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Wood Butcher
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Mother-in-law mentioned to me over Christmas that her church was going to be getting rid of a pew in the spring to make some room at the back of the church. They would also like to turn another one into two separate smaller pews. I instantly thought of using the back of the pew for a table top that my wife and I have been talking about for some time.

It doesn't look too hard to cut the first one down the middle and use the ends from the other one to make the two smaller pews. That's the part that scares me. I don't want to ruin them. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'll post a picture of the pew later today when I leave work.
 

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My Mother-in-law mentioned to me over Christmas that her church was going to be getting rid of a pew in the spring to make some room at the back of the church. They would also like to turn another one into two separate smaller pews. I instantly thought of using the back of the pew for a table top that my wife and I have been talking about for some time.

It doesn't look too hard to cut the first one down the middle and use the ends from the other one to make the two smaller pews. That's the part that scares me. I don't want to ruin them. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'll post a picture of the pew later today when I leave work.
We definitely want to see pictures to better understand how to help.

Please include a picture of the ends from inside the pew, so we can see the joints.

As you say, cutting down the middle is perhaps the "easy" part. I expect some challenges due to the design. Potential for a bit of hand sawing.

Making two new ends to fit is more work.
 

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To make the smaller pews, I'd leave one side totally stock and just cut down one side. Shouldn't be difficult if the jointery is straightforward.
 

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where's my table saw?
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Yup

To make the smaller pews, I'd leave one side totally stock and just cut down one side. Shouldn't be difficult if the jointery is straightforward.
If that's possible, that's the easiest way. Cutting the back and the seat while still together may be an issue, hopefully not. These pews were not meant to go together with the backs and seats I had, so I had to rabbet new recesses in both inside ends to conform to the new shapes. Otherwise it should be a straight forwad cut using either a circular saw, sabre saw or hand saw or combination after you remove one end.
 

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I bought some old pews from a church last year. I'm doing like you and taking some of the wood for projects and will be making some smaller pews out of a couple of long ones. A friend and I had to break them down in order to get them all out of the church, so keeping the seat and the back together wasn't an option for me. My plan is to use my radial arm saw to cut them down to size but I would think you'd be safe using a circular saw with a good blade as long as you clamp down a straight edge to use as a fence.
 

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Wood Butcher
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't have a picture of the joinery on the bottom. I looked like a shelf was recessed in the side and then screwed in at an angle. I would have the two ends from the scrap pew to use for the new ends.

Sent from my iPhone using Wood Forum
 

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