GLOBAL NEWS: Do-it-yourself casket kit adds life to NB woodworker’s business

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A New Brunswick woodworker has designed a “do-it-yourself” casket kit to alleviate funeral costs.

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Woodworker Jeremy Burrill of Fredericton says he is a no-nonsense kind of guy, which is likely why his business mantra sounds like it was taken straight from an old-fashioned country song. “Just bury me in a pine box,” said Burrill, who owns the Fiddlehead Casket Co.

Burrill said he wanted to give people a simpler, cheaper and more environmentally friendly option for their end of life send offs.  He started handcrafting old-fashioned pine box coffins from his workshop in Fredericton, kind of like the ones used in the old west.

“They are fastened with wooden dowels so there are no screws and no metal or anything in it,” Burrill said.

The caskets sell for roughly $700 and even the bed lining is made of wood shavings. So so every part of the coffin is biodegradable. Over time, Burrill says, those who use the caskets will “just go back to the earth.”

Since starting his coffin business about two years ago, Burrill has sold only his environmentally-friendly coffins locally. He wanted to come up with a way to expand his business and market it outside of New Brunswick.

“To ship a standard sized casket, they are big and heavy and quite costly,” Burrill said.

A couple of weeks ago Burrill developed a solution: an easier to ship, do-it-yourself casket kit.

The kit comes with simple instructions so that customers can build their own caskets.

It’s only been two weeks and Burrill has already sold two units to clients in British Columbia. The pine boxes will arrive neatly packaged and ready for what is apparently a pretty quick assembly.

“Anyone can do it in a half an hour I did one the other day in ten minutes,” Burrill said.

From Shelley Steeves


  • I think its is fantastic what you are doing, turning the funeral service on its head, over the last 20 years most independent funeral directors have been taken up by these giant conglomerates and have turned the entire industry into what is a money making enterprise by making you feel bad because you can’t afford the all singing all dancing Casket or coffin as we call it in europe.

    The prices the directors charge for what is essentially a cheap steel box or a particle board casket dressed up in flouncy synthetic material is absurd and borders on people going into debt to lay their loved ones to rest.

    I really hope that this is a big success for you as it should be,

    your enabling people to make their own decisions way in advance or need and that can only be a good thing. They can control the expenditure at what is a very difficult time and a time that I have always felt that Funeral Directors can exploit should they wish to choose so.

    My friend carried out their own services on her son not so long ago and did everything she could from washing his body to wrapping him and taking him to the crematorium and then spreading his ashes in a place where it was prohibited but her son deeply loved.

    There are too many companies blocking you from what you want to do or just making it difficult at your time of need and by doing this I believe you have opened a path to a lot of people who feel like you do.

    Its so refreshing to see you take on the big guns but place control back into the hands of the family where it should always be.

    Well done I would be very happy to have one of your boxes over here in europe for when my time comes.

    Regards from Spain


    Neil Scott
  • Hi Dave, thanks for your call yesterday. Shipping can be calculated exactly based on your address by going through the checkout process (before you commit to a purchase). Thanks for placing your order!

    Jeremy (Owner, fiddlehead casket company)
  • How much for shipping to North Richland Hills, Tx. 76182 ? (No hurry)

    Dave Cleveland
  • Diane: Custom sizing is available. Please get in touch for pricing.

    Jeremy, Owner of Fiddlehead Casket Company
  • Do they come in different sizes, my mom is 91 and 80lbs. And she keep telling me she just needs a small one. Lol

    Diane Piepgrass

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