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The Lakeway Church Chancel Cross

We recently created and installed a 20-foot x 11-foot x 10-inch Walnut Chancel Cross for The Lakeway Church.  Bob Galloway of Jackson Galloway/FGM Architects was the designer of the cross which would hang from the stonework with a stained glass surround.  They originally wanted solid walnut, but walnut in these dimensions was not feasible.  The weight would be quite difficult to handle, but more importantly, any walnut of that dimension would not be completely kiln-dried and would develop significant cracks and warp over time pulling away from the wall anchors.

Mark used a core box construction made with a lightweight, high quality Italian plywood.  The plywood was faced with especially thick walnut veneer of exceptional quality and backed with poplar veneer of the same thickness for balance. He used a large veneer press in another shop to veneer the side pieces of the cross.  The back of the cross was not veneered, but hand-holds were cut out to facilitate moving the large cross and to further eliminate some of the weight.  Then the final top layers of walnut veneer were glued to the face of the cross. The vertical and horizontal pieces of the cross remained separate until the final installation in the church, but were put together at times in the shop to assure a perfect fit when installing.

We are now beginning construction of a Chancel Table and Lectern for their worship space.  I’ll keep you posted...

The vertical and horizontal pieces of the cross repeatedly joined in the shop to assure a perfect fit when installing. They were not permanently joined until the final installation.

The huge wall made the installation as tricky as constructing the cross.

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