A Neighbor's Urn

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Project by blockhead posted 893 days ago 2286 views 24 times favorited 39 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This past December, my neighbor lost his wife of 43 years. He asked if I could make her urn, but nothing fancy and just when I had the time as he didn’t want it to be a bother. I told him I would be more than happy to, it was the least I could do and would be honored to do so. I didn’t want it to be plain jane so I used a beautiful piece of Purpleheart that was waiting for just the right project.

The top is a bookmatched piece of figured and slighly spalted Maple. The splines are Hemlock and Walnut with Blackwood plugs. The base is quartersawn Lacewood.

My young boys would often go next door to their house to hang out and they would always change the TV to cartoons and feed them full of popsicles and candy. On many occasions, they would also bring over vegetables from their garden among many other things. We couldn’t have asked for better neighbors.

He never said exactly what he wanted or how it was to look, so I was a bit nervous before I gave it to him. He was very pleased and grateful which was a big relief.

Thanks again for taking the time to look…

-- Brad, Oregon- The things that come to those who wait, may be the things left by those who got there first.

39 comments so far

View amagineer's profile


1383 posts in 1183 days

#1 posted 893 days ago

Very nicely done! I love the use of purpleheart, it is fitting for the urn box. our splines with plugs give it a classy finish. When I made a memery box to be added to my mothers grave I used purpleheart for the cross. Thanks for sharing.

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

View cwdance1's profile


1143 posts in 1845 days

#2 posted 893 days ago

What a wonderful urn.
Love the splines.
Great Job

View bugz's profile


773 posts in 1250 days

#3 posted 893 days ago

What a great honor for a great neighbor. Its very hard to understand what is is acceptable, when losing a loved one. I think you did great.

-- Bob, Lewistown, Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View majeagle1's profile


1416 posts in 2082 days

#4 posted 893 days ago

A great honor indeed Brad, and this is a spectacular urn that you have made!
Love the wood combinations and the bookmatched top and especially the fine detail
of the splines. Job well done!!!

Just curious, do you have any pics of the inside? and what is the access and how is it kept closed?
Thanks, Gene

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View Northwest29's profile


678 posts in 1076 days

#5 posted 893 days ago

That is a very nice urn and beautiful craftsmanship. It is a fitting tribute for such a wonderful neighbor.


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

View a1Jim's profile


111999 posts in 2163 days

#6 posted 893 days ago

Beautiful urn a Job not taking lightly a job so well done a fitting tribute done by a outstanding box maker. Fantastic work Brad.

-- Custom furniture

View MasterSergeant's profile


1277 posts in 1274 days

#7 posted 893 days ago

Beautiful, just beautiful!

-- Kelly, woodworker under construction

View Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor's profile

Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor

4905 posts in 1894 days

#8 posted 893 days ago

That is an excellent looking box that your neighbor will remember forever. A box like this takes on a special significance.

-- Every step of each project is considered my masterpiece because I want the finished product to reflect the quality of my work.

View will delaney's profile

will delaney

320 posts in 1221 days

#9 posted 893 days ago

Beautifully handcrafted urn. What a great way to use you talent. Well done!

View LittlePaw's profile


1571 posts in 1664 days

#10 posted 893 days ago

Very elegant and dignified design and very well done. I am sure your neighbor would be happy with it.

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View Roger's profile (online now)


13962 posts in 1390 days

#11 posted 893 days ago

this is super fine fine fine. beautifully book matched top, and the rest is definately plenty of your finest craftsmanship, I can see went into this. very amazing project. you should feel very honored by the fact of making such a thing to be a part of someones eternal resting place. I’m sorry for your neighbors loss, as you are I’m sure. GOD bless you.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View scrollerjoe's profile


9 posts in 894 days

#12 posted 893 days ago

Very nice attention to detail!

I haverecently been asked to do an urn for a friend of my sister’s. the future “occupant” is requesting that it be made of cedar and have a silhouette of a moose inlaid in the top. The rest of the design is up to me. Not something to take lightly considering the significance.

Again, beautiful workmanship!

-- Mistakes can often be well utilized as a heating fuel for the shop...

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2531 posts in 2543 days

#13 posted 893 days ago

Beautiful…anyone would be honored to have their loved ones rest eternally in that urn. Nice work..


View blockhead's profile


1450 posts in 1894 days

#14 posted 893 days ago

Thank you all for the kind words. The signifance of an urn is something that’s really hard to get my head around. I’m just really glad he like it so much. He told me today his grandson and his wife also saw it and loved it as well.

@Gene- Sorry, I don’t have any pictures of the inside. The access is a recessed bottom which is held in place with 4 screws. Thanks Gene
@scrollerjoe-Best of luck with yours and welcome to LJ’s

Thanks again everyone

-- Brad, Oregon- The things that come to those who wait, may be the things left by those who got there first.

View bibb's profile


288 posts in 2117 days

#15 posted 893 days ago

Blockhead, your splines for the mitered corners have become your signature feature. Your imagination and attention to detail are impressive.
I am sure that your neighbor is very appreciative.

-- "Imagination is more important than knowledge" Bibb in CO at

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