Derek's Pulpit

IT AIN'T HEAVY, IT'S MY PULPIT
A unique design in wood, metal, and glass.

SHOP OWNER: Derek Lentz
LOCATION: San Jose, CA

    I made this pulpit for the church I attend. Although they specified the general look, they left the design and construction up to me. It was surprisingly complex to design and build.
    The top is 3/4" thick plate glass and is very heavy (around 65 lb). It has a welded steel frame consisting of a base, vertical post, and top plate to which the glass and wood mounted at the top. The wood is quarter-sawn white ash. I used solid wood, Russian birch plywood, paper-backed veneer, and veneer that I resawed from solid stock on the base, where there may be the possibility of some wear.
    The front piece (I call the curtain) is poplar bending plywood and veneered with paper-backed quarter-sawn veneer. The poplar attaches to shaped top and bottom forms with internal vertical sticks, which form the backsides and one in the center front. On top of the veneer are 1/8" thick accent strips of quarter-sawn wood whose edges are gently rounded.
    I tried a number of construction techniques and materials to put this together, but finally ended up using these materials. I glued the bending plywood onto the form along with the accent strips, since nothing else would work.
Derek's Pulpit

    The base has a solid wood edging all around the veneered plywood. The edging across the front of the base is a bent lamination. The feet are solid wood, shaped, and finished so that they will slide on carpet nicely. The plywood veneered panel of the base attaches to the edging using a tongue and grove joint. It was tricky getting the bent lamination, other angled molding pieces, and the curved shaped top to fit together well. I had to notch the top piece to allow it to pass around the center column of the steel frame and the front piece fitted back with the veneer trimmed to hide the notch.
Derek's Pulpit

    The glass has two mounting holes, which are huge because of tempering requirements. The mounting screws were also large. Drilling the 5/8" holes, with a hand drill, through the wood/steel/wood sandwiched top was difficult. Too bad I couldn't use my drill press on this.
    The whole thing weighs close to 200 lb. The base is intentionally heavy to keep it from being tipsy. It is easy to move on the carpet but I modified a hand truck so that it has a frame that slips under the base through an opening between the rear feet. This will allow it to be moved longer distances more easily and safely.

. . . Derek Lentz


 
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