turning an urn

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Forum topic by telrite posted 03-07-2016 09:41 PM 694 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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51 posts in 2318 days

03-07-2016 09:41 PM

i have a buddy who is slowly been eaten by cancer. He stopped in over the weekend and asked me turn him an urn. I have looked but not found the info I need.I did find lots of info on how to size a box but I am not up on my math so here is what I am after. If anyone has ever turned a traditional urn for a 200 lb person I am wondering if you could help me with a few measurements, How big at the bottom? How big at the widest point? How tall? And how big of an opening? I plan on segmenting the urn.
thank you

2 replies so far

View JollyGreen67's profile


1676 posts in 2786 days

#1 posted 03-07-2016 11:16 PM

The size or the shape of the urn is not a problem, as long as will contain approximately the 6 – 7 lbs of ashes for an adult male. I have turned only one urn, 12”D x 14”H, that flowed up into a screw cap that I had originally made to fit a 3” opening. However, the wood was not as dry as I had hoped for. I knew this would cause problems with potential cracking, and possible leakage of contents. I happened to be in one of the big box stores looking for some plumbing attachments to repair my HVAC system – and – found the solution to the cap. I bought some short black threaded 3” male and female PVC connectors, put them on the lathe and turned them down just enough to insert into the body of the urn and the cap. Depending on the size of the opening in the body and the cap, you will have to trial and error the fit so the PVC does not show when the cap is attached. When I had the fit down to a science – aligning the wood grain – I glued the PVC in with CA.

Unfortunately, this was a rush job and I failed to photograph the results. Good luck with your venture.


By the way, the shape was very similar to my icon.

-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected !

View Woodknack's profile


11773 posts in 2403 days

#2 posted 03-09-2016 08:07 AM

I made an urn awhile back and here’s what I learned:
1 lb = 1 cubic inch of ashes | 200 lbs = 200 cubic inches
Size is up to you as long as the interior is large enough. An internal cyclinder with a diameter of 6” and height of 7” will hold approximately 198 cubic inches.
Ashes come in a plastic bag. Simpler to leave them in the bag and place in the urn.

-- Rick M,

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