Chair Back Offering / Visitor Card Pen Holder

Posted: August 29, 2017 in Uncategorized

The chairs our church purchased didn’t have offering / visitor card holders built in.   We were using these horrible paper holders with a sticky back.  The sticky was gone.  Someone had added Velcro to try to make it stick better.  But it looked just horrible.  There was no place to put pens.  They got put in the man area, but would fall down and made it hard to retrieve them from without tearing the compartment.

I found a few plastic versions on the internet.  Although they looked like they would work fine, they are from $4 to $8 each.  We needed a hundred or so (putting a few per row).  As normal, we had no budget for this.  So I decided to try to build some.  Sorry I don’t have exact specifications any more, but maybe this blog will give you some ideas:

I got some red-oak from Home Depot.  Any wood would be fine, but I would suggest a hard-wood.

Here’s a sample of the wood cut:


Here’s how I cut the area for the cards in each holder.  I just clamped borders on 3 sides, of my tablesaw.  I installed my dado blade.  The goal is to quickly rip out the un-needed wood.  This could have also been done with a router.


This shows the process of cleaning out the wood.  Looking back, this makes me nervous.  At the time, I didn’t have a Saw Stop.  I currently have a Saw Stop JobSite saw.  At least if I screwed up, hopefully the Saw Stop would catch it…   Here’s a link to the Saw Stop:  SawStop JSS-MCA Jobsite Saw


Here’s a pic of the holder flipped around after the wood was cut away.  As you can see, the bottom is super clean, but it doesn’t matter and that part doesn’t show.


Here’s my jig I made for drilling the holes for the pens.  I put one on each side.  NOTE:  After drilling with the drill-press, I had to drill deeper with a handheld drill.  There wasn’t enough travel in the drill-press to go deep enough.


Here’s the holder after both sides were drilled for pens.  NOTE:  I have actually cleaned up my benchtop since this pic a few years ago.  I’m embarrassed to see how messy it was…


OK, so a few sections were skipped (no pictures).  I routed the sides, to add some decoration.  I also setup a jig to drill the screw holders with the drill press.  I used a countersink bit make sure the screw heads kinda disappeared.


Here’s a look at a few of them.  I was testing the size with a standard offering envelope.



Here’s my test-fit I did.  I hadn’t painted/stained the holder yet.  Just wanted to get approval from senior staff/board before moving forward.   Offering Envelope Matthew 10:8 (Package of 100)


Once I was to the point of installing them on the chairs (after they were painted), I built a jig to make sure they were installed at exactly the same spot on each chair.  Also, please NOTE:  make sure the screws don’t go far enough into the chair to stick the person sitting in the chair.  Especially someone fairly large.  They may compress the pad quite a bit…   But at the same time, make sure the screws are long enough to keep the holder in place.  Since I was normally sitting at the sound booth, I could see when these were in use.  Smaller kids would use the holders to pull up.  So they have to be fairly well secure.  But as far as I know, none have came off.  They are also thin enough not to interfere with stacking the chairs…

Here’s a stack of ones I built.  Seeing this picture remember how much work this was.  But it turned out very very good.


I built a sanding jig: Basic Sanding Jig  I used it to smooth all of the holders.


unfortunately, I can’t find a final picture of the product once installed.    I painted them a very very dark brown.  It actually looks black once installed, but a tiny bit of wood grain comes through.  The cost of this only came out to be the cost of wood.  I think it was less than $40…

If you have built some, I would love to see them.






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