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Sponsored Post: How Are Church Pulpits Made?

David Woodburn works in the Church and has some information to share about Pulpits.

This article seems like it is only for those who lead church congregations and happen to be a bit handy around wood. But really, if you are any kind of public speaker or you are someone who stands in front of audiences on a regular basis, you could stop renting church podiums (or are they podia?) or pulpits can be a thing of the past if you actually learned how to make a wooden podium of your own that can fit your height and size and the amount of books or notes you use.

It does take some work, but it is not one of the more difficult woodworking projects to do, and you could put some casters on the bottom to help move it easily from venue to venue as you need it. Here is a quick guide to making your own church podium or pulpit.

Tools you will need

As with many wood projects, even a relatively simple project seems to need a lot of tools and supplies to be pulled off, so do not be intimidated by this list. It always seems to come together at the right time, right?

As always, you will need safety glasses or goggles, and gloves may be handy (let’s get the safety stuff out of the way).  Besides that, you will need about 15-20 wood screws, wood glue, a damp rag, a hammer, a screwdriver, a hand saw or mitre saw, finish nails, mitre box, and 120 grit sandpaper.

Oh, did we forget the wood? Sorry. You will also need some L brackets and several pieces of four different sizes of wood. You will need two 1x18x24-inch boards, one 1x18x22.5-inch board (this is for an optional feature later), three 1x18x48-inch boards (the length can be adjusted up or down based on your height), and a single 1x1x24 board.

Make the base

Take two of the 1x18x48 boards and cut a 15- to 20-degree angle off a single end. These boards will be the sides of the podium and will need angles to hold the top of the podium. Once you’ve done that, put the three boards together to form a box shape, attaching them at the sides with wood glue. Then, take finishing nails and drive them into the edges of the “box.”

Top and bottom

Add wood glue to the top of the podium (where the angle cuts are) and place one of the 1x18x24 boards flat on top. Wipe off any excess glue that seeps under the wood and then drive finishing nails every 8 to 10 inches around.

Next, lay the podium on its front side and add glue to the bottom of the sides and place the other 1x18x24 board across to complete the “box” shape on five sides. Again, wipe off extra glue and use finishing nails as before. After this all dries, add a little wood glue to the bottom edge of the podium top and attach the 1x1x24 board as the lip to hold papers and books. Drive a nail about every six inches to hold the lip in place.

An optional feature

While many podia (we’ll go with it) just have the top surface, there are some very useful ones that have a shelf positioned somewhere in the middle of the church podium – perfect for hiding bottles of water of supplemental books or materials that would just clutter the top surface.

If you are one who could use a shelf with your podium, then here you measure up about 24 inches from the bottom and make a couple marks on the inside on each side board. Line up the 1x18x22.5 board along those marks and place L brackets along each side, about two inches or so from the front and back of the shelf. Screw those bad boys in place, give your podium a light sanding and use a wood finish that you like and you are done.

So as you can see, while the idea of church pulpit or church podium seems daunting, it really  is not terribly difficult as long as you know a little bit about sawing wood and using wood glue and finish nails. This can be a fun project and can provide you with a great, personalized space for your notes or books while you are speaking in public.


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Michael Orion is a blogger, writer, artist and photographer based in the Bay Area. Besides his maintenance and promotion of Radical Second Things, he contributes to the San Francisco newspaper SF Western Edition, where he writes about local non-profit organizations.

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Radical Second Things is a liberation theology themed blog that has clear cut goals - we see the structural decline of the United States and much of the west and hope to present alternatives that will offer "a preferential option for the poor" as more become vulnerable.

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