A Urn and Democratic Class Schedule

It’s been a busy month for us.  My wife’s brother Gabe, who has been fighting cancer for nearly two years, took a turn in mid-September.  So we’ve been driving to Berea, KY every couple weeks to visit and help take care of him.  He died nine days ago.  Here’s a photo of him last summer shaving his beard as my wife Morgan holds the mirror and mama Rita takes the photo:

When Gabe asked me to make his urn, I showed him Follansbee boxes and dovetailed boxes, but Gabe wanted something I knew I couldn’t make by myself:  a mitered walnut box with maple splines.  Think of the precision required!  Yikes!

Kelly Mehler has been a friend of the family since before Gabe was born.  I shipped chair parts to his school back when Curtis Buchanan was teaching there, but I had only met him once.  Last weekend, I spent three afternoons with him in his shop building Gabe’s urn together.  Morgan just walked into the shop and took a picture of it:

I think it’s the most precise thing I’ve ever made in my live. It’s sitting on my hewing stump that I pulled out this afternoon, getting ready for Saturday’s Democratic class with Curtis.  Speaking of which, my schedule has firmed up so I booked a few more classes today:

WHITTLING SPINDLES AND BENDING THE CREST October 24th, 2-4pm Eastern
After whittling the spindles and crest, we’ll bend the crest and talk about drying the parts. We may get into choosing and flattening the seat as time permits. Plus Q+A session

PLANING THE SEAT, BORING AND REAMING MORTICES October 31st, 2-4pm Eastern
While our green parts dry, we’ll planing the seat and then bore boles for the legs and posts and start reaming the holes to fit. Plus Q+A session

CARVING THE SEAT Nov. 14th, 2-4pm Eastern
We’ll saw out the front of the seat with a bowsaw, then spend some time learning to use the inshave and start start carving the seat. Plus Q+A session

BEVELING THE SEAT Nov. 21st, 2-4pm Eastern
We’ll finish carving the top of the seat and start beveling the sides and underside of the seat with a drawknife. Plus Q+A session

The subject matter for each class is a guess – we’ll fit in as much as we can each class and keep going till we’re done. You can find more info and register for the classes (on a donation basis) on my website.

 

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Brian West
11 months ago

Elia, very sorry for your family’s loss. What an honor that your brother-in-law asked you to build his urn. Well done!

Dave Polaschek
11 months ago

Sorry for your loss, Elia. That’s a nice urn, and while it was maybe a bit outside your comfort zone, it looks like a good result from here. Well done!

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