1950s church pews #1: a house full of pews!

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Blog entry by scottb posted 10-27-2008 11:17 PM 7605 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of 1950s church pews series Part 2: wonky box too »

These have been on my front porch for a couple weeks now, had to do something with them while the weather was still nice.

So today I began dismantling them, luckily they were built in a shop, and assembled on site. The seat and back were mortised into the side panels, and everything was held together with wood screws, under tacked on pieces of trim. They came apart pretty easily, and I’m hoping the shorter bench I’m building goes back together just as easily.

I’d mistakenly thought the pews were 16 feet long, had a hard enough time wrestling with them at a tad over 12 feet.

This us just ONE of the seats and backs. – too bad I wasn’t putting in a new kitchen counter, these would have been great! – or made one fine trestle table.

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I expected to only bring one of these home, but I was lucky enough to pick up two. The seat on the second one was split along a glue line, but otherwise everything else held together great. I’m going to mill one down into the interior trim for the front (faux oak, fiberglass door), and 4 feet of the back will become a counter in the laundry room. (I just so happen to have a salvaged oak cabinet base already in there).

The more solid of the two, when I was expecting just one, was going to become a bench for the living or dining room… turns out it is exactly long enough to also become a day bed for my daughters room.

Here’s the before picture:....

I don’t plan on working on these until after Christmas… hopefully they don’t get pushed to the back burner too long…. I’m kind of hoping that building a bed out of wood from a church will #1 protect my little girl from bad dreams and imagined harm… and #2, that it will scare her into good behavior in the coming years ;)

But until then, I’ve got (rather large) bits of church pews in the front hall, laundry, kitchen and dining rooms… (it’d be quite a challenge to fit anything down the basement stairs.) and that HAS to at least offer enough protection from any Halloweenies.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

8 comments so far

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 4562 days

#1 posted 10-27-2008 11:42 PM

that’s pretty cool.
I received an oak railing from local college that I’m making into at least one small side table. I haven’t started blogging that yet though.
can’t wait to see your transfermation!

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3821 days

#2 posted 10-27-2008 11:53 PM

Yes really beautiful wood there I too bought a pile of woodpews from our local church on the holy loch here in scotland the pews I am informed were at least 150 years old and made from oregan pine oak is my favourite wood though so I hope you use them wisely best of lcuk Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 4542 days

#3 posted 10-28-2008 01:07 AM

So you drove away with a pew to many… ha ha …

Looks like your apprentice may have been a bit too close to one of your back swings, knocked out a tooth while working?

Any carved initials of teeanage love confessions or of someone being “here”..?

Great score and save!


-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4562 days

#4 posted 10-28-2008 01:42 AM

nope, no carved hearts, but a few pencil lines from either the initial craftsman or a bored kid tracing the moldings. more than a few pieces of chewing gum though.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View Karson's profile


35152 posts in 4636 days

#5 posted 10-28-2008 02:46 AM

Looks like lots of work Scott. Let’s see how many pens can you make from them.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4562 days

#6 posted 10-28-2008 02:47 AM

ha! probably just as many pens as sawdust (by weight)

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View botanist's profile


167 posts in 3774 days

#7 posted 10-28-2008 06:07 PM

My father in law built a hutch from a old church pew and used the design on the ends for the sides of the hutch. It turned out beautifully. Good luck with your church pews!

View MsDebbieP's profile


18618 posts in 4396 days

#8 posted 10-29-2008 04:29 PM

wow.. that’s a lot of wood!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

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