Alaskan Birch Casket with Diamond Willow

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Project by AKDave posted 01-24-2016 05:38 AM 3889 views 4 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I got a phone call from an older (older that I am!) lady who told me that she had seen a photo of one of the previous caskets I had made, and she and her sister would like to have me make one for each of them. I met with the two to discuss the species of wood they would like, and showed them more photos of my various pieces. They made their selection and then stated that they would both like for me to incorporate some Alaskan Diamond Willow into the boxes, perhaps as the handles on the side. Well, I was not too excited about that, so, basically to try to get out of it, I told them I didn’t think the idea of handles was a good one because diamond willow is very crooked and also tapers quite rapidly for the length, and further that I didn’t have any diamond willow, and didn’t know where to get any. I hoped that would pretty much kill the idea. Then they said that they had already had a half dozen pieces and would I reconsider and think about some way to use it. Well, I agreed and began to try to think of a way to incorporate it into the design. I came up with the idea of placing a short piece as a column at each corner. I ran the idea by them and they agreed. So that is what I did and I think it came out very well. I have placed some photos in my gallery. They were absolutely overjoyed with the results. By the way, the light wood is birch, harvested from my sons property a couple of years ago. He lives about a quarter mile away from me. The dark wood panels are walnut or cherry veneer.
Hope you all enjoy looking at the photos and reading about the project.



-- AKDave Chugiak, Alaska, [email protected]

16 comments so far

View gimmo's profile


39 posts in 2966 days

#1 posted 01-24-2016 07:31 AM

very nice work, what are the inner dimensions you use on these? I ask only because I would like to make one for myself!

-- Stan, Southville, Ky

View recycle1943's profile (online now)


5392 posts in 2706 days

#2 posted 01-24-2016 11:56 AM

Beautiful work and great results. Don’t understand how the recipient will enjoy it tho -

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View OldGuysRule's profile


130 posts in 2057 days

#3 posted 01-24-2016 11:57 AM

I love the way you used the willow!!!

It really is a very eye catching piece!

Shame it’s going to end up buried.

Great Craftsmanship!!!!

-- Rod P.........OLD GUY......Learning new things!

View a1Jim's profile


118162 posts in 4661 days

#4 posted 01-24-2016 03:36 PM

Very nice work Dave and a interesting story.


View david38's profile


3518 posts in 3427 days

#5 posted 01-24-2016 04:45 PM

looks great

View NormG's profile


6507 posts in 4088 days

#6 posted 01-24-2016 06:01 PM

I am sure they are over joyed with the outcome. Great piece

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View tinnman65's profile


1414 posts in 4498 days

#7 posted 01-24-2016 10:32 PM

Very nice work, I agree with a1Jim great story.

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View pottzgt's profile


40 posts in 1945 days

#8 posted 01-24-2016 10:43 PM

That casket is to die for. Beautiful work.

-- Terry, Grants Pass, OR - It's not how fast you want to go but how much money you've got to get there...

View gsimon's profile


1327 posts in 3197 days

#9 posted 01-25-2016 12:13 AM

nice use of the willow for sure and great job overall

-- Greg Simon

View Gixxerjoe04's profile


850 posts in 2661 days

#10 posted 01-25-2016 03:16 AM

Very nice, I just wonder how odd it is for them to have their casket just chilling at their house waiting to be used haha.

View JimInNM's profile


333 posts in 2300 days

#11 posted 01-25-2016 03:26 AM

What a ride…........Very nice way to incorporate the willow

-- JimInNM........Space Case

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4180 posts in 2977 days

#12 posted 01-25-2016 04:35 AM

Absolutely beautiful. Great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 3091 days

#13 posted 01-25-2016 02:31 PM

Very nice looking piece. The willow corner pieces sorta look like bones. I like it !

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

View Burb's profile


112 posts in 3454 days

#14 posted 01-26-2016 02:05 AM

This turned out wonderfully. Someday I’d like to make my own casket, though I don’t have room to store one for what I’m hoping would be decades before being used.

-- I aspire to be a novice woodworker...

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4387 days

#15 posted 01-26-2016 04:22 AM

beautiful work dave, i was wondering about your walnut, but then i could see it was veneer, they look great, if you would be interested in a trade, ive got a bunch of walnut and heart pine i would trade for a casket…just roll this way in your rig one of these next summers, and we can load you up…...:)

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

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