butter light

church cross project: design – wood, metal or something else?

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File:Millennium Cross in Skopje (1).jpgIf not the most important symbol in Christianity certainly the cross has to rank in the top 5. Whether to have a cross or not in the church is for some groups a topic of debate. If so, then what kind of cross is best?

The church where my family and I go has not had a cross outside or inside its buildings for nearly 3 decades. This was not necessarily out of some ingrained belief. For whatever reason we never got around to it.

Finally, it was decided to have a cross (an empty cross, not a crucifix) installed in the main worship room. The room is large, with walls painted in a creamy white and a few architectural details. As churches go it is a rather simple looking room. But there is a beautiful wide stone wall section, from floor to ceiling, centered behind the pulpit. The stone is natural so it’s pleasing to the eye. This would be an ideal place for a new cross.

So, now we have the spot for this new cross. What should the cross look like? What material will be best to use? Should it be wood with a furniture quality finish? Should it be of metal, like satin brass or satin aluminum? Should it be made of wood, but with a rustic and rough look?

My personal preference leaned toward wood with a quality furniture finish. At the end of this discuss the leadership decided on wood, but rustic and rough. At the time I wasn’t sure about going that way, but now that we have gotten this far into the project I see that it is indeed the best choice.

The next question was how it would be installed and how heavy will it be? Long story, short we decided to make the cross not out of wood, but out of a lightweight material called HDU. HDU is high density urethane. It’s a great material to work with in the shop, but one big problemo. It has no wood grain to it. Off the delivery truck HDU board looks like sanded plastic.

Image

Here is a look at stage 1 of this cross project. I cut the sheet into proper widths and lengths for gluing and screwing into a “u,” an open box shape. In future posts I will lay out before you the story how this synthetic, hollow construction turns into a convincing replica of a rustic wood cross. 

next: church cross project – why urethane?

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2 thoughts on “church cross project: design – wood, metal or something else?

  1. Pingback: church cross – why urethane? | butter light

  2. I look forward to seeing the details– and seeing how it looks in the auditorium at Trinity! I think the wood cross against the rocks at the front wil be beautiful.

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