1. Member
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Mar 2012
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285

## Funeral Urn/Box Sizing?

One of my friends just had to put down his 80lbs Weimaraner dog. He's having him singly cremated. I'd like to surprise him with a box for the bag of ashes. I have no idea how big to make it, though. The only animal I've had to cremate was 12lbs.

2. There's a calculator at this site.

Also, Rennie has built some urns and should have some input here.

3. isn't the coffin usually burned along with the remains? That should be a factor.

4. Originally Posted by Roger Tulk
isn't the coffin usually burned along with the remains? That should be a factor.
I made an urn based on the 1 cubic inch per pound rule. I then saw the remains of a person of about the same weight; it was not quite twice what I expected. This was my only experience with this but, the calculators (or the crematorium) were way off. I look forward to anyone who can empirically clarify this.

5. Originally Posted by Roger Tulk
isn't the coffin usually burned along with the remains? That should be a factor.

The "coffin" is likely to be a cardboard box. That's what we specified, anyway.

6. If you are building a box for the cremains you should plan on having the interior volume to hold about one cubic inch for each pound of live body weight. For an 80 pound animal you would need at least 80 cubic inches on the inside of the box but I would make it larger. A cube made from 3/4" material with exterior dimensions of 6" square would yield an interior volume of almost twice that capacity at a little more than 144 cubic inches.

You can use rice to measure the volume required and to check your container. 80 cubic inches requires a little more than 44 ounces of rice measured in a liquid measuring cup. If you take that measured amount of rice and put it into a plastic bag you can visualize the shape and volume required for the contents you wish to place inside the urn. I find it very useful to do this to visualize the volume I will need inside a turned urn. Doing so helps me select an appropriately sized piece of wood to contain the cremains it is intended to hold.

Here is a link to a table which provides a conversion from cubic inches to liquid ounces. We are not measuring liquid obviously but when we use rice but it is the volume comparison that we are looking for.

Cubic inches to fluid ounces table: http://www.metric-conversions.org/vo...nces-table.htm
Last edited by Mike Stafford; 08-15-2015 at 10:31 AM.

7. Join Date
Apr 2008
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Independence MO
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Originally Posted by Roger Tulk
isn't the coffin usually burned along with the remains? That should be a factor.
From everything I have seen or can find, animals aren't cremated in coffins.
People however, are normally burned in some kind of box, whether it be pine or cardboard, but it isn't the same coffin, typically used for viewing.

8. Member
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Mar 2012
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Thanks for all the advice, folks. I have to admit it didn't even occur to me to websearch this, even though everything is on the Internet.

I decided on a raw interior measurement of 9x5x4, which gives about 180ci. So the exterior will be 10.5x6.5x5.5-ish. I'll lose a little with the lid and also with the bottom of the box. Not done designing but I figure the interior volume will be around 120-130ci.

First pass:

I have a really gorgeous piece of ambrosia maple that I'll be using for this. I have not decided if I want to run the grain horizontally and attempt to match it all the way around the box or run it vertically to accentuate the "fiery" look of the maple. I need to take a picture of my board.... this is a board I found on the Internet. My board has denser striping.

I also don't know what I'm going to do with the lid. Just ease the edges or camfer them or do something fancy?

9. Remember those beetle holes can penetrate through the board. I'm not sure if the old pup will still be in the bag when it's put to rest but it's something to think about. Sorry for your friend. It had to be tough.

10. Member
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Mar 2012
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285
I'm sealing it inside and out, but I expect the ashes will be in a baggy. He was great dog. We'd dog-sat him twice for a week each time. Good dog.

I finally scanned in my board and mocked up a couple different ways. Everything to scale.

Horizontal grain, wrapped and matching:

Vertical grain, wrapped and matching across the front, top, and back:

Either way, I've done some test pieces and don't trust myself to be able to do good matching coves after mitering. So I will be cutting the coves (tablesaw method) after assembling the boxes.... hopefully that doesn't rip out the miters. I'll test first.

Cutting a cove into the horizontal grain would obviously be easiest. Tear-out could be an issue with the vertical grain boards.

Thoughts?

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