Wood Gloat - Well, sort of

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Project by Don posted 12-10-2010 04:35 PM 2724 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Someone at work posted “Attention Woodworkers” and I perked right up. He had purchased two pews from an old church in Quebec and had planned to use the wood to make something out of it. Never got around to it and when they had a flood this past summer, he decided to get rid of the wood.

His original asking price was reasonable but I offered a bit less. He emailed back saying that he noticed I had posted on the internal forum that I was making cutting boards as Christmas gifts so we settled on a ‘price’.

I am going to make him two cutting boards, one edge grain, multi-wood and one drunken cutting board. I have to include some of the wood I got from him.

The pews came from a church in a small town near Montreal where his wife’s parents were married in and the church his wife attended as a little girl. Tons of sentimental value in this wood…..

The pews have numbers on them and I plan to attach one of the numbers to the bottom of each board.

Pretty sure the wood is Maple but will know better once I start working with it.


-- -- Don in Ottawa,

13 comments so far

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 3004 days

#1 posted 12-10-2010 04:50 PM

Nice Haul !!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View Ken90712's profile


17553 posts in 3152 days

#2 posted 12-10-2010 05:05 PM

Very nice, look fwd to seeing the cutting boards!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3022 days

#3 posted 12-10-2010 05:20 PM

I was able to get my hands on some old pews a few years ago from a church that was changing to the more modern trend of individual chairs. I still have some of that wood that I have been using for various projects for about 5 years. It is perfect for cutting boards and things like that. The ones that I received were some variety of oak (I think red oak). I look forward to seeing the cutting boards that you will make.


-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View PurpLev's profile


8534 posts in 3612 days

#4 posted 12-10-2010 05:28 PM


-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Don's profile


551 posts in 3205 days

#5 posted 12-10-2010 05:31 PM

The gent I picked it up from was told it was Maple but as I was tossing it in the back of my Santa Fe, I was thinking more like Oak as well….I’ll know today :)

-- -- Don in Ottawa,

View RonPeters's profile


713 posts in 2843 days

#6 posted 12-10-2010 05:46 PM

Reduce, reuse, recycle. Looks as if you’ll be getting all three! Nice find and an even better ‘price’!

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View helluvawreck's profile


30765 posts in 2830 days

#7 posted 12-10-2010 05:52 PM

There’s nothing like picking up a good bargain on wood because they sure don’t give it away when you have to buy it. Good work.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View shopmania's profile


701 posts in 3145 days

#8 posted 12-10-2010 06:32 PM

I’m jealous! But my church is building a new sanctuary this next year, and I’m sure they will be getting new pews, so I may have to see if I can score some of the old ones. Thanks for the idea!

-- Tim, Myrtle Beach, Just one more tool, that's all I need! :)

View canadianchips's profile


2600 posts in 2960 days

#9 posted 12-10-2010 07:52 PM

Nice FIND ! I went to sale last month to try and buy some old pews. (Church Closed) When I got there they were thin plywood and curved. Didn’t think I would get much salvage from them. Yours look nice and thick. Have fun with it !

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Don's profile


551 posts in 3205 days

#10 posted 12-10-2010 08:06 PM

I just finished (thickness) planing down one of the kneeling boards and it looks more like Oak than Maple but it’s very nice wood.

He wants an edge grain and drunken cutting board out of the wood but the problem I’m going to have is that all the pew parts are individual boards, not one solid slab for the drunken board so I’m either going to have to do a glue up or give him two edge grain boards.

-- -- Don in Ottawa,

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 2801 days

#11 posted 12-10-2010 08:12 PM

There are many rustic/primitive projects other than cutting boards that you could make from this incredibly cool pile of wood. I wouldn’t use it all up on cutting boards. :)

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View gurnie's profile


342 posts in 2998 days

#12 posted 12-10-2010 08:12 PM

Careful with the oak and using it as a cutting board. The grain is a bit open and can trap bacteria. Maybe tell him it’s a decorative board

on the other hand, great find!

-- Please visit my Etsy site, or You can also follow me on my artfire blog:

View flowchart_jockey's profile


37 posts in 3039 days

#13 posted 12-10-2010 08:47 PM

I rescued some pews from going to the dump when our church got rid of some of the old ones. I haven’t used any of the wood yet but I was glad to rescue it, especially since good hardwood is expensive up here in Alaska. It sounds like you have great plans for yours. Good find!

-- Why make it easy when you can make it difficult?

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