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Cremation Urn Boxes

by teejk
posted 10-16-2013 01:09 AM


22 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

118161 posts in 4627 days


#1 posted 10-16-2013 01:11 AM

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 3740 days


#2 posted 10-16-2013 01:58 AM

600-800 dollars is just a funeral home taking advantage of some bereaved person. That is just not right!

You did a super job. Even on short notice. And I’ll bet it means a lot more to her than the rip off version from the funeral home!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View PaulDoug's profile

PaulDoug

2520 posts in 2753 days


#3 posted 10-16-2013 02:09 AM

Nice job. I’m seeing more and more urn boxes made and turned on different forums. At $600 – $800 I can certainly see why. Besides a homemade one is more personal and probably much better built than one of those expensive mass produced ones. I’d make one for myself but my wife says I am not going to be cremated.

I’m in the process of making one of my Daughter’s cat ashes as requested by her. It’s just a little one and is going to be pretty plain, but that is what she wanted. I need to make one for my wife’s first dog. Poor guy has been sitting in a ugly decorated coffee can for about 49 years now. He deserves better, he was a great dog.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View teejk's profile

teejk

1215 posts in 3734 days


#4 posted 10-16-2013 02:19 AM

Thanks Jim. Had I had more time I would have added some type of small molding to the bottom…the upper assembly has to lift off the base to get the ashes in, thus the screws at the bottom. Nicer screws would have been nice too but Sunday I used what I had (I can swap them out with brass now…he’s in there now).

It was interesting though. The lumber was rough and I only have a Delta 6” jointer and a 13” Delta planer. The box sides are only 4” high so no problem there getting them to 1/2 thickness. The top and bottom were glue-ups of wider stuff because one thing I have learned is grain-matching is an art! I was lucky to find some nice stuff that I was able to flatten on the planer with a lot of TLC to get them to 1 1/4”. From there it was my trusty PC 690 router with more TLC (no time for a goof-up there). Of course start with the end grain so the edge cuts clean-up any chip out…several passes at 1/8” at a time.

View teejk's profile

teejk

1215 posts in 3734 days


#5 posted 10-16-2013 02:39 AM

gfadvm…the funeral home was actually the one to ask whether she knew a woodworker. Their only requirement was that it had to be loaded from the bottom so the case sits on the base and is attached to cleats. I never made one of these things before and much of it involved thinking on the fly about the assembly. The half-blind dovetails cost me a lot of grief but for some reason I felt the need to do it. Thanks for the nice comment!

pauldoug…I’m going the cremation route (I don’t think it should hurt me). I think the casket thing with grave-site services is the worst part of somebody’s “passing”. My in-laws are devoted RC and I was actually surprised that they had both decided on the cremation route. I did cringe a bit though today when the priest hit the box with that holy water wand though (I whispered to my wife that we would have to apply another coat of wax or two…it’s been a long week for her and I was glad to make her laugh).

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30609 posts in 3388 days


#6 posted 10-16-2013 10:06 AM

Very beautiful. I have not attempted these yet, but the day is coming.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View unisaw's profile

unisaw

95 posts in 5183 days


#7 posted 10-16-2013 10:20 AM

I wouldn’t be caught dead in that box!

Sorry – couldn’t resist. Nice work.

View Knothead62's profile

Knothead62

2600 posts in 4011 days


#8 posted 10-16-2013 10:36 AM

“600-800 dollars ”
That’s cheap. My parents were cremated and cost over $2K each for the basic service.
Nice job on the urn.

View littlecope's profile

littlecope

3119 posts in 4552 days


#9 posted 10-16-2013 11:09 AM

Sorry for your Families’ loss.
Great Job on the Urn, Fast Work too!!

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

View MisterBill's profile

MisterBill

411 posts in 3301 days


#10 posted 10-16-2013 11:33 AM

A co-worker recently needed a cremation urn ASAP. I wanted to make one for him but I had concerns about meeting his dead line. I started looking around on line and then I remembered that Costco sold caskets. We checked their website and to our pleasant surprise we found that they also sold wooden creamation urns for somewhere around $120. He ordered one and had it within three days. I must admit that the workmanship was very good.

View HowardInToronto's profile

HowardInToronto

77 posts in 2752 days


#11 posted 10-17-2013 02:29 AM

That’s a nice box.

Thanks for sharing the photos and the story.

It certainly is more meaningful when you consider that’ll be the last thing you can do for your father-in-law.

Howard

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26046 posts in 4155 days


#12 posted 10-17-2013 03:22 AM

That will sure take less room that storing caskets!
Nice job on the urn. There is a market for them everywhere. I am seriously thinking about it.
I have made pet urns and they bring about $200!..................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View teejk's profile

teejk

1215 posts in 3734 days


#13 posted 10-17-2013 12:46 PM

Thanks to all. I have to admit that I was rather proud of it given the amount of time I had and considering I was starting with rough lumber. For anybody considering it, the key is apparently 200 cubic inches of interior space which supposedly is adequate for about a 200 lb human. My wife did the research and said that was the minimum available and they went up from there. The picture has a finished size of 11.25”Wide x 8”Deep x 6.5” high. The case itself is 10.25”x7”x4” exterior (9.25×6x4 interior for 222 cu. in. but I used cleats to secure the top and bottom so I stole some of the excess). My wife said there was room to spare when they loaded it.

Seems to me that this would be one of those things that would make sense to build a few at a time. A lot of time was spent getting the proper set-up on the Leigh (half-blinds are “fussy”) but once set-up, all the tails could be milled in minutes without changing anything, then flip the jig and do the pins all at once. Same for the routing on the tops and bottoms.

View BArnold's profile

BArnold

175 posts in 2882 days


#14 posted 10-17-2013 01:28 PM

Very nice work, teejk! I like everything about your urn – wood, dovetails, etc.

Coincidentally, I’m building an urn for our next-door neighbor. Her husband died in August at age 96. When I offered to build her an urn, she accepted. I’m making it with about 260ci internally, so will hold both of them in the long run. I’ll post photos of what I’m building when I get it finished.

Following along with your comment about building multiples, I’m actually making two identical urns. One is for the neighbor; the other for myself and my wife. Both are made from Honduran mahogany using some Green and Green elements. As you said, it’s way easier to make multiples while one has the tools set up for specific operations.

-- Bill, Thomasville, GA

View teejk's profile

teejk

1215 posts in 3734 days


#15 posted 10-17-2013 05:38 PM

Thanks Bill…I forgot to mention the terror I felt when I got to the staining part in terms of how the grain matching would come out. I did my best “guess” with the unstained wood in terms of grain matching before the glue-up but from experience I know that a piece of wood can be deceiving. Probably not the best on the base but so little of that shows that it didn’t really matter. I got lucky on the top.

View GFYS's profile

GFYS

711 posts in 4521 days


#16 posted 10-17-2013 05:49 PM

600-800 could be appropriate…hard to say with out all the facts.
Yours is probably more valuable to your family. Condolences.

View teejk's profile

teejk

1215 posts in 3734 days


#17 posted 10-17-2013 06:26 PM

Dan…my mother in law is a true German. But she already mentioned that even if it had it looked not quite as nice (I’m bragging) it would still mean more than a purchased product. It really meant a lot to her and my wife.

Price wise? There is a lot of mark-up on funeral products (emotions, short time frame, etc. is a salesman’s dream). So on a wholesale basis probably worth about $300 or so. Wood content was probably < $25 in its rough state. Router bits and planer/jointer knives don’t last forever so some cost there and then you got the stain/brush/paper towel/paste wax thing that adds a few pennies.

Time was a lot, much of that on set-up. Hence the suggestion to build a few at a time. There is probably some money to be made for those so inclined.

View GFYS's profile

GFYS

711 posts in 4521 days


#18 posted 10-17-2013 08:03 PM

True…short time frame means they must be made in advance…may or may not be purchased…polished metal placard engraved after purchased….multiple models…packaging for shipping…billing…bookkeeping…sales…liability… the list is long and more complicated than we often realize.

Glad you were able to step up.

View Edwardnorton's profile

Edwardnorton

203 posts in 2977 days


#19 posted 03-26-2016 06:56 AM

I have made a few urns for pets/people and I’ve learned that there is no reason to be in a hurry about it. The deceased won’t know the difference between being in a nice DIY urn or the plastic ones they are put in originally, & the bereaved will understand it taking more time to have a beautiful urn (as you made here) produced. There is simply no rush despite what a funeral director may or may not tell you.

It’s a absolute shame how the industry tries to take advantage of people during this time in their lives. There are strict Federal Laws regarding what they can “talk” you into & what they cannot do. Most do not know that you can pick a casket from an online retailer and the funeral parlor has to allow it in their parlor & that is just one tidbit of information regarding this topic, there are many more but I’ll not take up more time talking about them. All of the funeral directors in my area know me well as I’ve gone with dozens of family and friends to help arrange things which resulted in the funeral services going from thousands to a few hundred. I literally detest these type of business because of how they attempt to profit from their deceptive practices.

Anyway, you done a very nice job and your heart was in the absolute right place in doing this project!

-- EdwardNorton

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2936 posts in 3564 days


#20 posted 03-26-2016 12:33 PM

Sorry for your loss, and very nice box to save the day.

I’ve always said, “I’ve never met a poor undertaker.”

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

32122 posts in 3916 days


#21 posted 03-26-2016 08:32 PM

I’m sorry about your loss; however, this is a beautiful urn box.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- helluvawreck aka Charles, http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

View AndrewPhillips's profile

AndrewPhillips

1 post in 1824 days


#22 posted 04-12-2016 10:56 AM

A great work done and worth applauding. I love the finish of the urn. I have made arrangements for pre paid funeral for myself on an online website, and have already listed my wishes with them. I would love to add this customized urn box, which would serve as a companion urn for myself and my husband.

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