Ernie's urn

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Project by Marcial posted 04-20-2017 04:45 AM 875 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Ernie's urn
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Ernie was just a kitten when DW’s sister gave him to us just before our wedding 18 years ago. As we married late in life and missed out on having children, he was our boy all these years. When he passed away this last December, his ashes returned In a nice little urn, but we felt obliged to give him something more personal. I had begun practicing dovetails early this year. After a couple of totally unacceptable sets of pins and tails, the subsequent efforts were acceptably close to form a square little frame. DW thought I should make it a keepsake. At that point, combining an urn for Ernie and keeping these first dovetails felt right. Another memory was an impromptu chalk drawing DW made of him many years ago on our kitchen chalkboard- we both liked it so well, it has stayed on all these years. I took a photo of that drawing and printed it on wood veneer.

Then made grooves to slide the base and top covers. The pins and tails once glued up and  the gaps filled in with thin slices where needed. As can be seen below, there is still plenty of room for improvement in transferring the marks from tails to pins and in trimming the base.

The pins and tails were cut on the Jointmaker. This saw allowed me to free-hand place the tails as far as spacing and width, but also keep the angle and depth consistent. I used a fret saw to remove the excess on the pins and tails. then started the tail cuts with a hand saw. Then transfer over to the Jointmaker, place the JM blade into the manually started kerf, then use that as the guide to set the fence angle with the JM set to the appropriate depth. Kind of a miter box work flow. It allows the consistency of a guided blade and depth while leaving the rest freehand.

That’s when I decided a Miter Jack would be my next project

As I wrote in my blog- it’s an OK box to anyone else, but to us, it’s a way of honoring a little guy who was part of our lives all these years and a small remembrance of a woodcraft rite of passage. I pray I do not have to make urns any time in the near future.

6 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21719 posts in 3304 days

#1 posted 04-20-2017 12:55 PM

Nice work on the urn. I have one to make soon too.
Ern’s urn!! Great!!


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

View fogbow's profile


71 posts in 784 days

#2 posted 04-20-2017 03:56 PM

What a great way to honor your little buddy.


View Marcial's profile


154 posts in 744 days

#3 posted 04-22-2017 10:14 PM

Jim and Barbara- thanks for your comments!

View mafe's profile


11741 posts in 3287 days

#4 posted 04-25-2017 11:19 PM

What a wonderful goodbye.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Marcial's profile


154 posts in 744 days

#5 posted 04-26-2017 04:27 AM

Thanks, Mads

View HerbC's profile


1790 posts in 3058 days

#6 posted 04-26-2017 04:42 AM

Great project. Using the chalkboard sketch is really touching and the dovetails show the depth of your efforts to make a great keepsake.


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

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