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Build A Shrine
Author: Nathaniel Slattery
Posted: Month of the Seven Sorrows, 26th Day, Year of Our Lord 2023

Video of Completed Shrine

I have built a shrine for the use of prayer in my side yard. It was advised to me by a monk in order to solicit God’s approval of my works to provide for my family.

It took one week, four flat rocks from the creek, about twenty-four feet of 2×6 (longest cut was four feet), about one hundred square feet of one-inch boards (mostly ten inch width, longest cut was about five feet), about one hundred feet of 2×4 (longest cut was about eight feet), and sixteen square feet of roof tin (good to have extra because the whole thing was on a diagonal).

I built a perfect square (in theory) with the 2×6, because a square is a holy shape which reflects God. I am not sure how. I then laid joists on a diagonal in order to make a cross in the floor boards. The entrance is on the corner, so this looks like an X until the walls are up. I cut triangles to fill the spots between the arm of the cross. Some of these break easily when I step on them. I then used a 4×4 (of 2x4s, that is, two of them laminated together with screws about sixteen inches apart, would be better simply to have a 4×4 for symmetry) six foot long for my opposite corner, on the head of the cross. I squared this off with two equal studs to the side corners, then stood it up for walls. The entrance was more complicated, since it involved slanting two studs from the bottoms of the side corners to a point seven feet above the entrance corner. This involved trigonometry (of irregular triangles), angles, bevels, and everything else most difficult. All the suffering for Our Lady of Sorrows! It did not come out quite right. There were gaps and slanting walls, but I pushed and screwed and stuck in shims until it was passable.

Thus for the frame. I threw in extra plates everywhere I could, and also some crosses for studs in the middle of the walls (that is, the plate is a 2×4 running on the bottom between the studs for support, while the extra middle studs at two feet had a cross section about halfway up of 2×4 forming a very good and visible cross). I roofed it on a peak diagonal, which was very difficult because of how the tin bent and bounced. I cut it to match the square with a grinder.

I sided with the same boards I used for the floor, nothing fancy but an overlap to shed water and hide nails. Then I put a small bench in the corner for study, a rest for a statue, and a little scrap triangle of wood to hold a candle. I later added a box with hinges in the walls for candles and papers (though they get moist), more candle stands, and a larger corner triangle table below the small statue rest. There are other things I might do, such as a curtain or doors. I hung a rosary from a candle stand until it got wax on it, then I broke it trying to clean it, so perhaps a nail for a rosary would be a good idea.

Feel free to contact me if you would like pictures or a better explanation.

May the Lord reward you,

St. Joseph pray for us,

In Cordibus Sancta Familia,

Mr. Nathaniel Slattery,


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