Altar Table

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Project by Carey Mitchell posted 01-17-2013 03:19 AM 1367 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was asked to build this altar for the local Boy Scout camp’s new chapel. The money for the new chapel was raised in honor of our next door neighbor’s son, who passed away at the age of 17. I had helped him with his Eagle Scout project the previous year.

The architect gave me the blueprint for it and a cabinet (not accustomed to having a plan handed to me). The legs are 6” x 8”, the top is 3 1/4” x 6’ yellow pine roof decking. Yes, its definitely heavy, it took 4 people to load it.

I thought it looked a bit plain, so I added the point from the Scout Law on the front apron.

Now, one of the priests says the top is not large enough, so when I get some time and a buddy, we will take it apart (easier than trying to load it again), bring it home and build a larger top and apron.

5 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


115744 posts in 3214 days

#1 posted 01-17-2013 03:22 AM

Great job it looks super.

-- Custom furniture

View Wdwerker's profile


333 posts in 1870 days

#2 posted 01-17-2013 03:28 AM

I was a Scout . Priest wants more room for what?

-- Fine Custom Woodwork since 1978

View Jim55's profile


144 posts in 1703 days

#3 posted 01-17-2013 03:46 AM

I was a Scout . Priest wants more room for what?
I wonder about that too. My family is Catholic though I am not. I have sat in on some Masses that have been conducted off Altars that were no bigger than that. Howsoever, it may have something to do with the size of the items they use. Don’t know.

I was a Scout 40 some years ago. Way things are going, I’m glad to see they still let them have religion. I am somewhat surprised that they haven’t been forced to suppress it. I also consider that an important building block in a child’s life.

Very nicely built. Too bad whoever drew the plans didn’t make sure it suited all who would use it specifications first.

View J. Curtis Goforth's profile

J. Curtis Goforth

54 posts in 2561 days

#4 posted 01-17-2013 05:25 AM

Some of the more liturgical traditions (Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Episcopal, etc.) have very exact dimensions for an altar table, but from my knowledge on the subject the proper height matters more than the width/depth and length. Not that anybody really cares though about that sort of thing here on this forum. I was a scout as well, but I can never recall a priest/pastor and our troop ever participating in a communion/Eucharist service.

I personally like the heft of the altar table that the base supplies to the project. However, I can’t help but think that the setting of the altar table is just begging for a slab with a live edge!

Great job on the project. Thanks for posting. And thanks for spelling the word “altar” correctly!

View Carey  Mitchell's profile

Carey Mitchell

93 posts in 1596 days

#5 posted 01-18-2013 02:43 AM

My understanding is that he wants more room to spread his his gear out. The top is what the architect specified – 24×48”. I don’t mind doing it, the problem is coming up with the decking.

My plan is to expand the top to 30×60” , increasing the apron dimension to maintain proportions. It will also give me the opportunity to redo the lettering on the front, as its a bit crowded.

The old “chapel” consisted of a number of stumps on a slope with a tall stump in front for the lectern ! It was the same when I went there around 1952, and in the ‘70’s when I was a Scoutmaster and took my troop and son there. Somehow, I’ve always believed things shouldn’t be too fancy out there; never thought the Lord cared !

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