiful and stunning are the only words that come to mind when viewing this master piece of woodworking art. You my friend have been truly blessed with great talent. Keep it up Mark!

Do you give lessons?
 

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Once again you have raised the bar so high… Stunning. An inspiration. Beyond words

I wrote this before I read Panama Jack's remark… So far 2 for Stunning.
 

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Such a wonderful job Mark, I am just at a loss for words to describe it. Well done.
 

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Absolutely incredible. I was just thinking yesterday that the alter and podium at our church is dated. This type of project is WAY beyond me, but you're obviously the guy to call! What a piece of work. Just fantastic!
 

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All of the above and a big thank-you, Mark.

I count it a real privilege to know you, even if only through this electronic medium.

I hope to be able to meet you someday here on earth to shake your hand and to just be able to say, "I met him once". But I know that one day, I will meet you in eternity. We can chat then for sure.

Wonderful journal - thanks so much for letting us in on your thought process.
 

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I had goosebumps and I could feel a lump in my throat as I tried to take in the magnitude of talent, of details, of passion involved in this project.

I "ditto" everything that is said above!!
I am truly in awe.
 

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Fantastic work!!! I really love how the carvings and gold highlights make the piece jump out. I also second what Don said, thanks for the information on your processes and thoughts. I'm trying to go through the same change that it sounds like you went through, from engineer to artist/craftsman. I'm a civil engr. and everything with the exception of the last piece that I finished, has had every last detail drawn out with CAD before buying the first piece of wood. Like you, I have realized that my creativity in the shop has been lost by this, so I'm trying to get out of that role. Thanks again for all your sharing.
 

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Wow, Mark. As usual, the work is superb. This time you really outdid yourself! Thanks for the extensive documentation. It's great to see some of what went into a project like this.
 

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Extraordinary….if you didn't know you would think it was all a matched set. Your work is amazing Mark.
 

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Your heavenly Father is pleased with the good use you have put the talents he's given you. He must have been smiling the whole time you were building these.
 

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Beautiful Mark. You've come far. mike
 

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I too agree they found the right person to do this work. It is beautiful, you are so talented/gifted and sure are using the gifts God gave you.

Diane
 
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