Starting New Urn Project

More Progress. I got all the bottom of the urn glued up and hollowed up on the inside. This ring is the top of the bottom half of the urn. It will get half of the threaded ring. I also decided to engrave the top of the urn. I am still not sure if I will use this top or make a solid rose wood one. Either way I proved the engraving will work. One of the issues of a top/bottom of a segmented vessel is will it meet perfectly at the center. The top has a small crack near the center where when it was glued up it did not meet perfectly. I have been considering a solid rose wood top since the beginning and this has likely made up my mind about replacing it with a solid piece of rosewood. I already have a piece set aside. All I would have to do is make a circle and cut it out roughly on the bandsaw. Since I would have a center marked for the bandsaw that would also be my center for the Shapeoko.

The top was cut with advanced vcarve using a 1/32" (#122) and a 15 Degree vee bit. The depth was .1" and I think that will work. I may paint it but I think I will just leave it natural and fill it in with finish with an acid brush. The urn is about the ashes and I dont want to make it too much. There will be a finial in the center where that rough hole is.


More progress. I decided to replace the top with a solid piece of rosewood. I carved it out of a 6" square piece of rosewood. I did the advanced vcarve and then did a contour cut of 5.75". The segmented top measured 5.75". I glued the two pieces of the lid today and will cut the recess for the bronze threaded ring tomorrow. I cut the recess for the male half of the ring earlier. I will glue in both half of the threaded ring and thread the top on the urn and cut the entire urn on the outside at once.

Carve on the solid wood top came out better. If you look closely the e’s in the Weese did not chip out like it did on the segmented top. The picture was taken before I vacuumed out the dust. It came out very well. My little SO3 XXL with HDZ is an amazing machine. I would love to have an SO5 but as long as this little engine keeps chugging along I wont replace it.

I used the original top as a jam chuck to press the two top pieces together. That helped me center the ring on the top. It is a little off but when I turn it it will be ok. Getting close. Like all projects that are nearly complete I will be glad when it is done.

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Getting really close. I turned the outside to the final shape. The picture below is with mineral spirits to wipe off the dust. After I take it off the lathe I will have to finish the bottom and top with sanding. I plan on sealing the urn with Zinsser Universal Sanding Sealer. Then 4-5 coats of wipe on polyurethane. Still have not decided about the inside. I will defenitely seal it with the Zinsser but not sure if it needs anything else. When finishing wood you always need to do the same to one side as the other. This helps prevent warping. It is doubly important on flat surfaces like tables and such.

If you look at t he top (right side) I used my original carved segmented piece to jam it. That engraved lettering was a good guide for me not to cut into the engraving one level below it.

I will let it dry for a while and then apply the dewaxed shellac. Likely to get a coat or two of poly on today. I will be having a turning club meeting tomorrow and will take it with me for show and tell. So far I am really liking it.

From the above pictures the urn looked pretty ugly. Like a lot of woodworking projects the magic appears with final sanding and finishing.

I texted a picture above to Jim’s sister and she replied:

“I love it… Jim would be proud but humbled”


Where do you source the threaded rings?

Niles Bottle Stoppers. Carl Jacobson runs it with his wife. If you call the company you get Carl. He also has a YouTube channel about turning.

I got a set of 3, 3.5", 2.5" and 1.5" and they were around $70.00.

Thank you for sharing your source and your build process.

I purchased a brass ring some time ago. The seller is no longer in business but if I recall the story correctly they produced the brass ring from the brass nut/thread of a shower drain.

I used it on the underside so that it looked like a completely sealed box. I also placed a 1 cent coin recessed in the wood cap with the same birth year of the person the urn was made for.


Lets see the rest of your box. I just love segmented turning and several woodworker friends suggested a square or rectangular box. For me the turned urn was right for my friend.

Inching closer. I cut the waste block off and sanded the bottom. Got my dewaxed shellac on all pieces and will finish the rest by hand. The bottom will get a coat or two of poly but I will glue on a cork bottom to protect any furniture it sits on.

I had a small moment of panic. After I took the piece off the lathe I could not get the lid to unscrew. I finally got it off. The fit is very tight and during turning the force of the lathe was likely tightening the lid from friction. Got it off and I will make sure it is very loosely fit on so I dont have that issue again. After all you do want a tight fitting lid. A friend suggested I go by a funeral home to see if I can buy a heavy duty plastic bag to place the ashes in. I dont think I would be able to put the existing bag inside the urn. I could just pour them in but I think a plastic bag would be better and I can heat seal it up.

Here it is with the 1st coat of Zinsser Universal Sealer (dewaxed shellac). That really brought out the color.

Here is the bottom and the top. The Shapeoko carving went well. Rosewood is very hard.

The last thing is to turn a finial. I was just blue skying but maybe a USAF emblem for the top. I drilled a 3/8" hole while it was on the lathe so it was centered.


I got finial cut but not sure if I like it. May try another.


From where I am standing, that Sir is a beautiful work of art.

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Impressive indeed!
About how heavy is it now that it is finished?

Guy, it needs to be “massive” compared to the one you are showing. Perhaps not round.