DIY 3ft wooden cross project


I made one of these originally for my parent's 45th wedding anniversary. My wife loved it so much she wanted me to make one for her. This is a 3ft wooden cross with 3 different woods. You can really whatever woods you would like but I chose red oak, poplar, and walnut. I like the contrasting grains and colors. I could have uses woods with richer colors or better grain patterns but using red oak and poplar help keep the overall cost down. I also put the walnut as the shortest of the 3 woods because needed less of it and it is by far the most expensive of the 3 woods. 




Step 1:

Rip all of the boards to the proper height. As you can see in the picture, I need to clean my rip blade since I got a little burning on the edges. It is nothing a little sanding won't fix. Then cut all of the strips to length based on the plans.


Step 2:

I forgot to get a picture of my setup but next you need to use a miter say to cut the all of the boards at 90 degrees at the appropriate lengths per the plans. Below is a pic of me checking how well the mitered corners fit together.


Step 3:

Sand all of the parts with 120 grit sand paper. I used a n orbital sander and clamped the pieces to my work bench to help speed things up. I only used 120 grit because I like the natural texture/grain of the wood to show and not have the wood too smooth.


Step 4:

Dry fit all of the parts to make sure the fit together well.


Step 5:

Glue and clamp the center and middle pieces together. I used a corner clamp to make sure that red oak pieces were exactly 90 degrees. I also used paper on top of my bench to keep glue from dripping on it.


Step 6:

I had to flip over the cross to clamp the walnut pieces on to it because the distance from the bar to the pads of the clamp (throat distance) was too short. 


Step 7:

Here is the cross all glued up and the clamps removed. I had to scrape the excess glue from some of the joints and re-sand some spots.


Step 8:

Apply at least 2 coats of spray shellac to cross to protect it. I like shellac because you only have to wait 1 hour between coats and you can see how the natural color of the wood has really come to life.


Step 9:

You can display this cross 2 ways. One you can lay it on its side or hang it on the wall. Here is pic of both options. 

Brent Hodges