"Nine Lives"

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Project by Triumph1 posted 04-21-2010 02:50 AM 11426 views 81 times favorited 60 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was asked by a close friend to design and build an urn to house a cherished family pet. His wife’s cat had passed on after many years of sitting by her side. She wanted a nice home for her for the rest of her lives. Of course I agreed and the design of “Nine Lives” shortly followed. “Nine Lives” was the first urn that I worked on.

Being that the urn was for a cat I knew it had to have a slight Egyptian arc style since cats were worshiped there in ancient times. I wanted it to have graceful curves and slim legs. There was to be no handle on the urn since, well, you really only needed to get into the urn one time. I designed an internal, spring-loaded lift for the lid. There is a hidden button protruding from the bottom of the box, when you push it, it pushes the corner of the lid up.

The main body of the box is constructed of Curly Maple. There is a 1/16” thick band of Gaboon Ebony and the top rim portion is Bubinga. The legs are Bolivian Rosewood and a folding miter joint was used so the grain would wrap round the corner. They are also tapered 5/32” from top to bottom.

The lid is a piece of beautiful crotch walnut. This has to be one of my favorite pieces of wood to work with. Machines like butter and once you put oil on it, it blows up with figure. I did a pattern of nine round inlays. Eight Spalted Maple and one Gaboon Ebony. I designed it to be a “LED” life meter. It shows that her cat has just gotten to her fifth life so she has many more to go.

“Nine Lives” was finished with multiple coatings of an equal mixture of Boiled Linseed Oil, Mineral Spirits and Spar Varnish. After drying it got two buffings with BriWax. It is approximately 9” x 6.5” x 5.375”.

Enjoy and keep making sawdust!

-- Jeff , Wisconsin Please...can I stay in the basement a little longer, please!

60 comments so far

View KnotCurser's profile


2040 posts in 4410 days

#1 posted 04-21-2010 02:55 AM

Fantastic – very well done – that’s about the best miter joints I have ever seen on the legs. If you hadn’t stated they were mitered I would swear you cut them from a single thick piece!


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: [email protected] /

View 76winger's profile


151 posts in 4459 days

#2 posted 04-21-2010 02:58 AM

Oh, that looks awesome! I first thought it was a very nice small jewelry chest or something. And the colors of the various woods look AWESOME together. Very NICE!!!

-- Dave, See some of my creations at:

View AngelofDeath's profile


116 posts in 4418 days

#3 posted 04-21-2010 03:06 AM

Beautiful as always….. great job and keep up the great work…

View charlton's profile


88 posts in 4750 days

#4 posted 04-21-2010 03:06 AM

Very nicely done!

View gbear's profile


544 posts in 5441 days

#5 posted 04-21-2010 03:10 AM

Beautiful…great design and craftmanship.

-- gbear, Carmichael, CA

View Woodenwizard's profile


1369 posts in 4385 days

#6 posted 04-21-2010 03:19 AM

You do incredible work. Thanks for sharing.

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View Walt M.'s profile

Walt M.

245 posts in 4352 days

#7 posted 04-21-2010 03:32 AM

Very nice work and design.

View jayjay's profile


639 posts in 4387 days

#8 posted 04-21-2010 03:36 AM

That is a brilliant piece of work. The finish on it looks superb.

-- ~Jason~ , Albuquerque NM

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 5265 days

#9 posted 04-21-2010 03:38 AM

Very elegant, nice design and well executed.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4645 days

#10 posted 04-21-2010 03:38 AM

whoa…....dang jeff…you sure know how to dazzle the eye…...another beautiful project…and one i know must be appreciated by the owner…every detail you have explained is one that just joins this who project into one of beauty ….a fantastic mixture of woods…and very elegant..this is for sure a urn for a beloved kitty…fantastic job..

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

View OutPutter's profile


1199 posts in 5332 days

#11 posted 04-21-2010 03:46 AM

Up to your usual standards and since it’s for a cat, it is even a little better. Could you please elaborate on the “folding miter joint” used on the legs?


-- Jim

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 4418 days

#12 posted 04-21-2010 03:47 AM

What a beautiful piece of work. I can’t get over how well the legs where done. Not only does it set the whole piece off (to me at least) the miters are so well done you have a hard time believing they are two pieces. I would love to know how you pulled that off so well. I know I will be studying these pics for a while now.

You truly are an artist Jeff. Very well done my friend.

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Broglea's profile


695 posts in 4432 days

#13 posted 04-21-2010 03:51 AM

I’m not a cat lover, but this is a great urn. I love the design and selection of materials.

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 4352 days

#14 posted 04-21-2010 03:53 AM

Oh dear, this is really beautiful.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View Rj's profile


1047 posts in 4973 days

#15 posted 04-21-2010 04:04 AM

Jeff another winner! I love how every aspect of it flows together and the wood combinations are superb.

-- Rj's Woodworks,San Jose & Weed Ca,

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