Church pews project #1: Recycled church pews

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Blog entry by inchanga posted 12-27-2012 03:04 PM 5653 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Church pews project series Part 2: ready for stripping »

Thsre are five 12 foot long pitch pine church pews in the photo dating back to circa 1880. The client is keen to retain them in the local area in the form of a variety of furniture pieces i.e. dining table, coffee table, monks bench, butchers block, bookcase etc.

The first job is to break the pews up into manageable pieces to see exactly what is usable and then take them to be chemically stripped.

I experimented with sanding the old finish off but it is far too time consuming and does not produce the desired result. The main construction of the pews appears to be mortice and tenon joints reinforced with square iron nails. It takes a very big hammer to dismantle them…..

Over the next few weeks or months I will provide updates on how the job is progressing

-- chris, north wales

3 comments so far

View camps764's profile


867 posts in 2389 days

#1 posted 12-27-2012 03:31 PM

you should try to keep as many of those hand cut nails as you can…they can go for decent money on ebay…just ask Chris Schwarts from popular woodworking…if nothing else, if you can keep them, and straigthen them…you might be able to reincorporate them down the road to keep the new pieces feeling as original as possible.

-- Steve

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

1041 posts in 2341 days

#2 posted 12-27-2012 03:52 PM

Is it feasible to retain some of the original finish in the new pieces? That sort of patina doesn’t come quickly.

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View inchanga's profile


117 posts in 2142 days

#3 posted 12-27-2012 04:55 PM

I agree about the patina but until I get the pieces sorted I will not know if it is possible to combine enough of them into pieces with the original finish.

-- chris, north wales

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