How to Build a Wooden Cross

Written by contributing writer
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The cross has played a special role in human history. It represents the thoughts and feelings of millions, if not billions, of Christians around the world. Although many of the great crosses of Europe are ornate, you can build a simple wooden cross in little time--and with only a few basic tools.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 2 pieces of wood
  • Electric saw
  • Chisel
  • Steel angle
  • Wood glue
  • Wood clamp
  • Sandpaper

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  1. 1

    Get two pieces of flat wood of any kind (if the cross is to be placed outside, it should be waterproof). Decide on a cross plan for your cross. Most crosses have a 1:3 ratio for the size of the vertical and horizontal elements.

  2. 2

    Cut the horizontal piece to the correct size. Place the piece on the vertical piece about two thirds of the way up the board. Make sure that the horizontal piece protrudes the same distance on either side.

  3. 3

    Use a steel angle to make sure that the horizontal piece crosses the vertical at exactly 90-degree angles. Trace two lines (lightly in pencil) on the vertical piece where the horizontal piece crosses it.

  4. 4

    Score several lines with a saw in the area between these two lines on the vertical piece. Don't cut all the way through the board. Cut at least 1/2 inch and make sure that each score is the same depth.

  5. 5

    Use a chisel to cut out the wood between the scores. The result should be a recessed area. Sand down any ridges or high spots in this area so that it's perfectly level.

  6. 6

    Spread wood glue inside the recessed area and place the horizontal cross piece inside it. Measure the two protruding sides of the horizontal piece so that they are equidistant from the vertical. Clamp the horizontal piece in place and let it dry overnight. If the cross is particularly large, drill screws through the back of the cross (through both boards).

Tips and warnings

  • Write meaningful expressions or phrases on your cross to make it more personal.
  • Never operate power tools unless trained to do so.

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