Box for Beloved Pet's Ashes

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Forum topic by Jim Crockett (USN Retired) posted 03-13-2008 05:00 AM 2445 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 4272 days

03-13-2008 05:00 AM

We had to have our Black Lab laid away this past weekend and I want to make a box for her ashes. Don’t know how well that will work, though, with tears dripping onto the wood!

Although I have read several articles and books about making boxes, I have not yet made one myself. I don’t know the size yet – we’re supposed to get her ashes tomorrow or Friday.

I’m thinking maple or oak (since those are the only hardwoods I can get within 1-1/2 hour’s drive), 1/2” thick stock, mitered corners with splines. Don’t really need a hinged top but don’t know quite what I will do for a top yet.

Any suggestions or advice will be much appreciated, especially since I have seen some of the beautiful boxes that many of you make.


-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

11 replies so far

View 's profile

593 posts in 4511 days

#1 posted 03-13-2008 10:07 AM

I’m really sorry to hear about her passing away. It is always a sad moment when somebody from the family does.

Maybe nobody here would be better suited to help you out than a fellow LJ and a professional in that field…? You could try checking with Steve.

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4413 days

#2 posted 03-13-2008 11:15 AM

I sympathize with you. I have a (cardboard) box of ashes I will be making a wooden burial box for. I am going to make mine from cedar because I have a bunch of it.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4361 days

#3 posted 03-13-2008 12:49 PM

Hi Jim,

You have my sympathy as well. I went through what you are back in August with our Lab who was 14. This situation is one of the most difficult tasks we have to make as responsible pet owners. But despite the pain and grief that comes with their passing the memory and love that they bring into our lives more than balances the scales. I am planning on building a box for my dog’s ashes as well.

One resource, that actually serves as a box primer, is Doug Stowe’s book Basic Box Making. I highly recommend it.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 4529 days

#4 posted 03-13-2008 07:46 PM

I have a Chocolate Lab and we are really fond of him. I am truely sorry for your loss as I know first hand how wonderful these dogs really are. Whatever wood you use though will be fine.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View Lakey's profile


97 posts in 4311 days

#5 posted 03-13-2008 10:00 PM


My condolances on the loss of your family member – it’s absolutely heartbreaking.

A good part of my woodworking business is making containers for the ashes of people and pets. Is this box going to be buried, or will you have it as a keepsake? I suspect the latter. The type of wood is essentially unimportant, so use what you have creatively. When I’m asked to make a box of this type, I consider the “essence” of the loved one who will rest inside.

Labs are noble, loyal and strong, among other things. I think maple would be a lovely choice – it is such a strong and true wood, and maple trees exhibit the most striking of colors in the fall. In addition to that, they produce syrup, a real gift to mankind. A nice mitered box with oak keys would be beautiful and simple. Or a box with maple sides and a lid with an oak panel … let your heart guide your hands. I’d be happy to correspond with you if you like; and I know what you make for your pup will be perfect.

Best regards,


-- "No Board Left Behind"

View Pete Santos's profile

Pete Santos

172 posts in 4547 days

#6 posted 03-13-2008 10:08 PM


I’m sorry to hear about your loss. If you “google” pet urns, you will get a lot of ideas and inspiration. I do laser engraving and although I have not engraved any pet urns yet, it is getting a lot of attention in the laser engraving industry. I have seen some really nice examples of laser engraving as an added touch to pet urns. You may want to consider something like that.

Take a look at this

-- Greatness is not found in possessions, power, position, or prestige. It is discovered in goodness, humility, service, and love.

View Greg3G's profile


815 posts in 4624 days

#7 posted 03-13-2008 10:25 PM

Jim, I am sorry to hear of your loss. As a dog lover, I understand your grief. I belive Mark DeCou has experience making caskets, you may want to PM him. I think he had metioned that there was a book on Rockler that cover this exact topic. I too would use the Maple.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View HAP HANSON's profile


45 posts in 4351 days

#8 posted 03-14-2008 04:18 AM

Hey Jim,
I am sorry about your loss. As a vet I see so amy people having to make the difficult decision to part with their best friend. All the suggestions listed above are wonderful options. I had to do the same thing for my dog Sheeva a while back and I also made her a nice urn. I used walnut and created a doghouse type look with a small frame for her photo on the front entry. The bottom of the house was simply fastended with decorative countersunk brass screws so i could place her ashes inside. I don’t have a photo handy but I can take a pic and upload it for you if you would like just let me know.

-- Doc Hanson

View Billh's profile


3 posts in 4267 days

#9 posted 03-14-2008 04:40 AM

Hey Jim,
Sorry to hear of your loss. They can be such wonderfull friends and companions. Now is the time to remember all of those good times you spent with your friend as I”m sure you gave him a very good life. I have made a few Urns for a Funeral Home and they be almost anything style. I made one in the shape of a Motorcycle gas tank for a person that loved Bikes.

Make something that is reflective of time spent together, lid is not needed, solid top will work with a door in the bottom to put the ashes in and seal it up. Let your imagination run wild with the design.

My condolances on the loss of your family member


-- Bill in Newmarket

View lew's profile


12881 posts in 4294 days

#10 posted 03-15-2008 02:09 AM


Our hearts go out to you and your family. There are no words to describe the sense of loss you are feeling.

We recently lost our McKeever, a 12 year old Bassett. Here is a link a couple of pictures of his “casket”. I did not make this. The anguish and loneliness was too much to even go into the workshop.

Maybe this will provide you with some ideas.

Lew and Mimi

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 4272 days

#11 posted 03-17-2008 04:58 AM

Thank you all for your kind words and caring. This has been a very rough week without our Gretchen. We picked up her ashes Friday evening and I’m surprised at how small a box will be required for an 80 lb. dog. While we were in the ‘city’ I stopped at Lowes and got a maple 1/2” x 6” x 48” board with a nice grain (also got two 1/2” x 6” x 24” pine craft boards to practice on).

We have decided on a simple 5” x 7” x 4” box with a brass plate with her name and dates of birth/death on the front and a Black Labrador figurine atop the box.

Again, thnk you all for your sympathy and words of encouragement. Have never been on another forum where people were so friendly and responsive. I’m glad to have found LumberJocks!


-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

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