The hardest project I've ever had to make

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Project by JimRochester posted 11-22-2014 12:58 PM 3142 views 0 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The most difficult in several ways. To start it’s for my father’s remains, he passed away on Tuesday. Mom asked me to make a box for two reasons; boxes from the funeral home were hundreds of dollars, and dad was always proud of my woodworking so she thought it would be fitting. I only had a few days to make this box so it was a rush job and it shows. I have a new box joint jig but after a couple of blowouts I gave up and went with a dado. The stain went well then I spray lacquered but because I was pushing the limits, I ended up with a lot of sags. Fortunately its pretty dimly lit at funerals.

-- Schooled in the advanced art of sawdust and woodchip manufacturing.

24 comments so far

View crossfacecraddle's profile


131 posts in 2586 days

#1 posted 11-22-2014 01:29 PM

Jim I am sorry for your loss. I had a similar set of circumstances a couple years ago, when a brother in law died. I took my niece who was 10 at the time, to the wood store to pick out some wood for the wood urn box I was making for her fathers remains. She picked out some African Mahogany, luckily for me she didn’t pick out the south American variety, lol.

It was difficult to make, had to stop a few times and walk away just to compose myself, thinking of the last time I talked to him which was in my shop and for those left behind. I found making the box both painful and a feeling of contentment at the same time, mostly painful though.

stay strong
John C

-- i love the smell of sawdust in the morning, it smells like victory. John

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2981 days

#2 posted 11-22-2014 01:37 PM

Sorry for your loss. Prayers to you and yours

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Steve Kreins's profile

Steve Kreins

358 posts in 2605 days

#3 posted 11-22-2014 01:49 PM

Sorry for your loss. Judy and I are praying for your family. A box made with love will always do the job.

-- I thank God for everything, especially all of you!

View AlBCuttnWud's profile


731 posts in 3664 days

#4 posted 11-22-2014 01:51 PM

I am sure it was tough to make….the emotions of who it was for as well as the rush to make the best thing you have ever made. With it being made from the heart with love and respect, I think it is perfect.

I do offer a recommendation for future finishes, especially if in a time crunch. Try General Finishes Arm-R-Seal. It comes in satin, semi and gloss. I normally wipe on with a soft, clean cotton rag or t-shirt, saturating pretty good for the first coat. Let it sit a few minutes and then wipe off the excess. I usually go back in about an hour or so and apply a second coat and as many additional as desired. I normally sand down to about 220 before I apply the first coat and depending on the type of wood normally don’t have to sand between coats. I have tried other lacquer spray finishes since but always ended up sanding off and going back to the Arm-R-Seal.

Cherish the memories of the good times you had with your dad and he will live forever in your heart.

-- -Al, Oak Harbor, WA

View Tooch's profile


2013 posts in 2850 days

#5 posted 11-22-2014 03:14 PM

well I think it looks beautiful, and your father would be proud. very sorry for your loss.

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

View Andre's profile


4130 posts in 2780 days

#6 posted 11-22-2014 04:44 PM

Sorry for your Loss, Lost my Dad over a year ago, those first few days/weeks/months are the hardest.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 3649 days

#7 posted 11-22-2014 04:50 PM

My condolences to you and yours.

Made with love!!!
How could it not be perfect….

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View a1Jim's profile


118153 posts in 4552 days

#8 posted 11-22-2014 04:54 PM

My profound condolences for you loss .you box is a wonderful tribute to your father.
God bless you and your family.


View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

2008 posts in 3163 days

#9 posted 11-22-2014 04:55 PM

I think you did a fine job. And yes, it’s one of the hardest projects you’ll ever make.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View mike1950's profile


364 posts in 2773 days

#10 posted 11-22-2014 05:05 PM

Sorry about your loss- nice box. I second the arm-r-seal finish recommendations above

-- "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is."– Albert Einstein

View Jim's profile


150 posts in 3344 days

#11 posted 11-22-2014 05:07 PM

Jim, Sorry for your loss, I too went through this and also made my fathers urn.


-- Measure twice, cut once.

View Dave777's profile


303 posts in 5044 days

#12 posted 11-22-2014 08:06 PM

sorry for your loss. it is a great box and I am sure your father would be ever so proud

-- the stone rejected by the builders will become the capstone

View JimRochester's profile


575 posts in 2589 days

#13 posted 11-23-2014 12:51 AM

Thank you for all the support. Very difficult in times like this not to express your sorrows. Always makes it easier in like minded company even if its with people you’ve never met. Reading all these responses is bringing tears to my eyes again.

To the average person I’m sure they wouldn’t notice the poor finish. We would because we naturally notice these things. My mom asked me to make her a matching box for when her time comes. So I’m thinking about making a couple really nice boxes with some finger joints or at least splines. Its the last thing I’ll ever make for my dad so I want it to be fantastic.

Al, I will check out the Arm-R-Seal. Always looking for good options for great finishes.

-- Schooled in the advanced art of sawdust and woodchip manufacturing.

View littlecope's profile


3115 posts in 4477 days

#14 posted 11-23-2014 01:37 AM

They don’t feature the Finish you used at the local Hardware Jim, it’s comprised of Love and Tears and looks flawless to me…
Fine Work my Friend, and my Deepest Sympathies to You and Yours for your loss.

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Dusty56's profile


11863 posts in 4662 days

#15 posted 11-23-2014 03:46 AM

Very sorry for your loss but don’t dwell on the imperfections. After spending thousands of dollars on my Dad’s coffin, there were many blemishes and even a couple of cracks /splits in it that I noticed but others did not. I’m sure that he is quite happy that you made this for him despite your grieving : )
Take care and may God bless all of you in your time of loss.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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