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coffin not being used for immediate burial or cremation needs the
same care as a piece of fine furniture. Wood is subject to changes
in climatic conditions. Changes or extremes in temperature and humidity
bring on stresses that cause shrinking, swelling, warping and cracking.
Avoid extreme or rapid changes in temperature and humidity, keep
coffins away from sources of heat such as heaters and fireplaces
and protect them from direct sunlight. Storage in unheated, un-air-conditioned
spaces such as sheds, barns, garages, etc is not recommended. Bert & Bud's
Vintage Coffins assumes no responsibility for damages caused by neglect,improper
care or storage.
My coffins are
built to carry up to 250 lbs. Should the intended occupant of the
coffin exceed this weight it is the buyer's responsibiltiy to make
that known to Bert & Bud's Vintage Coffins before building
of the coffin is begun.
prior to building, all coffins are built to fit inside a standard
thirty-inches-wide burial vault. It is the buyer's responsibility
to confirm the coffin will fit the vault. If necessary, a funeral
director or retail casket seller can help you purchase an oversized
All of my coffins
and urns are built to order one at a time. No coffins or urns are
kept in stock. Completion takes three weeks or more, depending on
the complexity of design and construction. I require a non-refundable
start-up deposit of one-third the price of the coffin or urn before
I order materials and begin building. If for any reason the order
must be cancelled, including the early death of the person for whom
the coffin is being built, the deposit will be forfeited.
is valid for 30 days after delivery or receipt of the coffin. No
guarantees are made regarding protection of cadavers or the life
or condition of coffins after interment under ground or in a mausoleum
Bert & Bud's
Vintage Coffins accepts no liability beyond refund of the purchase
price for damages or injuries incurred through use of our products.
It is the buyer's obligation to purchase insurance to cover any damages
sustained to your coffin or urn while in transit. Crating/shipping
charges for coffins returned to the builder are the responsibility
of the buyer.
Roy 'Bud' Davis
Owner/Operator Bert & Bud's Vintage Coffins
agreement is governed by Kentucky law.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
you make only the old-fashioned 'toe-pincher' style coffins?"
Absolutely not. Most of the coffins I build are toe-pinchers, but
I really enjoy working with clients to design and build something
unique, distinctive and truly one-of-a-kind. I also design and build
wooden crematory urns.
are your toe-pinchers constructed?"
After scanning countless memorial photos, old catalogs,
funeral science textbooks and scouring the basements and
attics of historic buildings and antique stores, I learned
there were many ways of building the ageless and dignified
toe-pincher coffins of the nineteenth century. I chose
the methods that I believe make the sturdiest and most
beautiful coffin. As in the old days, each coffin is built
to fit the intended user. While the appearance and classic
design are based on historical research, my construction
methods and tools are modern to ensure strength and durability.
models do you offer?"
Every coffin I make is custom
built. There are no standard catalog models to choose from. I spend time with each client to find just the right wood, colors, fabrics, trim and finish to make it exactly the way you want it. For example, even though the toe-pincher coffins look similar, each one is built to suit the tastes, needs and physical dimensions of the person for whom it is built. Take a look at my DeLuxe Toe-Pincher and Special Order coffins to see what is possible.
do you price your coffins?"
I make every effort to keep my prices in line with those of discount casket retailers that are 1/2 to 1/3 the prices of those sold by funeral homes. The Black Gothic Toe-Pincher and Pope John Paul II coffins, as pictured on this site, have fixed prices available on request. All others are based on time and the cost of materials. Once we agree on the design of your coffin, I give you a quote. If we agree, I ask for a deposit of 1/3 the price of the coffin. When I get your deposit I start building your coffin. The balance, plus crating/shipping charges, is due on completion of the coffin. I take personal checks or money orders as well as Visa, Mastercard, Discover cards and PayPal.
if I don't know exactly what I want?"
877-371-9279 or e-mail me.
I'm always happy to talk about your ideas and help
you figure out what you want and how it can be done.
do you ship your coffins and what does it cost?"
Coffins are shipped by UPS Freight.
In addition to shipping charges, I add a crating fee
equal to the cost of materials to build it. Even though shipping costs have risen lately, you'll probably be paying less for your coffin
than if you'd bought one from a funeral home. SEND ME YOUR
ZIP CODE AND I'LL GIVE YOU AN ESTIMATE OF YOUR SHIPPING
CHARGES FROM UPS FREIGHT..
I want to build my own coffin, do you sell
plans for them?"
Since I don't work from plans, I have none to sell. Actually,
a coffin is nothing more than a big box. There are many
books available on building small boxes and those techniques
can be applied to building large ones.
need to tell you of the rave reviews your coffin received at Patrick's
funeral. People went on and on about it. They brought others
over just to look it over.... it was truly beautiful! I just
can't get over the detail and the extra care you put into Patrick's
coffin! I can't thank you enough!"
L. Olson, Adel, IA
"My coffin is beautiful. You've really outdone yourself. It's just way beyond
what I had hoped it would be."
"Santa" Hobbs, Elizabethtown, Kentucky
"Everything Bert & Bud does is thorough and professional. From your
meticulous craftsmanship to the way the paperwork was prepared and the way you
dealt with me at every stage, it was apparent that building coffins is more than
just a business to you. You put a lot of yourselves into it and it shows. Better
yet, the price is reasonable and the product impeccable."
R. Stazsko, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
"I guess you could call me an art snob, but I find those shiny caskets in
funeral homes distasteful. There's not another coffin in the world like the one
you built for me. It's different (which is what I wanted), but also classical
in a contemporary way. I think it's great!"
S. Roush, Paducah, Kentucky
"My coffin arrived this morning -- and it's simply beautiful! Thank you
so much. When my friends admire it, I'll give them your address and phone number."
S. Whittington, Douglasville, Georgia
"I'm very pleased with my Bert & Bud's coffin. I thought it would be
unique to be buried in an old-fashioned, toe-pincher style coffin. In the meantime,
I'm using it as a coffee table in my family room.
I call it my 'end' table."
D. Harrison, Atlanta, Georgia
"Thank you for your participation in the filming of our PBS documentary, The
Main Stream. Office gossip is that the Bert & Bud's steamboat coffin
segment is the best we shot..."
Public Policy Productions, Palisades, New York
following information was taken (not always verbatim) from Caring
for the Dead: Your Final Act of Love, by Lisa Carlson, former
executive director of the Funeral Consumer's Alliance. An excellent
resource book in funeral law for the consumer, it includes pertinent
laws from all fifty states and the District of Columbia. It is
available for $29.95 (plus $5.00 shipping/handling) from Upper
Access Books, PO Box 457, Hinesburg, VT 05461. To order a copy
No states have laws regarding the kind of container in which you can or can not
By federal law, the funeral home must accept a casket of your choice, regardless
of where it's purchased.
If you want to use a family built casket or purchase one elsewhere,
it is illegal for a funeral home to charge a handling fee for your
doing so. Occasionally, a funeral home will state that the casket must
be "deemed suitable" by
the funeral director. This is manipulative and illegal because the funeral director
may not refuse your choice of a casket.
Seven states -- Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina
and Virginia -- permit only a funeral director to sell caskets. However, The
Federal Trade Commission's Funeral Rule says customers in those states may order
a casket or coffin shipped in from another state, and a mortuary may not refuse
it or charge a fee for handling it.
No amount of embalming or any casket (even sealed ones) will preserve a body
in a life-like condition forever. Furthermore, a funeral provider may not lie
about state laws or claim that embalming or caskets preserve the body.
Regardless of how well sealed a coffin may be, decomposition is to be expected,
even when a body is embalmed. The rubber gasket on a so-called protective (or
sealer) casket adds about $8.00 to the cost of making the casket. But, it may
add $800.00 to the price paid by the consumer.
Protective caskets will not stop the decomposition of the body. Instead of the
natural dehydration that occurs in an unsealed casket, the body will putrefy
in the anaerobic environment of a sealed casket.
No state law requires a coffin vault or grave liner, but a cemetery's policies
A grave liner is usually assembled at the grave-site from several pieces. It
costs about half the amount of a coffin vault and serves the same purpose --
to prevent the grave from settling. Neither coffin vaults or grave liners have
any significant effect on body preservation.
for Gravestone Studies
non-profit group dealing with preservation of cemeteries
and gravestone art.
detailed plans for those wanting to build a coffin.
Your Own Funeral
articles, resources and instruction in creating
your own funeral or memorial services.
Caring for Our Own at Death
the simplicity and sanctity at the
transition time of death."
out your scheduled date of
and customized funeral accessories.
Nature of Life includes the Eventual
Miracle of Death, a rite of passage
and loving care.
very unique site offering suggestions
for and presenting
to traditional funeral rites.
Sympathy & Condolences
porcelain pottery (including urns, if you ask him)
by a leading American craftsman.