While I let the benches cure in the shop I won’t be making any saw dust. I figured I would put up another project that I completed a few months ago.
Our church burned down a few years back so we built a new one. Churches are expensive and the furniture required can often be custom and expensive. We decided to put the available funds into things like a roof, walls, heat and so forth. That meant things like the statues behind the altar have been sitting on some spindly little Ikea tables for a few years, artfully hidden by some leafy plants. I was asked if it would be possible to make some bases that matched the oak paneled walls behind the altar. With great confidence, I smiled and said “Uhh, I don’t know. Maybe?” Once I started looking closely at the walls I had to match, I realized that I needed more tools. first I went out and bought a contour gauge and slapped it up against the trim. This gave me a size and shape that I could re-create at home on the computer. Next I began a search of router bit profiles. I found a couple of standard profiles that were similar, but the builder must have had their own custom profiles. The standard ones would do, so I ordered them and got to work on my design. I decided to start with a 3/4″ oak plywood box. I added a piece of 1/2″ plywood for the bottom in case anyone wanted to store anything in there at some point. This PDF shows a cross-section of what I came up with:
I took the time to make a mock-up corner piece and took it in to compare to the existing wall. Glad I did, I was off a bit here and there. I made note of the adjustments and got to work on the bases. For the assembly, I purchased a new 23 gauge pin nailer. I have an 18 gauge, but I didn’t want any visible nail holes. It worked well, but The safety lever is extremely close to the trigger, I accidentally shot several pins into my walls before I figured out that my hands were a bit too big to put all of my fingers on the grip. Oh well, at least the kids were not helping that day…
I personally have a heck of a time getting my miters to meet up perfectly, so I decided to build the entire trim assembly for each side, then miter it and assemble it to the box in one piece. This way I only needed to get four, nearly perfect, miters per box instead of every single piece of trim. I glued and nailed the trim assembly to the boxes from the inside with my 18 gauge nailer. Earlier I had glued up the panels that would become the tops to the boxes. Once my trim was installed, I cleaned up the lid glue joints and rounded off the edges. I cut a 3/4″ dado to catch the trim that I installed about an inch taller than the box. This prevents you from seeing a gap under the lid if it doesn’t sit perfectly. I also added a couple of stiffeners to the bottom of each lid. Both boxes were then stained to match the walls and coated with two coats of satin polyurethane.
Installed, they look pretty good. at least they don’t need to be hidden behind big leafy plants…