Memorial box

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Project by kummell posted 02-14-2009 03:47 AM 1801 views 3 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

my grandfather passed away in January of 2008 at the age of 85. As a gift for my aunt, I’ve built this box to hold the flag from his casket as well as some patches, pins, ribbons and buttons from his coast guard uniform.

I’m still quite a novice woodworker – this is only the 2nd piece I’ve made that I’ve done as finish on regular wood – most everthing else has been painted poplar (you can hid more sins that way!)

I learned a ton doing this project, I know it’s not anywhere near perfect, but it’s something I’m quite proud of. (especially those dovetails – first time I’ve done those!)

In the upper corners are 2 pennies (he was a coin collector) – a 1922 and a 2008 penny. The wood is cherry with a washcoat of shellac and then finished with danish oil and rubbed with 0000 steel wool, trying to take some of the shine off and make it more of a satin finish.

The door was a complete pain in the butt. I screwed it up 3 times before looking in a book figuring out the right way to do it.. even then I needed a few tries on the glass, ruining 2 pieces before getting it done!

10 comments so far

View lew's profile


12320 posts in 3899 days

#1 posted 02-14-2009 03:52 AM

A fitting tribute. I think it turned out really nice!

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

View HallTree's profile


5664 posts in 3912 days

#2 posted 02-14-2009 05:53 AM

For someone without a lot woodworking experence, you did a very nice job.

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View HTS's profile


52 posts in 3540 days

#3 posted 02-14-2009 07:17 AM

Nice job. I was considering something like this for my next project, for Mom as a tribute to my Dad. Did you completely frame the glass in with the top pieces (spline routing the edges out) or lock it in from the back side with just a rabbet edge?

-- HT, Denver, Colorado

View RobH's profile


465 posts in 4194 days

#4 posted 02-14-2009 08:01 AM

That looks great. I have been on the hook to make one of these for a couple of years now for the widow of a fine marine that we knew at our old church. Seeing this made me remember the project. I will have to get back in touch with her and see if I can get started sometime soon.

Thanks for the reminder, and keep up the good work.

-- -- Rob Hix, King George, VA

View kummell's profile


3 posts in 4270 days

#5 posted 02-14-2009 02:45 PM

thanks for the encouragement! HTS, I rabbeted out the back of the frame and held the glass in with some smaller pieces of cherry. This was the part I screwed up a few times – I was trying to rabbet the parts before assembling the frame and the ends kept chipping out…

View Masterchief 's profile


70 posts in 3871 days

#6 posted 02-14-2009 04:48 PM

Kummel, you honored Master Chief well as this is a fine shadow box. A shadow box’s true meaning is unknown to alot of people and is always followed by alot of tears and joys once presented at the retirement ceremony. But remember, a retirement cermony is for the retiring member but the true reason for the ceremony to honor the family and their loyal dedication as they too served with great honor through countless hours home alone and keeping eveything faith that their husband will return. I myself serve to honor those who have fallen before me and I do not look forward to the day I say my goodbye’s. So don’t forget to build an additional box to honor your granmother. The most fitting thing to insert into the box is the crystal heart and photos of old. God bless you and your family for protecting those who stayed behind.

-- When you are at a point in life and you think there is nothing more to learn, then you must understand that you have learned nothing at all. Billy

View Cantputjamontoast's profile


416 posts in 3577 days

#7 posted 02-14-2009 04:56 PM

Very nice work.

-- "Not skilled enough to wipe jam on toast!"

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3817 days

#8 posted 02-14-2009 07:36 PM

Nice work, sorry to hear about your lost.

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 4135 days

#9 posted 02-14-2009 07:56 PM

Great layout! I really like the added touch of the pennies…1922-2008 his life span I figure? SeniorChief said the rest for me though. Good job Kummel.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

#10 posted 06-30-2009 04:19 PM

That is a really beautiful piece. It’s great (and creative!) how you made it extra-special with the pennies. Thanks for sharing it.

-- Create with Confidence

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