Cremains Box for My Church

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Project by Sawdustonmyshoulder posted 11-09-2013 04:03 AM 1883 views 6 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Some of my church members came to me asking for a box to use during funeral services where the deceased was cremated. I had made a box earlier in the year for my mother-in-law’s cremains (see blog link below) and when I showed them the photos of that box, they asked that the new box be fashioned after it. The only difference was that my mother-in-law’s box was closed with screws in the bottom of the box and not meant to be opened.

The requirements were that the box be able to hold two containers of cremains. Our church has a columbarium (a special wall where cremated remains are placed) and each niche in the wall can hold two boxes of cremains. And that the box be small enough to be carried; the box be able to stay closed and able to be opened easily.

This box is made out of a single cherry board. The inlaid cross is tulip poplar and the hinges and clasp are made from quartersawn cherry. The metal parts are 1/8” brass rod for the hinge pins and a 3/16” brass rod for the clasp pin. I used 1” brass screws to secure the hinges and clasp to the box. The box was finished with a coat of 1 pound cut of Seal Coat, 4 coats of General Finishes Pre-Cat water-based polyurethane, and a final hand-rubbed coat of Mylands wax.

I used my Leigh D4R to make the dovetail joints on the corners. The inlay was done with a router using a Delta Inlay Kit. I sprayed the polyurethane with a Earlex 5000 HVLP sprayer.

This box was donated to the church and dedicated to the memory of my mother-in-law by my wife, my two boys and me last Sunday.

Here is the blog entry for that box. I made my first box’s joints with my PC dovetail jig.

Thanks for viewing my post.

-- Makin' Sawdust!!!

15 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

17882 posts in 1372 days

#1 posted 11-09-2013 04:37 AM

Beautiful work.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View a1Jim's profile


113725 posts in 2611 days

#2 posted 11-09-2013 06:35 AM

Very nice work.

-- Custom furniture

View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

414 posts in 1236 days

#3 posted 11-09-2013 08:06 AM

An honor you carried to a gorgeous result.

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. I think of my shop as Fritter City. I am the Mayor.

View Jim's profile


107 posts in 2325 days

#4 posted 11-09-2013 02:30 PM


The box is beautiful. What a great cause and a worthy box for the occasion.

I can’t decide what I like best; the dovetails, the hinges, or the inlay cross.

Thanks for sharing.


View dave105's profile


25 posts in 1374 days

#5 posted 11-09-2013 03:38 PM

Great job. Love the wood hinges.

View helluvawreck's profile


18721 posts in 1901 days

#6 posted 11-09-2013 04:28 PM

You did such a nice job on it. It’s beautiful.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Gittyup's profile


81 posts in 991 days

#7 posted 11-09-2013 11:32 PM

Very nice!

-- tel

View Kerux2's profile


203 posts in 766 days

#8 posted 11-10-2013 12:37 AM

Very Nice!

but I’d like to note that your title made it sound like the ‘Church was cremated.’

-- Hey I'm Dyslexic! I don't have all day to check and re-check forum post.

View Kerux2's profile


203 posts in 766 days

#9 posted 11-10-2013 01:02 AM

Oh, by the way, I really like your hinges. Pretty, unique and simple. Give that box an extra touch. I may have to ‘borrow’ that style.

-- Hey I'm Dyslexic! I don't have all day to check and re-check forum post.

View aussiedave's profile


3090 posts in 859 days

#10 posted 11-10-2013 01:52 AM

very nice box beautifully made…well done

-- Dave.......Keep calm and make more sawdust....

View littlecope's profile


3015 posts in 2536 days

#11 posted 11-10-2013 01:54 AM

Very Cleanly Done and appropriately Dignified for its purpose my Friend… Great Job!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Rick's profile


8286 posts in 2067 days

#12 posted 11-10-2013 06:19 AM

Very Nice Work Indeed! Thanks For Sharing.


-- Can You Hear The Toilet Flushing?

View Rick's profile


8286 posts in 2067 days

#13 posted 11-10-2013 06:19 AM


-- Can You Hear The Toilet Flushing?

View cajunpen's profile


14531 posts in 3100 days

#14 posted 11-10-2013 10:03 PM

Well done. It is beautiful, but I suspect that not many Parishioners are fighting for the opportunity of getting in it :-). Seriously, it is beautiful and very generous of you to create it for your Church.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View rance's profile


4195 posts in 2195 days

#15 posted 11-20-2013 02:49 PM

Very nice.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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