Holier than thou, or the meek shall inherit the wood? #1: Project Kickoff...

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Blog entry by Bill Butler posted 03-01-2008 03:28 AM 1213 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Holier than thou, or the meek shall inherit the wood? series Part 2: Days 2 and 3. »

Apparently I was in the right place at the right time, when my church announced that it was replacing all of its original circa 1963 oak pews with pews that came from a much older church. The pews they were getting were much more ornate than the ones they had. If I can I will try to get a photo of what the new pews look like.

The pews being removed were very simple in style, down right bland and not much more than a block of wood with a butt divot. However I thought this would be an opportunity to ask the pastor to set aside as much as he could store, both for myself and to provide for him some practical creations from the wood. He asked for bookcases.

I had taken possession of a dozen of the seat portions of the pews.

My first attempt at transforming these into usable lumber took place last spring and resulted in running the entire seat through the surface planer. However after dealing with the variations in the bottom and and other inconsistencies, I was left with boards that were nominally 5/8” thick. I was looking to build a prototype bookcase about 48” tall by 30 wide or in that vicinity. I wasn’t happy with only 5/8” material.

It was only recently I joined LJ and decided to pose a forum question about some ideas. Thanks to all those that contributed.

I found the best way to deal with the material in general was to rip the seat down the middle, joint it, plane it and re-glue it for width. This leaves me with slightly less than 3/4” thickness.

I plan on building two prototypes. One will be a basic case using milled material, and one, based on the suggestion of another LJer will use the seat with its profile intact to create the si

Here’s the seat profile.


Now fess up, just how many of you stuck gum under there?

All gummed up!

I suggested to my pastor that with today’s DNA testing we could catch the culprits :D.

I have already rough cut two of the 9’ seat boards down to 36” segments for milling.

Shelves in the raw

Jointing, and planing come next, stay tuned.

1 comment so far

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 5148 days

#1 posted 03-01-2008 09:41 AM

You are lucky. I’ve only been able to locate old church pews that were for sale @ about $150 each. Maybe I’ll try to convince the Pastor that he needs new pews :-))

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

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