My Parents' Urn

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Project by Dave G posted 135 days ago 986 views 5 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My dear Dad passed away yesterday after a brief struggle with an infection. My Mom, his wife of 58 years, wants to share her final resting place with him. I prepared an urn for two. Please excuse the cold statistics in what follows. I’m trying to help other woodworkers in their similar task. This was actually a very intense, personal, therapeutic project. I feel much better after making it.

Mortuary standard size is 200 cubic inches for 200 pound person. The urn is sized for 400 cubic inches, more than enough for my 150 pound Dad and 100 pound Mom. I made it of quartersawn oak milled to 5/8 thickness. It would have been too beefy at 3/4. The dovetails are simple 7:1 equally spaced. A 1/4 groove holds a 1/4 panel I milled from the same stock. The lid has a 3/4 board glued to it to seal the box and engage the divider. The divider is 1/4 stock in 1/4 groove. I have a sketchup model available here:

The idea is to pull the divider when my Mom passes to commingle the ashes.

The lid has a small olive wood cross inlay.

The lid inner board is sized lengthwise for a very tight fit so no screws are needed. There’s enough overlap on the lid to tap it off as needed.

I prefer varnish but it has to be in the mail very soon so I finished it with amber shellac and rubbed it with 0000 and paste wax. The finish is stunning, actually, better than the varnish would have been.

Bon Voyage, Dad.

-- Dave, New England - “We are made to persist. that's how we find out who we are.” ― Tobias Wolff

17 comments so far

View JoeinGa's profile


3088 posts in 603 days

#1 posted 135 days ago

What a wonderful, loving tribute. And I really LIKE this part ”The idea is to pull the divider when my Mom passes to commingle the ashes.”

So sorry for your loss

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View MrFid's profile


506 posts in 500 days

#2 posted 135 days ago

Sorry for your loss. Thank you for letting us share. Beautiful.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View patron's profile


12953 posts in 1937 days

#3 posted 135 days ago

very nice and heartfelt build

sorry for your loss

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Grumpymike's profile


1000 posts in 911 days

#4 posted 135 days ago

What a wonderful thing to be so close for eternity …

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it.

View OhValleyWoodandWool's profile


969 posts in 1716 days

#5 posted 135 days ago

Beautiful, just Beautiful

-- "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure." Mark Twain

View Sandra's profile


4125 posts in 671 days

#6 posted 135 days ago

Sorry for your loss, but so much beauty and love in this project.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View 489tad's profile


2203 posts in 1607 days

#7 posted 135 days ago

The wood is beautiful and the cross is a nice touch. You built wonderful tribute to your parents.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View Rick's profile


6455 posts in 1628 days

#8 posted 135 days ago

Very nice. Sorry for your loss.

-- COMMON SENSE Is Like Deodorant. The People Who need It Most, Never Use It.

View theoldfart's profile


3883 posts in 1047 days

#9 posted 135 days ago

Your love for your parents shows in your work. I hope you continue to honor them by creating more beautiful pieces.

-- "Aged flatus, I heard that some one has already blown out your mortise." THE Surgeon ……………………………………. Kevin

View Todd's profile


215 posts in 272 days

#10 posted 135 days ago

Very kind and thoughtful. I’m very sorry for your loss. Sounds like your dad was a great guy.

-- Todd, Huntsville, AL

View swandog's profile


15 posts in 567 days

#11 posted 134 days ago

What a great tribute to your parents. Sorry for your loss.

View helluvawreck's profile


15382 posts in 1462 days

#12 posted 134 days ago

I’m sorry about your loss. It’s a beautiful resting place for their remains. You’ve done a fine job on it.

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 BigMig's profile


251 posts in 1209 days

#13 posted 134 days ago

Wow, that’s a beautiful idea – hand build their urn – together in one.

Very cool, glad to hear that it was theraputic and thanks for sharing your life event. I’m praying for you and your mother.

-- Mike from Lansdowne, PA

View jinkyjock's profile


211 posts in 170 days

#14 posted 134 days ago

Finding this difficult to write as I made an urn for my dear sister and it re-kindles the emotions and sense of loss you are going through right now. Your love for your parents shines through in your work and your idea of a divider is a beautiful thought.

View Greg In Maryland's profile

Greg In Maryland

381 posts in 1594 days

#15 posted 134 days ago

Godspeed to your dad, Dave.

What a wonderful thing you did.


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