|Project by Triman||posted 11-16-2009 08:58 PM||1775 views||12 times favorited||16 comments|
This was, without a doubt, my most difficult project. My Brother passed away unexpectedly last week, complications from the flu and and pneumonia. His Wife and kids asked if I would make a wood box to be used for the ashes, with room for keepsakes. They needed it in 1 week, but I said of course I would. I found a beautiful piece of ziricote, that was wide enough and long enough, that I could create the 4 sides with the single piece of wood. I used curly maple for the base, and birdseye maple for the tray, lid, and keys.
After making the actual box, I made another box with no top or bottom, that just fit inside. This was 3 inches high, with 1/8 inch thick sides. (If it was too shallow or too deep, I could remove it, make a new one and just slip the new one inside.) This slides inside, and created the lip for the ash compartment lid to rest on. Then, on top of this, I created a third box, with no lid. This is actually the keepsake tray. I left it with no divisions, since I wasn’t sure what they might want to put in the tray. The tray has 3 keys to match the outer box.
The lid was made with a perfect piece of birdseye maple, that was large enough to be able to make the lid out of a single piece of wood. (Thanks to fellow member Barlow!). I glued the chunk of ziricote on top, added the side frame, then rough sanded with a belt sander, then finished with the random orbital sander.
They said they wanted it hinged, and I’ve never used hinges before, so this was the most difficult and stresssful portion of the project. Since the lid has an overhang, I needed hinges with a stop on them. After looking at numerous hinges at Woodcraft, I ended up buying quadrant hinges. It was at the last day, that I realized that these hinges are not made for my type of lid. They are supposed to recess 1 inch into the top and bottom. Well, my lid is quite thin, so I made them recess entirely into the base/sides. I made 3 practices runs, and I blew out a hole on 2 of the 3 tries. Since I had no alternative, I forged ahead. Multiple trial runs on the router table for the initial mortises. those went fine. I then used a drill to grind out the holes for the hinge quadrant. 1 went fine, and yep, I went too far with the second, and ended up with a 1/8 inch hole in the back. There is less that 1/8 of an inch leeway, and since you’re working blind, I would never suggest anyone try this! I managed to use some Titebond III, mixed with some ziricote sand dust to make a putty. After smudging some in the hole, letting it dry, then sanding and refinishing, it’s passable. Fortunately, it’s on the back of the box.
I finished with multiple coats of tung oil. The lid needed additional coats, but since I only finished the lid 24 hours prior, it only got 1 coat. I hope to add additional coats whenever I go to visit his family.
My Brother was the best, nicest guy in the world. He was taken from us way too early. Over a hundred people showed up for his celebration on Saturday, and the box was very well received. I think he would have liked it!
-- Bruce, San Jose, Ca www.spotofwood.com