Life on the frozen tundra of South Dakota Life on the frozen tundra of South Dakota

Finished Photos

Finished Photos

Project Completed 02/06/2012

Project Completed 02/06/2012

This was a very different project for me, and also the most meaningful one I've built up to this point. I built an urn to hold my father's cremation ashes. The wood for this project is from a black walnut tree that lived on the family farm in Fairfax, SD. My father swung from this tree when he was growing up. He also cut this tree down after it died.

I'll leave the comments on this page fairly sparse and let the pictures speak for themselves. Full construction pictures and details, along with the story of my dad's struggle with cancer are available on their respective pages.

The rough size of the urn is 13" wide by 9" deep by 8" tall.

You can see occasional defects in the wood. I didn't try and hide them all because I wanted this to be a very real and sincere project. You can buy perfect wood from a cabinet shop. I wanted the personality of the tree to be visible.

Pictures really don't do this piece justice. The rich color of the walnut didn't photograph as well as I'd hoped.

The protective finish is blonde shellac topped with hand-rubbed layers of my own custom oil based polyurethane blend.

The top is actually made up of two pieces glued together, grain matched so the seam is almost invisible.

The ashes are placed inside by removing a panel on the bottom.

Click here to see the whole construction process.
Or you can read the full story of my father's cancer and this urn here.

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This page last updated on 06/28/2018