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Helpful Tidbits & Hints for Pews and Worship Space Maintenance and Church Restoration Projects

Removing Pews For Church Restoration: Make a diagram of the church sanctuary/nave showing the pew layout. Measure from the front of the first pew to the platform, all aisle widths, pew sizes, distance between pews, and back aisle. Mark and number each pew to be returned to their original location. When pews were originally installed they were most likely scribed to the floor in there present location and will not set properly if moved to a different spot.

How To Move Pews: Lifting pews by the pew ends puts undue stress on any type of pew end. The particleboard constructed pew ends are weaker and screws may loosen or rip out of ends. Older pews with center dividers are probably nailed and are weak and easy to break apart at the divider. Newer pews with dividers attached with screws are also weaker. Use 4 to 6 people to lift a pew. Place wood bars under pew seat so a person can lift from either side keeping divider even in height with pew ends. Place dollies under each pew end and center divider or support to easily move pews where needed. We have pew installers which can take pews apart for storage and reinstall pews when and where needed.

Carpeting Floor Under Pews: Make sure you number pews and return them to their original location. For concrete floors where pews were installed with concealed anchor bolts, use two 12 foot PVC pipes 2” diameter, lay pipes beside anchor bolts protruding from concrete floor. Roll carpet over pipes and fold back to glue, pull pipes out as carpet is glued to the floor and punch anchor bolts through the carpet. This saves time and money replacing anchor bolts and repositioning pews.
Pew Cushions Slipping And Sliding: Purchase from Home Depot, Lowe’s, or Bed Bath & Beyond open weave rubberized type drawer liner popular for RV’s and boats. Purchase 20” to 24” wide rolls and cut in half for best value. Cut the drawer liner a little shorter than the cushion and place underneath. This will hold your cushion in place so well you will think your cushions are nailed down.
Pew Kneeler Problems: Many pew manufacturers incorrectly install metal and wood framed kneelers. They allowed the kneelers to pivot to far forward and create a place for people to rest their feet.This causes many problems. Metal frames are bent, brackets are broken or screws are ripped out of the wood on the pew ends and supports. Over the last 40 some years, most wood and metal framed kneelers are attached to the pews using D style combination brackets. They can be replaced with D-A advanced combination brackets. This bracket is stronger and has 4 holes for attaching with screws. Using this bracket and correcting the bracket angle, you should have fewer maintenance issues. See our kneeler parts list.
Metal Framed Kneeler Leg Feet: When replacing rubber feet, use two part industrial strength epoxy to adhere. This adhesive should work on older rubber feet that are in good shape but have come loose. See our replacement parts list and the new style molded kneeler leg with life time warranty.

Removing Candle Wax: There are several ways to remove candle wax. See fabric manufacturers cleaning instructions and follow directions for removing chewing gum. For wood pews and metal furnishings use a hairdryer to melt wax and blot with a towel. A hairdryer can be used on upholstery and carpet but be very very careful not to damage fibers. I have had several customers call over the years for replacement upholstery from damage with irons. Purchase #9988 Wax and Spot Remover from The A. I. Root Company, Medina, Ohio, phone #1-800-289-7668 or see their web site for stores near you. They also make #20A and #32B congregational 51% beeswax candles that do not drip per company spokesman. Also Jasco or other brands of Fresh Adhesive Clean-up, used by carpet installers to remove carpet adhesive, will remove other stains including candle wax. Read their labels for directions and test in an inconspicuous area for compatibility and results before general application. The Fresh Adhesive Clean-up should list stains and candle wax in their instructions and can be purchased from Home Depot, Lowe’s, or your local hardware store.

Wood Furniture Stain Touch-up: Purchase Minwax Wood Finish Stain Markers in appropriate color from your local hardware store. For nicks, scratches, worn edges, etc. apply stain to wood and wipe off with clean cloth per manufacturers instructions. If color needs to be darkened, let stain set a little longer before wiping off.

Care For Wood Furniture: Purchase Guardsman Furniture Polish and follow their directions. Polish will bring out the depth and beauty of your wood furniture and wood work. Wood that is soiled or has wax build-up first use Guardsman Wood Cleaner. You can purchase Guardsman products from your local hardware store.
Removing Dents In Wood Furniture: Place a very damp towel over dent and use a hot iron on top. The moisture and heat will remove a lot of the dent.
Baptistry Flooding Sanctuary: More than one church member has become distracted when filling their baptistry and flooded their sanctuary. A baptistry autofill may be a cheap insurance policy. See our baptistries and parts list.
Continuous Loop Church Carpeting: Purchase seam sealer and a carpet seam roller from Home Depot or Lowe’s. The seam roller is the tool used by carpet installers to blend seams. Any time you see a pulled thread, cut off thread and or place some seam sealer deep into threads and use the seam roller to blend. This will seal the threads and keep the seam from running the length of the carpet and creating a wide gap. Do not slide tables or other furniture and pews over carpet. The friction from moving furniture may create lines in the carpet that are not removable.
Bubbles In Church Carpeting: For small areas where glued down carpet is loose. Purchase a Flavor Injector for meat from the house wares department. Purchase Multi-Purpose Carpet Adhesive and Fresh Adhesive Clean-up from Home Depot or Lowe’s. Use the flavor injector filled with adhesive and punch through the carpet injecting adhesive over the bubble area. Place a heavy object on the bubble until adhesive is dry.
Removing Upholstered Pew Seat For Repairs: Many pew manufacturers make their pews so the upholstered seats can be removed without disturbing the rest of the pew body. Look under the seat where seat attaches to the end. If there is a wood plate routed into the pew end and the seat butts up to the end, you may be able to remove the seat. Remove the 2 screws from the plate that screw into the seat bottom. Remove screws from supports into seat bottom. On outside of back, remove trim piece along bottom of back to expose screws every 12” to 18” apart. Remove screws and seat should pull out without disturbing the rest of the pew.
Manufacturers New Pew Warranty: Most pew companies void their warranty if the pews have been unbolted and moved without the pew manufacturers supervision. Also most pew companies do not warrant free standing pews and pews not bolted to the floor. You may want to check with your pew manufacturer, for pews under warranty, before your church restoration project is under way.