The Making of Publow Church Furniture.

by | Jun 8, 2016

We had the great privilege of working for Publow All Saints’ Church in Pensford. The brief was to design and make a secondary alter for their ‘Lady Chapel’, as well as a fitted cabinet for an existing arched hole in the wall and a large fitted sideboard for another area in the church.

We decided to go for a unifying arch design across the pieces to mach the large arches of the church itself.

Here are some pictures of the finished pieces (larger images can be seen in our portfolio):









All of the furniture was made from an oak tree that had fallen naturally only 1 mile away from the church – it was planked and air dried for around 10 years before it was further seasoned in our workshop before it was ready to work. This ensures that furniture will move as little as possible as it ‘settles’ to the humidity and heat of the church. It is impossible to stop wood from moving, so a large part of the job is to allow for this fact!

Boards of the oak in the workshop:


As the church is near Bristol and our workshop was in Newcastle, there was a lot of careful measuring up before work started to make sure that things were going to fit when they were delivered.

The next process was to sort through the oak boards and decide which were best for each component. This way we could make sure that curved grain was taken advantage of in the arches – allowing for strength and aesthetics.

Alter arches being cut:


The sideboard was made using a traditional frame and panel method, with veneered plywood dividers. The sheer size of the piece made it quite an undertaking, but it was a great project.

The other design difficulty was that the arches on the doors run against the grain of the door panels, which could have meant the wood would have tried to move in contradicting ways. To avoid this happening, the panels were made from veneers cut from the boards, which prevents movement. The arches were also made as an integral part of the door frame in order to allow for any settling.