Turning an urn, need advice!

Discussion in 'Newbie' started by Stephen M. Olds, Sep 17, 2016.

  1. Stephen M. Olds

    Stephen M. Olds

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    I have turned and hollowed the basic vessel of the urn I am turning for my Grandson, who passed away a week ago from cancer.

    The shape is an oval, and I have left a lip at the bottom so I can attach a foot...but I am unsure how large that foot should be across. My thinking was to use a square foot, with the top turned to match with the 4" base of the vessel. The wood I have for the foot is Black Walnut, and is 2" thick - although it is rough on both sides so that may end up at 1-3/4" when surfaced on the bottom.

    My question is, how wide should I make the base so that it and the vessel compliment each other?

    urn.jpg

    The vessel is 9" tall and 8" in diameter, the bottom rim is 4".

    The wood is Spalted Maple, is more punky than I liked but it was the only piece I had that was large enough. I have been able to sand it to a very smooth surface and will use Shellewax on it before finishing which should fill in any pinholes left in the surface. My daughter also wants a darker color so I will either use dye or airbrush to add a warm walnut tint that hopefully will retain the spalting.

    I would really appreciate suggestions on the foot - I could turn the top to arc away below the vessel, or leave it flat. I do need to find a place on the foot for a label with his name and dates.

    My main concern here is proportion to the vessel itself.

    The top has been flattened since this photo was taken, it will have a simple dome that carries the curve of the vessel. I don't have a threader so I need to fix some way to make it a tight fit - or just glue it after the ashes are inside.

    Thanks for any suggestions.
     
  2. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    A terrible loss, I hope you found some peace through your work.

    I find choosing design options works best for me with visual models
    Photograph the profile of the vessel or draw it to scale.
    Then make the add on pieces to scale in several widths/ heights. Make at least 3.
    Cut them out and put them in place.
    Use the size you like best. You can snap phone photos of each to compare.
    You may decide to try another size here

    If you are good with computers you can resize the same image.
    Work in B&W to focus on the profile. Then have the different profiles for comparison

    I would start with a 1/3 of the vessel width for the base make larger an smaller ones
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2016
  3. Stephen M. Olds

    Stephen M. Olds

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    Thank you for your words, the work on the Urn has indeed been a point of focus in this pain.

    I'll try making cutouts - wonder why I didn't think of that? Maybe it was too obvious for my current state of mind...:(

    Usually that would be my first thought...stress can really play games with the mind.

    In looking at this, I'm almost thinking it may need no foot - I tried setting it on the table, and it does seem fairly stable...the only problem might be not a place for the label...

    Thanks.
     
  4. Joe Greiner

    Joe Greiner

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    Instead of a flat foot, form a foot ring - a narrow strip, with recessed center. The recessed center provides room for a label, and the foot ring is actually more stable.
     
  5. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Joe has a good idea with the foot ring, you can also use a different type of wood glued on the billet
    for the base or drill a hole in the urn vessel and glue the two pieces together after turning them.
     
  6. Stephen M. Olds

    Stephen M. Olds

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    OK, I think the foot ring flush with the bottom of the vessel would work - I have some dark Walnut that I can use for both the foot and cap, should highlight the lighter color of the vessel...

    Since she wants this by this weekend, and I cant find anyone to make the label in that time, I may just make the ring (and cap) and fit it tight to the 1/4" tenon (not showing in the photo) without gluing...just so it's ready for the service.

    That way I can show her some ideas for the final foot and make that new foot as a replacement to be glued on later. Hopefully with the label...

    Thanks for the ideas!
     
  7. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Visit a trophy shop and they should be able to engrave a brass plate in short order if you let them know what it is for.
    You can make several phone calls and find a shop that has the engraving machine on site.
     
  8. Stephen M. Olds

    Stephen M. Olds

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    I'll check them out tomorrow - the engraving shops seem to be over loaded with orders, can't get it out until next week...

    One other option I am thinking about is the local Rockler store has a wood lazer carving club that meets this coming Wednesday. They said I could bring it in and maybe they might be able to work on it for me.

    If the trophy shop doesn't work I'll give them a try.

    Thanks.
     
  9. Stephen M. Olds

    Stephen M. Olds

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    Just wanted to share the end result - I really think I stretched my limits with this one!

    In the end, the muse took control and I just let the work flow on it's own.

    My daughter and her husband were really pleased with it, and I even got some FB comments on how great it looked.

    I was just happy that I was able to do this labor of love and have it come out so well...

    Like I told them, I see the warmth of his heart and love in the color and lines of this piece...

    IMG_20161001_152705_298.jpg
     
    hockenbery and Douglas Ladendorf like this.
  10. Douglas Ladendorf

    Douglas Ladendorf

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    It's wonderful Stephen. I think you are right, there is a lot captured in the grain, color and form that adds up to much more. A very special gift.

    Doug
     
  11. Stephen M. Olds

    Stephen M. Olds

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    Yes...it was that. Thanks.
     
  12. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    It is beautiful.

    I agree with Douglas that it is a very special gift.
     
  13. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Very Nice Design!
     

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