From UUCW Member Jim Maletta

I sleep on it every night: The quilt made by Karen and Sharon Van De Loo which I acquired through our UUCW online auction. To keep busy, I just had to make a new bed of my own design from oak to go with the quilt!

I designed the bed a little bit at a time over about one week beginning by looking at other bed designs online. I like the lines of mission-style furniture, so I started from that and went my own way. The design was all done old school with pencil and graph paper to scale. The next step was making up a list of materials needed and making the purchases. The wood is Red Oak and it is finished in its natural colors –no stain, just a few coats of polyurethane varnish.

The actual construction took three full days of work at 8+ hours per day from start to finish. My shop is very small, for a project this size. I have to do it all at one time because there is no space to do anything else until it is out of the way! I have all the tools as I have been acquiring them over a lifetime, so the only thing I had to buy was a new blade for the band saw.

During the pandemic, I have built a couple of other things. I acquired some oak pallet wood which I repurposed into a cabinet for the dartboard and I used some of the wood from the same pallet to design and build a wood stand for the new birdbath we are looking to put outside this Spring. I still have some of this wood left (it was a very large pallet) and I will be re-sawing it for the construction of a small occasional table for the front porch.

Being very bored this year, I did tear down the old front porch and built a new one that is completely maintenance-free (I hate painting). The new porch uses pressure-treated lumber, stainless steel fasteners, composite decking, and PVC railings.

UUCW member Jim Maletta keeps busy as contributing writer for the Split the Plate Team and making a multitude of building repairs at church. In his free time, he builds furniture and sidelines as a Lord of the Rings wizard.

Make your contribution to UU Church West!
Each year we ask every member and friend of UUCW to make a financial pledge to keep the church running for the next fiscal year (begins May 1). We are on our way to meeting our pledge goal of $430,000 this year – but many pledging households are still outstanding. It’s easy to pledge via postal mail, e-mail to, call 262-782-3535, or online, for those who are registered in our REALM database. Go HERE for more pledge information.