My Father's Urn

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Project by KnotCurser posted 01-15-2012 07:46 PM 3190 views 16 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was, by far, the most difficult project I have ever had to build. My father passed away on the 12th of December, 2011. It was sudden and it hit my family pretty hard. My father was also my best friend – we would talk every day and he would find me stacks of lumber at all the local auctions he would attend.

While still at the hospital, my Mother asked me if I would be willing to build his urn. What could I say other than “of course”?

I wish to thank a long time member of LJ’s, “Triman” for all of his assistance. Although he doesn’t post much anymore, he didn’t hesitate to answer my first email to him quickly and even phoned me from across the country to discuss the build as well as share some of his feelings that went through him when he was forced to make two of these – one for his father and his brother. Thank you Bruce!!!!!

Also, Marc Spagnuolo – AKA “The WoodWhisperer” lent me some great advice on how to bring out the true beauty of this wood. Thanks Marc!

The box itself is made primarily of curly maple and measures around 9×7 1/2” and stands around six inches high. The heart in the tray is a reddish piece of Mahogany. The remainder of the dark wood is Walnut.

A chamber is built into the bottom of the box that holds the remains. Once the remains were placed into the Urn, a keepsake tray is tightly fit onto the chamber and glued in place. This gives my Mother a place to store memories of my Dad.

The finish took a LONG time – much longer than it probably should have. I will refer to the Marc's video on “popping the grain” of maple.

Everyone at the Memorial Service seemed to like the piece – most importantly so did my Mother.


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

27 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117713 posts in 4060 days

#1 posted 01-15-2012 07:54 PM

A most marvelous tribute to your father .My deepest regrets and condolences on your great loss.

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4549 days

#2 posted 01-15-2012 08:38 PM

Your Father is smiling, who honored he must be to have his final resting place created by his loving Son. Well done. I lost my Father in 1987. We, like you and your Dad, talked every day and saw each other at least 5 times each week. I can tell you from personal experience that it will get easier as time goes on, but you will always remember your Dad and the fun you guys had together.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Roger's profile


21010 posts in 3287 days

#3 posted 01-15-2012 08:47 PM

1st and foremost, I’m sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. My deepest sympathy to you and your Family. This is a project directly from your heart. I know it had to be ruff the whole way through, but, what a fantastic way to honor your Dad, your friend. GOD bless you and your family. Keep on makin dust.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Backwood's profile


36 posts in 2817 days

#4 posted 01-15-2012 09:00 PM

A beautiful piece and a testament of the love between father and son. My deepest sympathy for you and your family.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3403 days

#5 posted 01-15-2012 09:14 PM

I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your dad, Bob. You did a wonderful thing making this box for he and your mom. It is absolutely beautiful and will be cherished for many lifetimes. Everything about it is beautiful. I am sure your dad would have been tremendously proud of you.


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 3588 days

#6 posted 01-15-2012 09:50 PM

Thanks for sharing this with us. I have not had to do one for someone close. You pick some beautiful wood to honor you father. And the design was well thought out. This not what we develop our skills to do, but it’s nice to be able to make this a personal process and should help get through a tough time.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

View Jimboe's profile


257 posts in 4233 days

#7 posted 01-15-2012 11:30 PM

A beautiful piece bob …so sorry to hear about your loss .


View woodworkerscott's profile


361 posts in 3297 days

#8 posted 01-15-2012 11:38 PM

A beautiful piece on several levels.

The integration of the chamber and tray are not only a great design concept, but also very unique. Thanks for the sharing of this woodwork and for the sharing of its story. Again, sorry to hear of your family’s loss.

-- " 'woodworker''s a good word, an honest word." - Sam Maloof

View DocWithManyHats's profile


61 posts in 3090 days

#9 posted 01-16-2012 12:44 AM

Everything about the project is beautiful. The urn itself, the sentiment it carries, the help received and the effort it no doubt took. My best wishes to you and yours.

View thedude50's profile


3610 posts in 2961 days

#10 posted 01-16-2012 01:23 AM

I am sorry for your loss and love the piece it would be fit for a king and you really made it beautiful. I lost my dad when i was young I was 13 and it still hurts dont forget all the good things you had as you were able to spend lots of time with your dad the bond is even greater than my bond to my dad I know he will live on in your work as he does in this fine memorial you made I am proud of your effort and am pleased you had LJ friends to reach out to for your project Marvelous job.

-- Please check out my new stores and

View smndrummer's profile


47 posts in 2828 days

#11 posted 01-16-2012 02:16 AM

You did an amazing job on the piece, I know your father is proud of the work and love you put into it. My apologies for your loss. I’m actually in the process of building my father’s urn right now, and have no idea how I’m going to accomplish it. I’ve got the perfect wood, just can’t get my ideas in the shape as I see them coming together. I’m glad you were able to get yours done though. – Rich

-- - Rich

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4377 days

#12 posted 01-16-2012 02:48 AM

Very sorry for your loss. A beautiful tribute to your Dad.

I have made too many for those dear to me and can totally understand how difficult they are to make.

My prayers are with you.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View sgtsprout's profile


71 posts in 3254 days

#13 posted 01-16-2012 02:52 AM

An amazing project that as you said was entirely too difficult. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. But you really put out an amazing tribute for your father and your mom will cherish it always.

-- "There are no gains without pains." -Benjamin Franklin

View Rob Vicelli's profile

Rob Vicelli

109 posts in 3175 days

#14 posted 01-16-2012 03:24 AM

Sorry for your loss. What a difficult project to build yet fabulous tribute to your dad.

-- Rob V

View shopmania's profile


701 posts in 3666 days

#15 posted 01-16-2012 05:55 AM

Wonderful job on the box! So sorry to hear that you lost your dad. I lost mine in 2006, and it is a difficult transition. You have honored him with such a beautiful piece. Your mother will treasure it I’m sure.

-- Tim, Myrtle Beach, [email protected] Just one more tool, that's all I need! :)

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