Lidded Box

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Project by DaveSJ posted 03-21-2013 06:28 PM 2020 views 8 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Lidded Box
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Hi All,
After a few years of viewing Lumberjock’s, I just signed up. To get rolling I thought I’d post a few recent projects. This first one is a pet urn I made for our cat who past away a short time ago. After our cat past away, our vet showed us numerous urn boxes that were very expensive, made overseas and not very nice looking. That inspired me to make my own box and at the very least our cat who lived 16 years desereved nothing less.
The Box is made from Cocobolo with Ebony corner splines and a shop turned knob on top. I had not worked much with Cocobolo before this project outside of turning blanks for pens. The box construction went very well until it came time to apply finish. I started with a sanding sealer using dewaxed shellac, then applied a wipe on coat of Arm-R-Seal… that’s where things went bad. The wipe on oil-poly just would not dry and turned into a sticky mess after a week of dry time. After much stress and searching the web for answers, the Woodwhisper’s website came to the rescue! I saw a posting where Mark discussed finishing Cocobolo and other oily woods. The trick is to wipe down the wood with Acetone, then apply a shellac sanding sealer and go on to the wipe on oil-poly finish after that… it worked. I was very please with how the boxed turned out.

19 comments so far

View Mean_Dean's profile


6876 posts in 3289 days

#1 posted 03-21-2013 07:05 PM

Beautiful box! I love how the finish looks, and the color of the wood!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View sras's profile


4880 posts in 3271 days

#2 posted 03-21-2013 09:25 PM

A very beautiful box! A fitting use for such special wood. Thanks for sharing.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View UncleStumpy's profile


736 posts in 2455 days

#3 posted 03-21-2013 09:32 PM

Love the design! And of course Cocobolo is amazing. Ebony is a super choice for the splines. How thick are the sides?
The shellac trick works for everything. Great project.

-- "They don't want it perfect - they want it SPECIAL"

View Josh's profile


1226 posts in 2712 days

#4 posted 03-21-2013 09:32 PM

Dave, that’s really nice. May you kitty rest in peace.

-- Tree, wood, and box lover from Pennsylvania

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3451 days

#5 posted 03-21-2013 10:01 PM

Very nice box and sorry about your cat.
I have worked with Cocobolo alot and find that a lacquer finish works quite well. I use acetone and only wipe the spots that I am gluing…epoxy glue seems to be best for oily woods.

View Milton Toal's profile

Milton Toal

107 posts in 2213 days

#6 posted 03-21-2013 10:54 PM

Beautiful work and great wood selection. Welcome to Lumberjocks, the best woodworking community in the World.

-- Milton Toal, Doncaster, Melbourne Australia.

View DaveSJ's profile


11 posts in 2035 days

#7 posted 03-22-2013 12:34 AM

UncleStumpy – The box wall thickness is 3/8. The cocobolo was rough 4/4 that was just over an inch before planning and resawing. I resawed the four sides to get the grain match around the corners.

To All,
To elaborate on the design, it’s a long story! Our cat was a goofy Siamese mix, so I tried to make the box style with a bit of Asian flare. I had a prized piece of cocobolo I came across few years ago to make my wife a jewelry box – never got around to the jewlery box, but I still have some left over so maybe one day…
The dimensions were bounded by the tin the vet receives the ashes from the remains. The thought of making the box didn’t come to me until a few days after we were at the vet, so to get the size of the tin, I called the vet… the receptionist must have thought I was totally looped as no one had ever called in to ask “what are the specific dimensions of a cat tin?” From the size of the tin, I made the box 0.5” bigger in each direction to make sure the tin would fit – it did. If anyone would like a basic plan for this box I did draw it up and can email pdf file.
Thanks for the kind words,

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29865 posts in 2480 days

#8 posted 03-22-2013 01:17 AM

Absolutely beautiful

Welcome to LumberJocks

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View studie's profile


618 posts in 3289 days

#9 posted 03-22-2013 01:38 AM

Very nice, the wood, splines and of corse the finish just gleams! Welcome to LJs you will like it here and we look forward to more of your fine work.

-- $tudie

View oldnovice's profile


7188 posts in 3510 days

#10 posted 03-22-2013 03:16 AM

Good looking box, I really like the gloss finish and I think this box deserves it!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View garyprott's profile


47 posts in 2986 days

#11 posted 03-22-2013 04:56 AM

Sorry for the loss of your kitty. The box is purrrrr fect.

-- James Krenov..."It's about a lot of little things, they do matter. Enjoy them."

View TomTinkerSum's profile


226 posts in 3977 days

#12 posted 03-22-2013 06:09 AM

looks great – I am sure your cat appreciates the gesture.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic.... :)

View Boxguy's profile (online now)


2738 posts in 2410 days

#13 posted 03-22-2013 06:50 AM

Dave, welcome to Lumberland. I like your project. The joinery looks very precise, the finish is super, and the workmanship is excellent. Looks like you have mastered many techniques in box construction. You have chosen great woods with high contrast. What a nice urn for a beloved pet.

This project may not need it, but most posting benefit by having more than one shot. It is very difficult for readers to get a good sense of scale from a photo, so it helps us if you put the dimensions in the initial write-up. Keep boxing and keep posting.

-- Big Al in IN

View hoss12992's profile


4068 posts in 2035 days

#14 posted 03-22-2013 07:15 AM

Great job, and love the wood! Beautiful

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Ken90712's profile


17575 posts in 3331 days

#15 posted 03-22-2013 08:18 AM

Great job and finish on this, The Woodwhiper is a good guy who has helped many on here. Welcome to Lumberjocks you’ll lovd it…...

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

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