Church Furnishings

     Churches need money for normal operating expenses, capital expenditures, and outreach programs. In the United States, church funding relies heavily on donations from its congregation. Salaries, utilities, and insurance are examples of normal operating expenses; buying church furniture is included in capital expenditures; and examples of outreach programs are: providing meals for the homeless, sending aid to victims of natural disasters, and sponsoring medical missions to the less fortunate.

     Because there is often a need for additional funding (over and above donations), some churches hold fund raisers at various times during the year and may even operate a store. Our church store earns a profit from the sale of its merchandise. These profits are given to our church's outreach program.

     I make some of the merchandise sold in our church store and have built furniture pieces for various local Episcopal Churches. Additionally, I've built and sold church furniture on eBay. Here are examples of church furnishings I have built.


picture of a tabernacle

     A tabernacle is used by some church denominations (e.g., Catholic and Episcopal) for wine and wafer storage.
  • This tabernacle measures approximately 17 wide by 18 high by 12 deep.
  • The wafer shelf is located 4 from the top.
  • Materials used: oak for the tabernacle carcass and door frame; oak plywood for door panel, tabernacle back, and wafer shelf; and walnut is used for the cross. Base molding is hand made from oak.
  • Construction: The carcass is assembled using a combination of glue, Kreg pocket screws and dovetail joinery.
  • The oak door frame is made using mortise and tenon joinery.
  • After staining, a polyurethane sealer has been applied.
     Click here for additional tabernacle pictures and drawings

Music Stand

picture of a music stand

  • The music stand height and desk tilt are fully adjustable.
  • This music stand was assembled using a combination of high strength glue, dowels and sliding dovetail joinery.
  • The desktop and height adjustment screws are 1/4" stainless steel bolts with handmade walnut knobs.
  • Oak was selected for the feet because of its strength and the post is made from cherry. Additionally, maple was chosen for the desk top and walnut was used for the desk's ledge as a contrast.
  • The wood has been stained with a cherry finish and is protected by a clear polyurethane sealer.
Click here for additional music stand pictures and drawings

Choir Director's Platform

picture of a choir director's platform

  • This choir director's platform is approximately 20" wide, 19" deep and 9" high.
  • Materials used: Pine for the base; plywood for flooring and interior bracing; and outdoor carpet.
  • Construction: Carcass is assembled using dovetail joinery and high strength glue; interior ribs are attached using wood screws and high strength glue. The carpet is installed using contact cement. For safety reasons, the carpet is recessed to be level with the top of the wooden base.
  • A walnut cross is attached to the front of the base.
  • The sides have slotted handgrips for convenient moving.
  • The wood base is stained walnut and is protected with a clear polyurethane sealer. The stand is very dark in order to match the church's decor.
Click here for additional choir director's platform pictures and drawings

Choir Book Storage Pocket

picture of a choir book storage pocket

     Sometimes choir members need additional storage for their music.
  • This choir book storage pocket is approximately 17" wide, 8" deep, and will accommodate materials up to 3" thick.
  • Materials used: 3/4" pine; 1/4" oak plywood, and 1/4" oak slats.
  • Construction: Carcass is assembled using wood screws and high strength glue.
  • The unit is stained to match existing straight back chairs and is protected with a clear polyurethane sealer.
Note: This book storage pocket does not interfere with the kneeler located below.

Walnut Cross with Necklace

picture of a walnut cross and leather necklace

     This plain cross is approximately 4 1/4" high by 2 3/8" wide by 3/8" thick. The cross is hand sanded and rubbed with paste wax to highlight the walnut's natural beauty. The necklace is approximately 36" long and is made from round 2 mm leather. The cross lays flat on chest and does not twist. This item is sold in our church store.

Oak Plywood Lecturn

picture of a wooden lecturn

  • The lecturn desktop is 22" wide and 16" deep.
  • The bottom ledge of the desktop is made from 1 1/2" oak and is attached using biscuit joinery and glue.
  • The desktop is attached to the carcass using glue and Kreg© screws. The screws are hidden using oak pocket hole plugs.
  • The lecturn is 38" tall from the back and the desk has a rise of 5 1/2".
  • The 3/4" oak plywood carcass has glued mitered joints and is reinforced with 3 sets of 3/4" plywood angle braces fastened with Kreg screws and glue.
  • Two non-adjustable plywood shelves are attached using screws and they add to the overall rigidity and strength of the lecturn.
  • All exposed edges of the carcass, desktop, and shelving are surfaced with 3/4" oak strips.
  • The heavy base is approximately 24 x 24" and is 1 1/2" thick. The base consists of 3/4" plywood covered with 3/4" oak pieces used for appearance and durability. The outside edge of the base is finished with 1 1/2" wide oak strips.
  • The entire lecturn is finished with a cherry stain and is protected by a polyurethane finish.

Nativity Lodge Interior

picture of the Nativity Lodge interior

     I was asked to build a coffee table to match the seating in the Nativity Lodge's Great Room. The table needed to be rugged and capable of withstanding years of use by people staying at the lodge. I chose red oak and designed a mission styled coffee table. The coffee table was finished with a cherry stain protected by a clear polyurethane finish.

Additionally, the music stand (see description above) has been placed in the Nativity Lodge. Currently, I'm building a bookcase which will be added to the lodge's interior.

Click here for Nativity Lodge Furnishings

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Updated 03/22/2018
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