Table for Church

  • Advertise with us
Project by richgreer posted 12-05-2010 09:45 PM 2099 views 1 time favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the third table I have made for my church. I did this in a hurry because a table similar to this (but poorly made) was accidentally broken last week. I had this table done in time for services this morning.

The cross pieces feature a lap joint in the center and M&T joinery where the cross pieces connect to the legs. The top was assembled and attached to the legs using dowel joinery. There is no metal in this piece anywhere.

Wood is red oak. $25 in materials and a few enjoyable hours in the workshop. Why do people pay so much more for lower quality? In the church furniture catalog this would sell for about $250 (and be more poorly made).

Due to the rush, I finished it with shellac. However, I intend to bring it home for a few days and improve the finish with lacquer.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

15 comments so far

View dakremer's profile


2672 posts in 3115 days

#1 posted 12-05-2010 09:53 PM

it seems like church “furniture” is VERY high priced. My girlfriends mom wanted a prayer kneeler that could fold up for easier storage. the cheapest ones we found were in the $200-300 range. i think I built her one (materials) for like $60.

Cool looking table – i see there is a little shelf. What is the purpose of the table?

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3098 days

#2 posted 12-05-2010 09:53 PM

After posting this picture I realized that you can see (1) a cherry end table beside my recliner (with a Lee Valley catalog), (2) a walnut end table behind the church table, (3) a walnut serving tray on the center ottoman and (4) two ottomans. I made all of it except my wife did the upholstery work on the ottomans.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3098 days

#3 posted 12-05-2010 09:58 PM

dakremer – - I’m convinced that there is money to be made in doing custom church furniture. The standard retail products are VERY over priced and most churches don’t know any better. I recently saw a pulpit selling for just over $3000. I swear I could make a better pulpit for about $300 in materials and 20 – 30 hours of labor.

If I were younger and more ambitious and wanted to make money as a woodworker this is, IMO, the area with the most promise.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Skylark53's profile


2671 posts in 3084 days

#4 posted 12-05-2010 09:59 PM

Nice job on the table.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3327 days

#5 posted 12-05-2010 10:07 PM

rich your a good man for always helping your church…nice table..and i think your right…i think churches can be taken advantage of…and there could be a good market for making things they need…and what is that you said…i thought you were a young man…lol…..

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3601 days

#6 posted 12-05-2010 10:39 PM

Interesting design Rich, a well done project built in a timely manner

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2880 days

#7 posted 12-05-2010 10:41 PM

Rich I like the table.
What is it used for in the Church?


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View sras's profile


4808 posts in 3153 days

#8 posted 12-05-2010 10:43 PM

Nice job on the table Rich! Looks like it will be around for years to come. Thanks for sharing.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3098 days

#9 posted 12-05-2010 10:50 PM

A couple have asked what this table is used for at the church. This table is positioned at the entrance to the sanctuary and holds a stack of the bulletins. Ushers hand out bulletins to the people as they enter the sanctuary but they need a stack of material at hand.

This is not as important as an “up front” table in the chancel area but it still serves a practical and necessary function. The design is inspired by the table that used to be there. That table had some brass X shaped cross pieces connecting the legs. As you can see, I replaced the brass with wood and, IMO, this looks much better and remains somewhat true to the original design. The original had legs and top made of pine and this is oak.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Knothead62's profile


2584 posts in 2985 days

#10 posted 12-06-2010 12:36 AM

Very nice table! My complements to you for your contributions to your church. Oh yes, the other items are very nice, too.

View tdv's profile


1188 posts in 3094 days

#11 posted 12-06-2010 01:31 AM

Well done Rich it was really worth the effort to get it done on time

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

View wiswood2's profile


1138 posts in 3720 days

#12 posted 12-06-2010 01:47 AM

Very nice table.

-- Chuck, wiswood2

View Jason's profile


659 posts in 3532 days

#13 posted 12-06-2010 06:42 PM

Great looking table Rich. Sounds very strong too.

-- Jason - Colorado Springs

View KMP Wood Designs's profile

KMP Wood Designs

52 posts in 2672 days

#14 posted 03-26-2011 09:41 PM

I love your design and would love to have your plans as a pastor of a local church asked me to quote one for a similar use. I agree with your comments about making custom items for churches, there’s a lot of opportunity.

-- Jim, Virginia,

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3098 days

#15 posted 03-27-2011 12:03 AM

KMP Wood Designs – - I’m afraid I have no plans to share. I’m not much of a “plan guy”.

From memory – - I believe the table is about 34” tall. The cross pieces are about 9” from leg to leg with a half lap in the middle. I used loose tenons to connect the legs to the cross pieces. The cross pieces are spaced to create 3 equal distant spaces from bottom to top. The top is 12” x 12”. The legs are about 2.5” x .75”.

The box at the top was built primarily with dowel joinery to connect the legs to the bottom of the box, the bottom to the sides and the sides to the top. Where the sides come together in the corners I did a rabbet joint primarily because I was in a hurry. This would have been a good place for dovetails if I was not rushed.

As an FYI, I’ve been asked to make another that is the same size. That is actually a little harder than making the first one because I have to be a little more precise in the measurements.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics