Tansu Memorial Box

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Project by ShannonRogers posted 06-17-2009 04:47 PM 4445 views 3 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a comissioned project to build a memorial urn for her two departed Golden Retrievers. The box is made with traditional Japanese Kiri or Paulownia wood and the drawer side and lids are made from Japanese Cypress. I got all the Tansu hardware from Lee Valley and did the carving using a simple V tool and some gouges. I used Transtint dye to darken the recessed carving then sanded away the color from the main part of the box to set the carving off. The Kanji script on the top means “best friend”. I had a lot of fun with this project and took video of the entire build and released a few podcasts over at my Renaissance Woodworker blog. They are episodes 40 and 41

-- The Hand Tool School is Open for Business! Check out my blog and podcast "The Renaissance Woodworker" at

10 comments so far

View Mateo's profile


28 posts in 4882 days

#1 posted 06-17-2009 05:30 PM

I watched the podcast on this. I was really good. Thanks for sharing this here and on your podcast.

-- Mateo

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 4667 days

#2 posted 06-17-2009 06:27 PM

Very neat. From afar (without glasses) the first pic looked like cow hide! You’ll have to use your imagination if you don’t see it.

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 4787 days

#3 posted 06-17-2009 07:27 PM

Nicely done

View Durnik150's profile


647 posts in 4663 days

#4 posted 06-17-2009 09:02 PM

Very well done! The decision to go with the Tansu hardware was a good one. I have only seen that on your piece and then on the WoodWhisperer. The more I see, the more I like. You did a great job with the trans tint dye as well.

Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing.

-- Behind the Bark is a lot of Heartwood----Charles, Centennial, CO

View happy_budah's profile


143 posts in 5140 days

#5 posted 06-18-2009 03:03 AM

are those (japanese dovetails) the dovetails that are based on 75 degrees and truly lock together? hard to tell with the hardware. if so how did you set up for them. i also like the tansu hardware and would like to try it someday

-- the journy of a thousand miles begins with a single step " Lou-Tzu"

View a1Jim's profile


118309 posts in 4918 days

#6 posted 06-18-2009 04:06 AM

Cool Tansu box well done


View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5588 days

#7 posted 06-18-2009 11:42 AM

Very nice video, well done. Nice tansu box, well made, well explained.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4676 days

#8 posted 06-22-2009 10:01 PM

Wonderful box Shannon. That tansu hardware was perfect for the style. I like the pinned drawer joints and the carving too. Good idea with the sliding lids with recessed handles.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View mcoyfrog's profile


4757 posts in 4936 days

#9 posted 07-28-2009 09:57 PM

nice job

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View GaryBuck's profile


268 posts in 4567 days

#10 posted 08-12-2009 03:39 AM

Hey mtkate, I’m with you I don’t have my glasses on either and thats what I thought it was at first glance to. I thought oh cool somebody covered that in cow hide. L.O.L. After reading what you wrote I went and got my glasses, Oh I see said the blind man L.O.L. Very cool I liked this one a lot The metal with the wood very nice effect. Thanks for sharing Shannon.

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