Introduction: Hand-made Urn for My Dad.

About: Married father of 5 (4 boys and 1 girl). A Captain in the Fire Department with over 25 years of service. Grew up turning wrenches at my fathers garage. That turned into a love of building things with my hands.
Back in October I posted a build featuring a urn I made out of a Harley-Davidson piston chamber. My father passed away in July and I didn't like any of the urns they had at the funeral home. I told my siblings I'd make them each an urn myself. My father was a mechanic and I worked with him for many years. He taught me a lot. Especially how to work with my hands and find the joy in doing so. I had to incorporate something "motor" into his urns. I was able to score two of these piston chambers for the first two builds. When I build the final one I'm going to have to do something different for my brother. I have a few ideas. I'll post the final one as well. This base doesn't open like the first one.I didn't really want it to, as it was sitting in a place that would make it difficult to get to, so I really didn't see the purpose in going through all the work to make it open.

Step 1: The Build.

I decided to go with two different kinds of wood on this one. Red oak for the face and poplar wood for the sides. The top and bottom are red oak. I used the Rockler box joint jig to make the box joints. I cannot express enough how wonderful that jig is. It's a must have for any builder. The dimensions are 8 3/4" x 8" X 6". Much smaller than the first box as this is really just a base. I still had to use 6" planking as to accommodate the customer name plate I already had made.

Step 2: The Marble Face.

I again used a piece of marble I had and recessed it into the front. Once I laid out the centerline, taking in account the height of the lid, I used a router to route out the recessed part. Once that was done. I beveled the open face. I did this by hand. I used a file to shape it to the desired look. This is done by making a square pencil line around the opening at the desired bevel location. This helps you to keep it straight. Once laid out, just file away until the pencil line disappears . Prior to assembling the base, I glued a scrap piece of wood to the back of the marble to secure it in place.

Step 3: The Glass Bottle Mount.

I didn't have a piece of wood thick enough to make a cup to hold Papa securely in the piston chamber. My solution was to glue four pieces of 3/4" pine planking together so I could mount it on my lathe and turn a proper cup to securely hold my dads ashes and keep them safe if it's ever moved. I counter sunk 4 holes around the base of the piston chamber to send screws through once the cup is placed. That way it can't ever come out.

Safety note: you can see in the picture that I sent 3" deck screws through the pine planking. I didn't want this thing to fly apart when I was turning it. Once the bulk of the wood was gone. I took them out to finish it up.

Step 4: The Top.

I made the top out of 3/4" plastic sheeting. We use this in the fire trucks to make shelves and brackets. I picked some scrap from the dumpster. Working with this stuff can be difficult though. It's not very forgiving and scratches easily. You can sand it. Which is what I did for the sides to remove the blade marks. The plastic pins are made from the same material. Using a 3/4" hole saw, I made the four plugs. These go into the push rod holes to hold the lid securely in place. Once I was done. I used wax to buff out any imperfections and clean it up.

Step 5: Final.

I'm going to just add a bunch of pictures here so you get the idea on how it was built. I enjoyed building this one. One more to go.