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Been charged with making Donation/Suggestion boxes for church. Anyone here ever make one of these from oak? All suggestions on size, designs welcomed. My initial plan is to make portable on stand so the box or boxes can be move from one location to another if needed. Thanks in advance for you comments.:smile:
 

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Hi, I think I'd want a pretty strong box, which means box or dovetail joints, particularly for the donation boxes.

Donation Boxes: These would depend on where they are located and whether those locations are open. Some churches keep their sanctuaries open, unattended, which leaves the donation boxes vulnerable to breakins and even theft. So these probably need to be bolted down. One alternative would be to build a box with a built in stand.

The drop slot in the box would drop the contribution through what looks like the box, down into the base. The front or rear of the base would be heavily weighted, but would have a concealed and locked door for access. I would make the stand narrower than the box to give the illusion it is merely a stand.

The top box whould likely have a slanted lid with a visible lock on it, even a padlock. That would give the impression that the upper box had all the goodies when in fact, the bulk of the contributions would remain out of sight in the base.

I guess that suggests a little cinicism about humanity, but I confess to that flaw.

The suggestion box just needs a wide slot on the top, and I would suggest some kind of slots on the side or underneath, to hold paper and pencils for the suggestions. I would put a lock on it, mainly to communicate that it is private and anonymous. I'd put a small padlock there so when the key gets lost, you can easily cut it off. It will get lost.

Just my thoughts. I think oak is a good choice, white if you can get it. Scrape, don't sand. Finish appropriate to the rest of the furnishings, the pews in particular. You could use ply for the panels. These are likely to be there for a couple of generations, so build solid.
 

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Oliver (Prof. Henry)
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I like Tom's ideas. They should be pretty easy to incorporate into any number of visual styles for the boxes. I especially like the idea of the donations dropping down into what appears to be the stand.
 
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Theo
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Pretty much agree with Tom. But I would also make it heavy enough that it would take at least two pretty strong men to move it.
 
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If the box is going to be passed around, a pretty conventional box with a nice sized slot big enough for bills and a donation envelope would do nicely, in that case a lighter construction would be better, perhaps as light as 1/4 to 1/2 inch material. Many times churches use contribution envelopes so they can send tax receipts to contributors. If that's a possibility, then the box has to be deep enough to hold the envelopes.
 

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Our church now had kiosks in a couple of places where you can put your offering on credit card.

As for humanity......my father always said there are people who would steal Christ off the cross and then go back after dark for the nails.
 

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Hi, I think I'd want a pretty strong box, which means box or dovetail joints, particularly for the donation boxes.

Donation Boxes: These would depend on where they are located and whether those locations are open. Some churches keep their sanctuaries open, unattended, which leaves the donation boxes vulnerable to breakins and even theft. So these probably need to be bolted down. One alternative would be to build a box with a built in stand.

The drop slot in the box would drop the contribution through what looks like the box, down into the base. The front or rear of the base would be heavily weighted, but would have a concealed and locked door for access. I would make the stand narrower than the box to give the illusion it is merely a stand.

The top box whould likely have a slanted lid with a visible lock on it, even a padlock. That would give the impression that the upper box had all the goodies when in fact, the bulk of the contributions would remain out of sight in the base.

I guess that suggests a little cinicism about humanity, but I confess to that flaw.

The suggestion box just needs a wide slot on the top, and I would suggest some kind of slots on the side or underneath, to hold paper and pencils for the suggestions. I would put a lock on it, mainly to communicate that it is private and anonymous. I'd put a small padlock there so when the key gets lost, you can easily cut it off. It will get lost.

Just my thoughts. I think oak is a good choice, white if you can get it. Scrape, don't sand. Finish appropriate to the rest of the furnishings, the pews in particular. You could use ply for the panels. These are likely to be there for a couple of generations, so build solid.
Some very good thoughts there Tom.
David
 

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@Bushwhacker Thanks, I like the mental discipline of figuring stuff out. BTW, good idea on adding lots of weight. The comment about setting up an unattended kiosk where people can donate with plastic is interesting, but the security issue is a big deal. Skimmers could easily be installed, or a wired or wireless signal intercepted. Anyone have any thoughts about that? Perhaps an addon card reader that could be covered and available only when someone is there?

People get pretty generous with plastic, so I suspect this would be worth working out for any church. Being the marketing nut around here, I can see a business here if the solution was sufficiently secure. Probably involves CNC.
 

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Theo
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Remember, God looks out for those who help themselves. Unless they help themselves to something that does not belong to them.

Which brings to mind another thing. If the donation box is unattended, besides making it very difficult to move, possibly make it of steel, or a thick steel lining, make it so a loud audio alarm goes off if anyone puts their hands anywhere besides the top, AND at least two security cameras start at the same time, better yet security cameras start anytime anyone enters that spacee. That way whoever will immediately depart the premises, AND visual ID will be available. I would suggest the cameras be at face level, and concealed - you might be surprised that visible cameras can be disabled, or even stolen.

Makes me rather happy that I am spiritual and don't go to church anymore, I just address God any day of the week as appropriate.
 

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Theo, another possibility is to hang a grid of very sharp spikes above the boxes, set to drop when the alarm goes off? Give the thief a little boost toward his heavenly reward? Naw.
 

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Theo
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Theo, another possibility is to hang a grid of very sharp spikes above the boxes, set to drop when the alarm goes off? Give the thief a little boost toward his heavenly reward? Naw.
I like the thought, but something like that would mean a huge lawsuit, which is about guaranteed to be lost. Ah well. But that just gave me an idea. A door that slides out of the wall, and across the doorway. Along with the alarm, of course, and perhaps a direct line to the local PD. Keep the cameras, good evidence in court.

OR, you could just use a piggy bank.
http://pikeplacemarket.org/rachel-piggy-bank
Hehehe
 

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Theo, I think we have successfully launched this string over the top. :wink:

Reminds me of the solution once suggested for overpopulation, which was to eat the young. Tongue firmly in cheek.
 

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Our church has an extensive system of security cameras throughout the church. This is for both security and liability. Anyone who tries to cheat at the kiosks or whatever is on camera. We had an incident a couple of years ago where a person flung a door open and busted the closing arm. Guess what??? They were on camera so the church knew whodunit.
 

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Theo
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Reminds me of the solution once suggested for overpopulation, which was to eat the young. Tongue firmly in cheek.
Reminds me of Soylent Green, the movie.
 
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