About 4 years ago I decided to build my own casket. I wanted to ease the burden on loved ones for the necessary activities and acquisitions, and costs needed at my passing, whenever that would be. After thinking about this quite a lot, I decided that I also wanted to make the casket somehow symbolic of my life, at least the places of import in my life. I was born in California (sorry) and lived there the first eight years of my life, then came to Alaska with my parents in 1956, and have lived here ever since, and I have family who operate a large Pecan orchard in SE Arizona. So, I decided to use California Redwood, Alaskan Birch, and Pecan tree wood in my Casket. I got some photos of it prior to completion, but I never did take a photo of it when it was finished. I didn’t want to post those photos in my projects gallery but I have decided to go ahead and do it. It can be seen there.
I also built an exact copy as a prototype. This was made from construction grade pine so as to keep the cost down. I used it to ensure fit and design, cutting and fitting each piece in pine prior to cutting the redwood. So when all was finished, I had two caskets, my own, and the prototype. Then a close friend passed away after a lengthy illness. He and his wife were not well to do after spending almost all their savings on his medical bills. I asked his wife if she would be interested in the prototype, and after looking at it, she wanted to have it. I gave the casket to her free of charge, and it was used at his funeral and viewing and he was buried in it. Many friends and acquaintances saw the casket and were impressed with it.
Then, about a year ago, my wife expressed the desire for me to build her casket. When it was completed, and prior to placing it in it’s storage box, she mentioned to her friend that I had built her casket and would the friend and her husband like to see it. They came to see it a result requested that I make one for each of them.
I told them the approximate cost and they said go ahead. Those two caskets are now finished and ready to be delivered.
In the meantime, those friends have been telling others and now I have commissions for four more!
-- AKDave Chugiak, Alaska, firstname.lastname@example.org