Cedar Pet Urns

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Project by derrickparks57 posted 08-13-2015 05:39 PM 1181 views 2 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

An incredibly close friend of mine had to put down his male St. Bernard this past weekend. He also had a female St. Bernard but she passed suddenly about 3 years ago. The male had been on the downhill for about the last six months. I stopped by his house last week to see the dog and say my goodbyes, I told him if he wanted I would build him an urn for the ashes. I also found out that they never got an urn for the female so I agreed to make one big enough for both dogs.
A guy I know just recently purchased a portable sawmill and had given me some cedar he had cut when he was setting up and learning how to use the mill. So I cleared off the bench and started laying out the cuts and drawing up some plans. Luckily I hadn’t got too far into it when my friend asked if I could make two urns. He recently divorced and wanted to send some of the ashes to his ex-wife, but he requested a smaller one for her.
I had 4 cedar boards rough cut to about 4/4 and about 5’ long, I resawed/cut each urn so that the grain pattern was continuous all the way around. The larger urn I resawed down to 5/8” and the smaller one down to 1/2”, I had to work around bug holes and some open knots so that made it interesting. I don’t own a jointer or a planer but between my tablesaw, bandsaw, and sander I’ve learned to work without them. Both bases are 3/4” thick and held on with 4 recessed screws so he can put the bags inside. The boxes are just mitered and glued together, I didn’t want fasteners taking away from the beautiful grain pattern.
After everything was assembled they needed something to make them look like pet urns and not just a cedar box. So I found a paw print stencil and cut it out of some contrasting veneer(no idea what species it is) and glued it on the front. Sanded everything to 400 grit and applied 5 coats of semi-gloss spray veneer and sanded after the third coat.
All said and done I’m happy with the outcome although both bases cupped very slightly that I didn’t notice till after the finish dried, I can see it but he probably won’t even notice. I’m delivering them today he has idea what they look like all he knows is I used cedar and only because I wanted to make sure no one in the house was allergic to it. As always thanks for looking, any questions just ask I’m happy to help.

-- Derrick, Florida, DP Woodwerks

4 comments so far

View skeeterusaf's profile


82 posts in 1758 days

#1 posted 08-13-2015 06:57 PM

Beautiful tribute to our four-legged friends.

-- I cut three boards and all four were too short.

View Northwest29's profile


1661 posts in 2669 days

#2 posted 08-14-2015 12:08 AM

Very nicely done -

-- Ron, Eugene, OR, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

View Rockbuster's profile


499 posts in 2787 days

#3 posted 08-14-2015 02:39 PM

Very nice gesture, I am sure that he will love these. Love the paw prints

-- Rockbuster,Ft. Wayne,In It is far better to remain silent, and appear the fool, than it is to open ones mouth, and remove all doubt.

View JoeinGa's profile


7739 posts in 2186 days

#4 posted 08-14-2015 10:56 PM

Nice job. I’m sure they will both be pleased.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

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