C. Meton


This is a pulpit that I built for my church.

The lumber is called "Tiger Wood," which is also known as "Goncalo Alves," and it comes from trees that grow in Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. This is the first time that I have ever worked with Tigerwood.

Front of pulpit with boiled linseed oil finish

The boiled linseed oil really brings out the color of the wood.

Front of pulpit with boiled linseed oil finish

This is the rear of the pulpit, showing the reason for the hollow legs: a couple of shelves upon which to hide water bottles. I don't think I will ever build another of these but, if I do, the legs will be solid instead of hollow. It was really, really difficult clamping these legs for gluing. The boards had internal stresses that causes warps and bends after cutting and that made it extremely difficult to clamp it in place. I think, if I ever have to do this kind of a joint again, I will look for a way to pull it together with screws instead of clamps.

Pulpit assembled, pending sanding and finishing.

Here it is on Father's Day. It is assembled and in the process of being sanded and prepared for finishing.

Legs installed with the pulpit upside-down.

These are the legs after I got them all assembled and glued. The angles involved made clamping the legs really difficult. I built three separate jigs before I came upon a design that allowed me to clamp the pieces together well enough.

The legs are made from five, separate pieces joined to each other at a 45 degree angle.

The photo below shows the "V" cuts that I made in the sides of the leg pieces to make the joints stronger. Even with these shaped joints, clamping the legs for gluing was very difficult.

Detail of leg joinery

The pieces were cut from the legs to shorten them. The reason that they had to be shortened was that the original plan did not call for the skirts around the top and the base of the pulpit. Addition of the skirt at the base added three inches to the overall height of the pulpit, so shortening the legs remedied that. The holes are for pocket screws.

Legs installed with the pulpit upside-down.

These boards are for the face and one side of the desk portion of the pulpit. The miters are joined with biscuits and urethane glue. The boards are cut from one, continuous piece of wood in order to get the grain to wrap around the desk.

The Pulpit with the skirt clamped in place for a dry fit.

Here is it with the upper skirt clamped in place for a dry fit. I still need to cut the biscuit slots and then attach the skirt with glue and maybe a few pocket screws.

The cubby is visible under the desk portion of the pulpit. The cubby provides a place to put materials that will be needed for only a portion of the speaker's presentation, allowing the desk to be less cluttered.

The legs are hollow to allow for a shelf to hold a water bottle.

Pulpit with skirt clamped for dry fit.  Viewed from the side.

And the side view.

Visible in this photo is the wrap-around effect of the grain on the upper portion of the pulpit. This is done by using the same board to go all the way around the pulpit, turning corners, but keeping the grain aligned. This effect was done on the desk portion and on both of the skirts.

Pulpit after partial sanding.

This shows the front of the pulpit after it has been completely assembled and partially sanded.

Pulpit after partial sanding.

This is the back view showing the shelves that are intended to hold water bottles. The legs were designed to be hollow specifically for the purpose of hiding a water bottle in either leg.

At this point, it was almost done. More sanding and then the boiled linseed oil!


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