Reply To: Old Church Pews

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George Scales

I was a pastor for 47 years. About 20 years ago we built a new church and had to dismantle the old one (built in 1762). The pews in the old one were made of heart pine. Though the pews were made by the same pattern, the quality of workmanship varied. I suspect that a plan was determined and families made their own pew. The seat was eleven feet long, fifteen inches wide and two inches thick. The back were made of two rails that were about six inches wide and the same thickness as the seat. Families in the church took many of the pews home, but more than fifteen had come apart. I took those pieces home to my own shop. Over the next several years I made three trestle dining tables and four cupboards (pie safes in the Southern US) and at least four wall clocks .Frequently, on Craigs list, people want to give away free of charge, old pianos. These are wonderful source of mahogany, some times ebony, and genuine pieces of ivory that can become accents is projects. You can sell the iron it the piano for scrap and the maple sound board can make cutting board, jewelry boxes and other small projects.

Old pews are a great source of seasoned wood.