How to Build a Corner Kitchen Nook out of Old Church Pews
A corner kitchen nook made from old church pews is a cozy spot for morning coffee or a casual family dinner. The style particularly suits country kitchen or farmhouse decor, but painting the pews to match the cabinetry or countertops helps them fit into any kitchen plan. To find pews for this project, check local churches that are remodeling, as they may be willing to sell or give away old pews. If that's not an option, check online, at architectural salvage yards and at thrift stores for old pews.
Remove one end of each pew, including the leg and arm. Remove opposite ends so that when the pews are arranged in an L formation, the two cut ends meet. Set the pew on a workbench and use a circular saw to cut off the end, taking care not to damage the legs. If you don't own a circular saw, work a pry bar into the crack between the end of the pew and the arm and pry the arm and leg off. If the arm and leg are screwed in, simply remove the screws. Retain the legs.
Use a combination square to draw a line at a 45-degree angle on the cut end of one pew. The front of the pew will be shorter than the rear of the pew once the cuts are made. A combination square has a metal ruler attached to a head that determines 45- and 90-degree angles. Interchangeable heads work for other angles, but aren't needed for this project.
Cut the end of the pew at the marked 45-degree angle with the circular saw or a jigsaw. Repeat the process with the other pew, cutting it at a 45-degree angle so that the two pews form an L when complete. Sand the cut edges smooth.
Set one pew upside down on the ground or a workbench and reattach the leg on the cut side. Clean the surfaces before applying a bead of wood glue to the pew and the top of the leg where it will be reattached to the underside of the pew. Wait a couple of minutes, set the leg in place and use clamps to hold the two parts together for the recommended length of time, typically at least 15 minutes.
Remove the clamps and use wood screws to hold the leg in place. The size of wood screw you use depends on the thickness of the pew bench and the leg where it's attached to the pew. Use screws long enough to firmly hold the leg in place, but not so long they pierce the surface of the pew.
Repeat the process with the other pew. Push the two pews together to form a corner seating area. Add a table to complete the nook.
- If the pews are too long to fit into the space, cut them to size before making the 45-degree cuts.
- If the arm and leg are made from a solid piece of wood, cut the leg to the appropriate length and discard the arm.
- For a more permanent installation, screw the pews together at the angle with metal straps before reattaching the legs.
Meg Jernigan has been writing for more than 30 years. She specializes in travel, cooking and interior decorating. Her offline credits include copy editing full-length books and creating marketing copy for nonprofit organizations. Jernigan attended George Washington University, majoring in speech and drama.
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