Lectern and Alter

Inspired by a shepherd's staff and Gothic arch.

SHOP OWNER: Alan Young
LOCATION: Ypsilanti, MI

    I designed and built this lectern and altar for Christ the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Canton, Michigan. The pieces are walnut and elm.
Reading Stand - Front View

    I based the design of these pieces on two elements; a cross in the form of a shepherd's staff, and a curve in the form of the Gothic arch. The arch appears in the reading stand of the lectern as a series of three openings across the front and again on the side. A scrolled groove and hand cut dovetails accent the reading stand.
Reading Stand - Rear View

    From the back, there is an alcove for placing papers, the Holy Scriptures, or other notes.

    The lectern rises in three directions from one centralized point through three curved pieces, which are segments of the Gothic arch.


  Gothic Arch Drawing

Alan's Jig

    The curve, the design basis for this altar, is from the Gothic arch, a design feature found in the architecture of churches and cathedrals dating back hundreds of years.

  Alan's Jig

    To join the curves accurately, I had to make a jig. I based it on the height and width of the curve, which in this case is 32" H x 14.5 W. So I cut a piece of MDF to those dimensions and placed blocks along the curve line. The attached toggle clamps hold the piece for cutting.
    These shots show the top of the curve being trimmed. To cut the other end, I simply turn the jig around.
Alan's Jig

    Because each piece joins another at the base, I need a flat surface for edge gluing. To accomplish this, I put a 1/2" shim between the piece and the clamp blocks. This allows the base of the work piece to protrude enough that when it is trimmed and mated with a corresponding piece, I'll have approximately three inches of straight glue line.

. . . Alan Young

  Glue Joint
 Finished Alter




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