Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My Home-made Prie Dieu (Kneeler) Plans

Here's some rough plans for the Prie-Dieu. I used pine that was about 1/2" thickness which is what you would buy for homemade shelving. It was 9" wide.

The kneeler pillow board itself is 9" by 20" with a 2" thick foam piece I then covered with a rugged fabric material. I used a staple gun to staple the fabric material around the foam to the underside of the kneeler, kind of like re-upholstering a chair.   

  The top piece where you place your arms (along with a bible or prayer book or rosary) is 24" by 10". So it's oversized and is glued onto the top piece of pine.  I used a different type of wood, I had some nice pieces of cedar/redwood, but you could skip this step and leave the top piece as the pine board 9" by 20". It will glue flush between the side vertical pieces. This is the top piece that connects the two vertical  side boards.
    To give the slant to the top of the kneeler, make the vertical side piece 32 " long on one side and 30 inches on the other. Then when you cut  them, the slant will be made.  I dont know if this makes any sense. I kinda was flying by the seat of my pants when I made this.

The two little feet pieces that glue to the inside of the kneeler are 17" long and 3 3/4" wide. They stabilize the kneeler and give you a surface to place the actual knee board on.  I used another piece of pine 18 3/8" by 3 3/4" to glue between the pine footers to further stabilize the feet and support the kneel board. Especially if you're a heavy pray-er.(LOL)

I used cheap pipe clamps and furniture clamps and titebond glue to put it together. The hardest part was getting the initial glue joint set up for the top piece and the side vertical pieces. As Mr. Sweat used to say in shop class in 7th grade: " measure twice, and cut once" and always do a dry run of clamping before you actually apply glue and clamp.

I cut some little notches out of the sides of the vertical supports to give it a bit of character but if you are good with a roto zip you could probably do all sorts of cool things on these side pieces.

I attached the actual kneeler pillow board to the kneeler with velcro .

Note, I am 6'2 and you may need to shorten the vertical dimensions for the kneeler a bit if you are quite a bit shorter.

If you have any questions, just comment or e mail. Have fun and may the Lord Bless you in Zion and hear your prayers and answer them according to all his riches in Christ Jesus!


Blogger Shirley said...

Thanks Russ! Looks like something I could do. With a little help from my husband! (his tools!)

June 14, 2011 9:45 PM  
Blogger Magister Christianus said...

Thanks, Russ! This is very helpful. I will add this to my list of projects.

By the way, thanks for stopping by my site and leaving a comment!

June 15, 2011 6:02 AM  
Blogger Brent Stubbs said...


You have given me a new project to attempt.

God bless,


July 03, 2011 10:49 AM  
Blogger Russ Rentler, M.D. said...

Great Brent, have fun with it. I suggest cheap wood to start in case you make a few boo boos. Pine shelving at home depot, or loews, actually, is good stuff to use. Let me know if you need a hand.

July 03, 2011 2:46 PM  
Blogger Bridget Cowlishaw said...

It's been a while since you posted this, but I just found it and it's given me the incentive to build my own too. Thanks! I just don't understand why these are so expensive. Ah, well, there's probably something wholesome about building it one's self anyway.
Bless you!

February 27, 2013 10:05 PM  
Blogger Nick Halliday said...

Thank you for posting this! I am going to buy supplies today. Thanks so much!

March 11, 2013 11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been looking for a kneeler to build for some time. I will buy material and build soon.

February 14, 2014 11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have been thinking of building one of these for some time, but have limited tools and or know how. This looks pretty simple and straight forward. It also occurred to me that this could easily be pinned with dowels and glue. Perhaps white oak with black walnut pins. Wish me luck!

March 20, 2014 7:24 PM  
Blogger Russ Rentler, M.D. said...

Dowels and glue are a great idea and will make it much stronger.
Saint Joseph the carpenter will pray for you!
thanks for leaving a comment.
When you get it done, send me a pic!

March 20, 2014 9:30 PM  
Blogger Maria Colatarci said...

Looks good, Doc. I'd like to make a hinged kneeler that folds up and turns into a mild-mannered bookstand. Do you think that without the kneeler pad, yours would be steady enough to keep from tipping over, or would it need bigger feet?
...or I could find some way to put extra weight near the bottom, besides me, that is.

April 27, 2015 10:46 AM  
Blogger Helen said...

Greetings, Russ. I just discovered your plans for the kneeler. My husband will be able to help me build it. I do have one question: I am only 5'2" short, so can you tell me how much I will need to reduce the height?

Helen Rock

November 17, 2015 6:22 PM  
Blogger Helen said...

Greetings, Russ. I just discovered your plans for a kneeler. My husband will help me build it. I do have one question: I stand only 5'2". Can you tell me how much I should reduce the overall height of the kneeler?


November 17, 2015 6:24 PM  
Blogger Russ Rentler, M.D. said...

Helen, I suspect at least 6-10 inches shorter. You could kneel down on floor and put your elbows out where they are comfortable and have your husband measure the distance from elbow to knees and take that measurement to adjust the total height of the side pieces. Or go to a Church that has little kneeler a and tape measure the height of the side pieces.

November 17, 2015 6:54 PM  
Anonymous Helen said...

Thank you, Russ. Any chance you could email me photos of your finished Prie Dieu?

November 28, 2015 1:05 PM  
Blogger Russ Rentler, M.D. said...

Helen if you e mail me at dobrodoc1 (at) gee mail dot com with your e mail I'll send them.

November 29, 2015 11:21 PM  
Blogger frusao said...

I thank my dear friend, Dave Biche who sent this link to me. We are going to do this together: with his tools, as I get the materials. ALL FOR OUR MUTUAL FAMILY BENEFITS. Thank you Russ Rentler, M.D. and Dave Biche, my friend. Stay blessed and safe.

Fr Onyeabor

July 29, 2017 5:54 PM  

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