Customers occasionally bring us surplus church pews to resize and use for bench seating for their homes. Typically these are 10 to 12 feet long, much too big for a house of course. Usually the seat back and bench are wedged into slots on the pew ends and then toenailed in from the back. We disassemble the pew by pulling off any trim that hides the nails then use a variety of tools to pull the nails, trying to minimize any damage to the existing finish. We’re left with the 2 end panels.
The bench seat and back are usually held together with screws. Once the screws are removed and the hymnal holders taken off we can cut them down on the slider:
The bench seat usually has rounded corners at the ends so you don’t catch your leg when entering the pew. The cut end will need to be sanded down to match the uncut end. Usually we do this with the edge sander, then finish the contour with a random orbit sander. Note the hardened gobs of ancient chewing gum stuck to the underside of the seat:
The seat back and bench are reassembled with screws, and then pressed back into the slots on the pew ends using bar clamps. Shims are driven in to wedge it into place against to push the back and seat up against the show face of the slot in the pew ends, then cut flush. Then the assembly is toenailed or screwed into the pew ends. They get covered with 1/4 round molding along the backside.
Finished and ready to pick up.