Monday, August 20, 2012

More Pews

The organic nature of our ministry offers some unique opportunities for creativity and collaboration. We heard that Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church had some old pews taking up space in their soon-to-be-demolished shed. The church has been in the neighborhood since 1848, and we've worked with them on the Hyde Park Festival and gardening. We already have some experience making furniture out of recycled pallets, so we were interested in getting the pews. So we called them up and checked them out, and they looked usable. Everyone agreed that the craftsmanship on the old pews was too good to waste. Plus, they were a great piece of history (although no one's sure on the exact age, they're at least 80 years old). But we didn't have a place to store them, or a product to make with them. Also, I was getting married and wanted to use the pews for my outdoor wedding in Hyde Park. So Holy Trinity held on to them for a few weeks. In that time, they also invited us to sell our products at their trivia night fundraiser. We decided to build a custom piece out of the recycled pews and sell them at the trivia night, giving half the cost to Holy Trinity (plus a portion of our other sales).

After some thinking, we decided on a hall shelf; something a little more unique than a bench, and a little smaller, too. The construction is pretty basic, but sturdy, and retains the original, aged finish of the oak. So after the pews did their time at the wedding, we broke them down, denailed them, cut the seats to our shelf sizes, and assembled it. After scrubbing them down with some Murphy's oil soap, the wood shone wonderfully.

The finished product.  The photo on the left shows it in action!

What else have we made of pews? Well, we've made a conference table. One lady custom ordered a bench.

Pretty much just a short pew, but with a shelf added to the bottom.

I made a storage bench for my wife.

The seat lifts up to reveal a storage area.

And, we've made a pretty fantastic candle holder.

Actually made from the same pews as the conference table.  It's the base of the end of the pews.

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