Pew End Panels

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Project by richgreer posted 06-15-2011 01:21 AM 1798 views 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Pew End Panels
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This is the biggest project I have ever taken on. I got some volunteer help, but I still had to manage the project and I personally handled the trickier tasks myself. Managing a group of volunteers was, in itself, a challenge.

In this picture you see some pew end panels on the finishing rack. I built this rack so that each panel could be rotated to easily get to both sides.

As I write this, 31 panels are in the finishing phase (on the racks). 32 more panels will be ready on Thursday and the final 9 on Monday.

This has been a very big challenge but it has also been a very rewarding project. Installation will be the middle of next week and the dedication service will be a week from Monday.

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

16 comments so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16229 posts in 3641 days

#1 posted 06-15-2011 01:46 AM

Those look awesome, Rich. Be sure to post some photos of the pews once they are installed.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Josh's profile


1201 posts in 1992 days

#2 posted 06-15-2011 01:50 AM

Nice work. Is this for your church?

-- Tree, wood, and box lover from Pennsylvania

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2497 days

#3 posted 06-15-2011 01:55 AM

Yes, like many of my projects, this is for my church.

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

View sras's profile


4363 posts in 2551 days

#4 posted 06-15-2011 03:39 AM

Looks like a first rate result! While the bigger projects take more effort and even require volunteer co-ordination, you will get to enjoy the reult even more. Nice accomplishment!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


17577 posts in 3098 days

#5 posted 06-15-2011 03:44 AM

Looks good. Be thankful all you had to do was build the ends!! ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2497 days

#6 posted 06-15-2011 03:48 AM

Thank you Steve. As a good Lutheran, I’m suppose to keep my pride in check and, in general, I do. However, this project will make a significant change to our sanctuary and finalize the upgrading of our sanctuary. I’m grateful to have the ability to do this and a church that was willing to trust me to do what I thought was best.

For me, this is “giving back” and it gives me a unique sense of satisfaction.

OTOH – I don’t think I will be ready to take on another project like this for a while. I remember, naively, estimating total labor of less than 100 hours. I know I did more than that myself and others contributed at least another 200 or more hours. Still, in the end, it is worth it.

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

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2497 days

#7 posted 06-15-2011 03:58 AM

TopmaxSurvivor – From the beginning the plan was to build new Pew Ends only. The body of the pews are in pretty good shape but the existing ends are both beaten up and totally out of style.

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

View yrob's profile


340 posts in 3075 days

#8 posted 06-15-2011 04:27 AM

Great job! Looks like you are single handedly building the whole church from scratch

-- Yves

View rance's profile


4243 posts in 2583 days

#9 posted 06-15-2011 04:50 AM

Pew-wee! Now there’s a good reason to have a cnc at home. Nice job Rich. Some really nice looking panels. How do they attach to the seats?

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

16810 posts in 2528 days

#10 posted 06-15-2011 04:54 AM

Clever rack. Thanks for sharing!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Bernie's profile


416 posts in 2259 days

#11 posted 06-15-2011 06:12 AM

Truly a labor of LOVE! Besides using your skills to the max, I know this was a lesson for you on “How to invite unskilled laborers into your shop and letting them feel important in the process!” Having triumphed in both, put aside your Lutheran rules, stand up, and be proud Rich! I’m a catholic and I’m proud of you. The only shortcoming of this whole project is that to the untrained eye, it dwarfs the rail. Well done on both projects.

Again… it’s OK for you to be proud of your work. After all, God is probably sitting up there looking at your work and saying to Himself, “I’m proud to have given Rich the tools and talents. He has served me well with both!”

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View jerrells's profile


891 posts in 2307 days

#12 posted 06-15-2011 02:17 PM

Great looking Pews and thanks for your work in the Church. I, also a Lutheran, look for ways to add to my local Church. God bless.

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2497 days

#13 posted 06-15-2011 03:06 PM

Thanks again for all the kind words.

Rance asked how these will be attached. On this question it is relevant to note that these pew end panels will not be supporting any weight. The existing legs under the pews will remain. The pew end panels will be attached with 2 wooded cleats – one on the back, near the top and one underneath. The one underneath will have a 3/8” long slot for the screw to handle any movement.

When we first talked about this I said that this will be a big project but not a hard project. Perhaps the most technically challenging part is the cross inlays (which I do personally). In retrospect, I would say that this was a hard project just because it was such a big project.

This project will, officially, be the end of a major project to remodel the sanctuary. There is one final touch that is not on the project list, but I am doing it anyway. I’m making a wooded music stand with wood that matches everything else. Since my wife is the choir director, I have an additional reason to do this.

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

View grizzman's profile


7782 posts in 2726 days

#14 posted 06-15-2011 03:18 PM

rich this was a very big project and doing this for your church is a wonderful thing..they look really good and im sure they will be a very nice enhancement in your chapel…as charlie said some pictures of them in place would be nice to see…im sure you leaned a lot in doing this and not just wood work…..keep up the great work, i hope they appreciate your hard work at the church you attend…grizz

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

View James Frederick's profile

James Frederick

133 posts in 3143 days

#15 posted 06-15-2011 04:50 PM

They look great, I too would like to see the Pews installed. Well done.

-- Change begins somewhere may as well be with me.

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