While I am waiting till I can deliver the sacristy cabinet, I figured I would post a few of the other projects that I have worked on this past year. I have made a couple pieces of furniture for the church so I will post them first. I was asked before Easter last year to build a Tenebrae Hearse. Google it if you want a full explanation. Basically, it is a candle holder that is used for the Tenebrae service on Good Friday. I get the most interesting projects… There are surprisingly few variations on the web and definitely no plans so I set down to design my own. I came up with four or five different variations and ultimately settled on this one because it matched the other furniture and was light enough to move around by one person. I originally intended to build it with a solid oak post then put weights in the base to keep it from being too top-heavy. But then it would have been too heavy to move easily. After consulting with a friend he suggested I make the post out of 4 pieces and miter them with a lock miter bit. This made the column very solid, but without all the weight. If you ever tried to use a lock miter bit, you may have noticed how hard it is to set up properly. I got it very close and then put a 45 degree chamfer up the outside of all four corners of the column. You could no longer tell that it was off and it got rid of the sharp corners at the same time. After I worked out the column, I made up the feet. They were designed to be screwed and glued to the sides prior to the assembly and glue-up of the miters I just cut on the post sides. I made up the head-piece next, cut the steps for the candles on the band saw, then pre-drilled for the screw posts. I clamped on a block to align my drill perpendicular to the top of each step so that my candles would all point in the same direction… I cut a notch in the top of the post and dropped the head-piece in. I had to make a few symbols to go on the faces. They weren’t needed, but if you are going to put effort into something, why not dress it up a little. I thought about routing things in, but I felt they would stand out better if they stuck out. I cut a couple of keys to represent the keys of Saint Peter and the Alpha and Omega for the other side. These were cut out on my scroll saw then sanded. Once all my pieces were cut and dry-fit, I glued it all up and let it sit over night. Next was the staining. I think it took me longer to find a stain that matched the church’s wood work then it did to build the project. I had installed the screw posts prior to urethaning so I wouldn’t scratch up the surface with my ratchet but now I had to figure out how to get down into those tight areas with a brush without clogging the threads. I discovered that a standard drinking straw fits very snugly over a 1/4-20 thread post. I wadded a bit of paper towel to clog the end and urethaned the rest without any problems. After two coats it was done. I placed the candles on top and made a few gentle tweaks. It only took a couple of evenings, but it turned out nicely. Unfortunately, I missed the Tenebrae service…
Apparently people are looking for plans to build their own. I have added a post with some plans if you are interested. https://lwroten.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/tenebrae-hearse-plans/
Oh, One more thing that I failed to mention. All of the wood used for this project as well as my other projects for Saint Peters was donated by Alex Grabenstein of Vintage Lumber, Woodsboro MD. They sell new and reclaimed hardwood flooring. Some of the thicker pieces on this project came from reclaimed wood. It is quite possible that the feet holding this piece up came from a local barn that stood for 50 years or more. It is always good to see beautiful piece of wood that didn’t get tossed into the burn pile. The company has been around for a while, but the website is fairly new. Check it out.