Here’s an example of a cabinet maker that saw a need for custom caskets, that would normally cost three to four times what they can sell them for. Yes, the funeral home will mark it up some, but can go direct to the builder, especially if they have style you really like.
If you’re a cabinet maker or casket manufacturer, I’ll either sell your casket from my site, or for a small fee, I’ll put your ad on my site, depending on the size, etc. If you’d like a page on my site that explains your product, I can provide that for a nominal fee. Just send me an email, if you’re interested.
My goal is to have as much of a variety of burial containers made available from this site as possible. Not just the six-sided boxes with a lid on top. Depending on your cemetery’s requirements concerning a vault, etc. you can get creative as you want. Some people are doing screen printing or air brush designs, but I think you should be able to create any kind of creative exterior (or interior) you like to fit your desires or to fit the personality of the decedent if it’s not for you.
Go ahead and comment here what kind of cool unique design you’d like to see, and we’ll see if someone can create a supply to match your demand.
Millington cabinetmaker thinks outside the box with recent move into casket business
Jimmy Pike listened to the sales presentation and looked over the product Thursday, gripping the oak handles, touching the cedar inlay, feeling the upholstery, assessing the dimensions.
“Cabinet business kinda slow?” asked the good-humored funeral home manager, breaking into a big grin.
“I still got the cabinet business,” Sammy James responded.
And now, moved by his father’s death two months ago, the Drummonds woodworker and his family build caskets, too.
The James Cabinetry casket wasn’t just unveiled Thursday, James took it on a tour.
The soft-spoken 42-year-old drove the beautiful box from funeral home to funeral home in a plain white cargo van.
Visits included Barlow Funeral Home, Jefferson’s Mortuary, Munford Funeral Home-Millington Chapel, Northridge Woodhaven Funeral Home, Roller Family Funeral Home and Holly Springs Funeral Home.
James would tell the story of his father’s death on April 17 to each manager.
Cabinetmaker Samuel Alan James, 60, always said he wanted to build his own casket. But he died unexpectedly, not having built one.
So Sammy James and his family spent an intense two days crafting one for his father before the funeral.
The casket he showed to funeral homes on Thursday is the second one he’s made, and looks like the one he created for his father.
James feels there’s a demand for custom-made caskets crafted by “common” people instead of large companies.
He plans to sell them in the $2,000-$4,000 range to funeral homes. James also intends to sell directly to families, but hasn’t set a price yet for those.
It would have been a head-turning scene, there in the back parking lot of Munford Funeral Home-Millington Chapel.
If only passing motorists could have seen Pike, his funeral directors and James roll the casket up against lush hedges for a photograph.
Their technical talk about the casket was just as compelling.
“The height is made to go into a hearse without having to take the (flower) spray off,” James said.
“Any plans to do one half-couch?” Pike asked, referring to a split-lid that enables an open casket for only the top half of the deceased.
Yes, James said.
Mike Hanson, Pike’s lead funeral director, asked, “Anybody mentioned to you there’s a way to elevate the body up?”
“Yes, I’m working on a system,” James said.
“What’s it weigh?” Hanson asked.
James didn’t know, but it was lighter than his father’s casket. “I built (Dad’s) like I would a cabinet. It was like a tank.”
Pike questioned whether the casket would always be wide enough. “Lot of folks won’t fit,” he said with a laugh.
James responded that his 6-4, 330-pound son-in-law volunteered to get inside, and he fit fine.
Pike (laughing): “That’s 300 pounds of a cooperating human being.”
Pike admired the way James carved grips into the handles for pallbearers.
James said he could custom-make caskets to offer each funeral home its own styles.
Pike: “How long does it take you to make one?”
James: 16 hours of woodworking, 20 to 24 hours total with the upholstery work.
“That’s pretty sharp,” Pike said, admiring James’ work. “It’s funny how one day you’re just living your life and you wind up making caskets.”
“It’s a family deal,” James said.
Generally, funeral homes buy their caskets from big manufacturers. But James said he would match the going price offered by the companies.
Munford Funeral Home-Millington Chapel emphasizes personalization and options for families, and James’ caskets could “fit perfectly into it,” said Pike, who’s also a Millington alderman.