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Thread: Another Pet Urn Box

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Peters Creek, Alaska
    Posts
    412

    Another Pet Urn Box

    Maybe it's the COVID blues or it just took me a long time to adjust to teleworking full time and not leaving the house every single day. Whatever it was, it seemed to have sapped my motivation to spend time in the shop. However, The Wife recently asked me to make another pet urn box, this time for her half sister's pup. She only just connected with her last year along with her birth father. It's been a heckuva thing.

    Anyway, I wanted to do something a little different than the last batch of boxes, so I thought I'd soften things up a bit with a gently curved lid. This one will also include a keepsake tray, under which the ashes are to be interred. Wood choices are curly maple (on hand) and lacewood.
    Keela_1.jpg
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    I started by making the sides at the full planned height of the box and lid, plus kerf allowance for cutting the lid free, and a plenty more for matcing the box joints back up and other fiddling. Thinking ahead to finish, I didn't want the maple to be too amber but I thought BLO would be nice on the lacewood. So I applied some to the underside of the lid panel prior to glue-up. After masking the inside surfaces against squeeze-out, I got it glued up. IMG_0399.jpg
    I flushed up the proud box joints, laid out a curve for the lid and cut it at the band saw. I don't have a stationary belt sander, so I did it the old fashioned way, hand sanding down to 220g. I took some care at the corners not to sand the finger too far. I didn't want to burn through it or leave a knife edge that might chip or appear translucent. IMG_0420.jpg
    Then I cut the lid free and cleaned up the sawn edges on an MDF sanding platen. The box is still over height at this point.

    The putty knives? I inserted them into the gap around the lid panel so I could apply BLO without getting it on the maple, especially going into the corners.
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    The keepsake tray sits on a partial liner, which is held in place by complementary rabbets and a friction fit.

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    Brett
    Peters Creek, Alaska

    Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all. — Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Peters Creek, Alaska
    Posts
    412
    Making the tray was a bit fussy. I was shooting for as close a fit as I could get without being too loose or so large that I had to take off a lot of material, all while trying to account for how proud the box joints would be. I didn’t do too badly. The box and tray were just a touch out of square to one another, so I did have to adjust for that on the sanding platen but not so much that it was a problem. I was happy to achieve a pretty good piston fit.

    The tray sits proud of the box by a ¼-inch to engage the lid when it’s closed. So, I routed a profile around the top of the tray and hand sanded until the lid tilted onto it smoothly.
    Attachment 455802
    And this is where things stand today.
    Next up: hinge mortises and a finger lift for the lid.

    Attachment 455803



    Attachment 455804
    Brett
    Peters Creek, Alaska

    Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all. — Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Posts
    221
    Hi Brett,
    What a nice job and thoughtful gift. Unfortunately, we lost our dog last month after over 14 years of faithful companionship and I need to build something similar. I’ve been looking for some inspiration and motivation and you have provided! I hope I can turn out something as nice.
    Best regards,
    David

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Peters Creek, Alaska
    Posts
    412
    Quote Originally Posted by David Publicover View Post
    What a nice job and thoughtful gift. Unfortunately, we lost our dog last month after over 14 years of faithful companionship and I need to build something similar. I’ve been looking for some inspiration and motivation and you have provided! I hope I can turn out something as nice.
    Thanks for the kind words, David. We said goodbye to our dog back in 2018, just a month shy of his 14th birthday. His urn was the fifth I'd ever made.

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    Back to the current box, I've made more progress.

    I had to deal with a decision I made about cutting the curved lid. If I cut the lid free of the box before cutting the curve, it would sit flat on the bench when making hinge mortises, etc. However, standing that narrow lid on end at the bandsaw to cut the curved profile didn't appeal to me. So I cut the curve first while the box/lid was nice and big, and stable. To make mortising manageable, I made a cradle from a waste piece of the box and secured it with double-sided tape.

    I then made a finger lift for the lid, mortised for the hinges, and put it all together for a test fit.

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    I really like working with Brusso hinges but I have to say putting these #2 brass screws in gave me white knuckles. The hinges come with a steel screw to pre-thread the holes...but still. I broke a #4 during a previous project and it wasn't fun.

    In the past couple of shop sessions, I disassemble the box, gave it a final sanding, and laid down a couple of coats of clear, rattle can shellac. That's where things are now.

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    Brett
    Peters Creek, Alaska

    Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all. — Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Posts
    221
    Brett,
    It’s looking very good! You’ve managed to get a very nice fit with the lid and I like the matching lift. I’m looking forward to the finished photos
    David

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Peters Creek, Alaska
    Posts
    412
    Thanks again, David. I finished up yesterday with some satin lacquer and paste wax. So, I'm done and with two days to spare, at that. We fly out early Sunday morning to meet The Wife's birth father for the first time and wanted to take the box with for personal delivery.

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    Brett
    Peters Creek, Alaska

    Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all. — Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Posts
    221
    Beautiful. And a great gift for an important occasion. Have a safe trip.

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