Wood Paneling and Lighting

Rusty T. from The Venue at Southcrest Baptist Church in Lubbock, TX brings us this portable stage design setup.

At Southcrest Baptist Church, they have a special circumstance: four out of their five services happen simultaneously. One (in the main worship center) is a traditional service, and the other is a contemporary service called “The Venue”.

“The Venue” service is in the gym. It’s like a satellite campus, but it is on the same campus as the rest of the church. They have their own worship service and stream the pastor’s sermon in via live camera feeds. This service requires a team of 3-4 people and a custodial crew setting up an entire worship service every week. Then immediately following church it all has to be torn down and packed away. Keeping that in mind, they had two main goals: it needed to be easy to move/tear down, and it needed to look great.

They decided to go with wooden panels that could be set next to each other to form a set. They started with sizing, and how they would actually stand up. They came up with an idea that had wooden feet on the backs of the panels that could close and be tied off while being moved. They had to keep their entire set under 9’ tall, and it had to be able to go through a doorway when it was put up. So they settled on 8’8” x 4’ overall for their two center panels, and 2’x10’ for their side panels. They cut the wood and even got some help from two of their worship leaders to stain the boards and paint the frames black.

After attaching the boards to the frames they decided to put in some “old school” warm looking light bulbs. They settled with about 20 lights that would be at fixed points on the boards. They found some light fixtures that fit perfectly into a 1 ¼” drywall drill bit and then just cut holes in the boards where they wanted the lights, and used gorilla glue to keep them in. They also had a light dimmer that they were not using so they could control the brightness from their lighting node.

They already owned the LEDs and the Source 4 Lights, and the trusses. The light bulbs, fixtures and all other supplies were bought at Home Depot. Overall the project took about 45-50 hours to complete, and $500 (all the lumber was donated by a church member).







7 responses to Wood Paneling and Lighting

  1. Nice job.

  2. Hi, I want to use the tall panel idea for our church. How much wood and what sizes, and supplies do I need to build one panel?

    • Christian Durning December 16, 2014 at 10:02 am

      Hi Rebecca, we just built this for our Christmas set. For the 2 tall panels, we made them 9′ x 4′ each and used 1x6x8′ boards for the slats with 1 inch gaps between. Here is our materials list for the 2 tall panels:

      (4) 10′ 2x4s
      (4) 8′ 2×4 (1 for the cross beams, 3 to build the support legs)
      (17) 8′ 1x6s

      Other Items:
      Box of 1 3/4″ wood screws
      Small box of 2.5-3″ wood screws.
      (4) door hinges
      1.5″ hole cutter drill bit
      (4) sandbags
      (1) can of black spray paint (paint the frames after assembly before adding the slats)
      Wood Stain

      If you download the pictures above and refer to them in the assembly, it really helps. I had my iPad with me and could check them out quickly during the build.

      We chose to use battery operated tea-lights instead of the Edison bulbs. Edison bulbs are ~$5 each whereas a bag of tea-lights is about that same price. Plus, we have limited power and were concerned with popping circuits. As it turns out, it gives a really soft glow on stage. Tea-lights fit perfectly into the 1.5″ holes you drill in.

      Good luck and God bless!

      • hello!

        Is the above supply list for 1 panel each? or 2 panels. At first it looks like one panel, but then I see (4) 10′ 2x4s and it seems only (2) 10′ 2x4s are for one panel. And then only (4) door hinges.

        thank you!
        -slightly confused

        • oh, and (17) 8′ 1x6s

        • Christian Durning November 1, 2017 at 7:12 am

          April, I’m sorry. The build was 3 years ago now and we have subsequently repurposed the wood so I can’t look at them. I’m pretty confident that my list above is for the 2 tall (vertical) panels. Worst case, buy extra and return what you don’t use. :-)

          Good luck!

  3. Thank you so much! This is so helpful! This is brand new to me and I just want to do it right!

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