The Church of Saint Maximos the Confessor
In Colorado Springs, Colorado
Receives a New Altar Table

On November 21 / December 4, 2016 — The Feast of the Entry of the Theotokos into the Temple — The fathers of Dormition Skete were happy to install a new Russian style altar table in the Church of Saint Maximos the Confessor in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Built according to the Russian style, this altar table has no screws or nails. It is made entirely of wood. The four nails you see depicted add no structual integrity to the table, but are symbolic of the four nails with which Christ our Saviour was crucified.

This table was a group project, with all members of Dormition Skete participating in its construction.

Clamping the Table Down to get everything to align
    properly.

Clamping the Table Down to get everything to align properly.

Hammering two pegs in.

This table was constructed with forty mortise and tenons, held together with wooden pegs using the “Draw Bored” technique. The holes in the tenons (male portion) are offset slightly from the holes in the mortises (female portion) to draw the pieces tightly together. Here we are hammering two pegs in. The excess on both sides of the pegs will be trimmed with a flush cut saw.

The mortises must be supported so they do not crack
    while the pegs are being hammered in.

The mortises must be supported so they do not crack while the pegs are being hammered in.

Cutting off the excess to make the pegs flush with the
    table.

Cutting off the excess to make the pegs flush with the table.

After a light sanding, this is the final product.
    Glory be to our holy God!

After a light sanding, this is the final product.
Glory be to our holy God!

After a light sanding, this is the final product.
    Glory be to our holy God!

The altar table is a one meter cube, made of red oak.

A hand-forged nail like what is in each of the four
    corners to symbolize the four nails with which Christ was crucified.

A hand-forged nail, like what is in each of the four corners, to symbolize the four nails with which Christ was crucified.

The nails are recessed into the table top.

The nails are recessed into the table top. There is a small box at the top of each leg, below the nails, that a special mixture of wax and fragrant spices will be pored into before the nails are hammered in with rocks during the consecration service. You can see the boxes in some of the photos above.

The altar table will be dressed with multiple layers
    of cloth. There is a groove all the way around the edge of the table for a cord to secure the
    bottom layer in place.

The altar table will be dressed with multiple layers of cloth. There is a groove all the way around the edge of the table for a cord to secure the bottom layer in place.

A reliquary is centered in the bottom of the table,
    where the relics of martyrs will be placed when the table is consecrated.

A reliquary is centered in the bottom of the table, where the relics of martyrs will be placed when the table is consecrated.

The altar table with a temporary covering, and with
    the Gospel, cross and other items on it. Father Symeon, the parish priest, is in the
    background.

The altar table with a temporary covering, and with the Gospel, crosses and other items on it.
Father Symeon, the parish priest, is in the background.

Another view of the altar table. Glory be to our holy
    God!

Another view of the altar table.

Glory be to our holy God!

 

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