As a cabinetmaker with an academic background in religious studies,* I’ve been asked more than once whether I specialize in building church pews.
Interdisciplinary crossover has occurred on just three occasions. Once I was asked to turn a part for a ceremonial scroll at a local synagogue. Then I built a display cabinet for a Presbyterian church.
The most recent coincidence of woodworking and religious studies is the sound booth I designed and installed for Bloomington’s First United Church.
The booth consists of a platform built by congregation member John Turner, a retired union electrician, who engineered the wiring plan.
I had the simpler task of designing and building the cabinetry that would go inside the booth–the three-drawer base seen here through the glass and a two-door base at the opposite end–along with the exterior assembly.
The panels enclosing the booth are built from 1-1/4″ (net) solid cherry with custom-veneered, sequence-matched cherry panels laid up on a 1/2″ m.d.f. substrate by Heitink Veneers. In other words, heavy. Complicating matters was the decision to have the solid framework stained to match the glass and wood wall between the entryway and the sanctuary, while leaving the panels “natural.” Fun. (I’ll share that technique in my next post.)
*specializing in aesthetics and ethics, not religious history or comparative religions, etc.