The Amish Build Hand Made Caskets

The Amish Build Hand Made Caskets

By Josh Brown

May 30, 2022

Amish construction, Amish Goods, Amish Products, Amish Stores, Amish Way of Life

Did you know some of the Amish woodworkers specialize in casket construction? Many times life takes a turn for the worse and a death occurs in someone's family. For many families the loss of a loved one can also come with financial burden!!! The cost of some caskets can make a loss in a family even worse, especially when it comes with total funeral expense. Although some people are fortunate enough to have funds set aside to prepare for a death. The decisions that comes with selecting the correct casket for you or a loved one can many times be one of life's hardest decisions. What ever the case might be financial cost for burial or needing the proper casket for you or a loved one, the Amish casket builders can help.  The Crockett Cooner is here again at The Amish Of Ethridge looking into the exquisite handmade caskets built by the Amish. So, sit right back for an interesting read, I've done a little research on Amish woodworkers that construct handmade caskets. To help you and your family into the great hereafter....     

The Amish Woodworkers That Build Caskets

J&Amp;E Cabinets Amish Wood Milling.

J&E Cabinets Amish Wood Milling.

Many times when you think Amish craftsmanship in woodworking the obvious comes to mind such as patio furniture and bedroom suits. A topic that many of us English folks forget is, many of the Amish craftsman that specialize in woodworking also build some really great specialized caskets and coffins. I know that the topic of death is a morbid subject, but unfortunately it is a very important to have a plan in case of an unexpected death. Also, many people want to ensure in case of their on passing that the arrangements are prepared ahead of time. The Amish craftsmen that are casket and coffin builds usually offer many different options when it comes to casket design and wooden materials available to construct a casket or coffin. Not to mention the Amish casket builders with all of their skills in sowing can offer many options in the interior of the caskets from handsewn interiors available in different colors and styles made from crepe and velvet to ensure that the deceased rest in comfort. 

 Another topic that is of interest when speaking about funereal arrangements and Amish craftsmanship is the wicker coffins that some Amish craftsmen offer. But!!! keep in mind the wicker handwoven coffins can not be found in all Amish communities. Usually the Amish community in question that offers wicker coffins and caskets, also will usually hand weave such items as wicker yarn baskets, clothes baskets, and wicker chairs. But, with all the Amish casket builders have to offer, with the different options of wicker and woods. The Amish made caskets and coffins give the family of the deceased different options of burial in earth, burial in vault, or cremation. Which is very helpful if the deceased had wishes of viewing or wake in full body but, wishes to be cremated after the viewing. I mean lets face it metal coffins and caskets do not burn well and can be quiet expensive for just being used in a viewing or twenty-four hour wake!!! 

Quick Funeral Arrangement Differences And Facts

  • There is a difference between a coffin and a casket./Caskets: generally are four sided boxes that are rectangular in shape with handles/bars on the side for easy movement. Coffins: have six sides or are oval and are shaped to give a more fitting look to the deceased to taper the shape of the deceased persons shoulders. Many times a coffin will have a rope type of handles. 
  • There is a difference between a wake and a visitation or viewing./ Viewing or Visitation: is usually held at a funeral home and is usually held the day before the burial for a short time or a few hours directly before the funeral.  A Wake: was traditionally held at someone's home, church, or at some mortuaries but, could last a full twenty-four hours to allow for friends, family members, and others to have time with the deceased and their family. 
  • In a Wake generally someone was up with the deceased the full 24 hours. This is where the term " Sitting up with the dead" originated. The term was coined, because sitting up with the deceased was to ensure the person had actually passed away. Before advancements in medical science, some people had been buried alive on accident.
  • The term "Dead Ringer" was coined from people being buried alive. To prevent this a bell was placed on top of the ground  above the grave with a string ran into the grave attached to the supposed dead persons finger.  The bell ringing would signify the buried person was still alive!!!

Types And Styles Used In Amish Caskets Design

One great thing about any Amish products is the amount of versatility that the Amish offer in design, materials, and functionality and caskets are no different. Most Amish caskets can be made from a variety of hard and soft woods. This is another way the Amish can help anyone in need of a casket that can't afford a lot of the expensive metal caskets. . Generally an Amish casket builder has a relative, friend, or another person in the Amish community that they get their hard and soft woods from. As we know prices of wood can many times be very expensive when bought from a "big box" style lumber yard or home improvement center.  But, in the case of the Amish most if not all of their materials used in a project is purchased from within the Amish community to produce caskets. So it is not uncommon to see see Amish caskets made from woods like Cedar, Pecan, Walnut, Cherry, Mahogany, Pine, Hickory, or Red Oak. Another great affect with the wood the Amish have to offer is seasoned barn wood to give a great exterior look after being planed, sanded, and clear coated.  

When it comes to Amish casket overall design you see many traditional ways of crafting the caskets. Many times the Amish use a traditional tongue and groove style bottom to their wooden caskets. This is one way to make the casket more sturdy and ensure the casket is durable and can carry more weight. Also the Amish craftsmen use a standard internal side rib to help the caskets have a less jointed appearance when it is finished.  Now you might be wondering how the Amish caskets look on the outside when completed, after all the Old Order Amish usually don't have electric power to operate such things as air compressors and air finish sprayers. This is where the true nature of the Amish craftsmen shine through in casket finishes. Most of the time the Amish have a hand polished furniture type of exterior appearance to all of their caskets. But, not everyone wants a casket that is so shiny that it reflects. The Amish also offer a line of standard finishes on some of their caskets. But, it really  just depends on the person purchasing the casket and the wants of that customer when it comes to the Amish casket. Amish Casket makers building caskets for the general public  are usually only limited by the wood they have on hand at the time and the amount of time it take them to prepare the casket.        

Amish Casket Maker

An Amish Casket Builder

If You Plan To Have A Casket or Coffin Constructed By The Amish

If you have decided that the Amish craftsman might be what your looking for when it comes to your casket and coffin needs. There are a few things to keep in mind before going to purchase an Amish made casket. Below are a few steps to remember to ensure that you get the particular casket you want, and to ensure that everything works out smoothly in your Amish buying experience.  

Steps To Remember When Buying An Amish Made Casket Or Coffin

  1. Keep in mind good quality woodwork can often take time. In the event that you are preparing ahead of time to purchase an Amish casket. Don't be in a rush, many times the Amish casket builders are backed up on orders. So the earlier the trip to the Amish casket maker the better.
  2. If you are in need of an Amish casket quickly, this is possible. Just remember that the Amish many times will adjust their prices in the case of casket building, if they have express orders. 
  3. Always remember if you buy a casket or coffin before anyone passes, you will need a place to store the casket that is dry. ( Note: Some Amish Casket Makers Will Have A Storage facility, Or Keep Caskets For A Short Time) 
  4. Transportation of the casket of coffin after its built, this is a big point to remember!!! Both caskets and coffins are heavy when finished. The Amish usually do NOT deliver, and  some mortuary's do NOT pick up caskets, unless it's from their casket supplier.   

Amish Made Casket Cost And Other Amish Made Funeral Products

A general rule of thumb when looking at the price on an Amish made casket is to look at the cost of lumber at your local lumber yard. The Amish can usually make really good deals when it comes to wooden products because of their ability to buy hard and soft woods so cheaply from other Amish people that have Amish owned sawmills. But, keep in mind that the Amish also keep up with the times on prices of things such as cost of gas, the cost of lumber from English owned lumber yards, and cost of tooling to produce their products. Remember that all of the cost factors along with labor cost determine what the Amish casket makers will charge for certain caskets and coffins.

A Few Examples Of Amish Made Casket Prices The Titan Lancaster (Amish Made) solid pine $1,099.00 from Titan Casket Company  online. The Amish Barn Wood Caskets directly purchased from the Amish casket makers are usually between $3000.00 -$5000.00, when they are shipped. Dependable on the location and demand at the time, in and around Amish communities some coffins made from red oak and cedar can be as low priced as $ 2860.00.  Lastly, all of these prices are not set in stone in each Amish community prices can change at any time due to many different factors. It's usually best just to visit an Amish community and talk first hand with the Amish casket makers about a finial price. 

 Amish Made Urns If your loved ones last request was to be cremated the Amish casket makers can also help in your needs in this area of rest. If you want something that is hand made and is the perfect addition to your home and to represent your loved ones ashes, I would suggest the Amish wooden urns. Much like the Amish caskets and coffins the wooden Amish made urns are constructed from some very great quality woods. Many times depending on the Amish craftsman that constructs the Urn there are quiet a few options in styles to choose from. In a local trip to Amish country here in my area I ask an Amish casket maker what different options someone had, when buying a wooden urn from him, here is what he said...  

"I've made quiet a few urns, a few times I engraved the persons name on the urn, with a religious passage. I've also used hot iron to burn brand certain designs in the wood of the urns, and I order glass picture holders to put on the side of the urns for many people."

I have to say I was really taken back when doing research for this post, I had know idea in all of my years of visiting the Amish community that the Amish casket makers even remotely made Urns!!! Unfortunately, I don't have a picture at this time of an Amish made Urn to show my readers. The Amish casket builder I spoke with did not allow photos in his shop due to hi8s religious beliefs. I did see some examples of his work and I have to say they where impressive. The cedar Urn that I viewed was quiet intricate with stencil designs all around the Urn. 

Amish Rocking Chairs

Amish Made Gliders An Example Of Amish Woodworking

But alas, this blog post on Amish caskets and Amish Casket makers has come to and end. I hope that you have gained a little information on the Amish casket makers and what they have to offer. Please make sure to sign up for our new letter to stay on top of  the different up and coming things here at The Amish Of Ethridge website.  Also, make sure to check out our other pages and websites. And please feel free to leave us a review, we love to here from our readers. Lastly, if your looking around the old inner webs look for me the Crockett Cooner and The Amish Of Ethridge at Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Thank you all again for reading and have a great day and an even better tomorrow. 


Do the Amish Ship Caskets and Coffins?

Some Amish casket makers do and some don't. Many times you will see that the Amish casket makers sale their products to larger English owned funeral homes and caskets companies that resale the Amish caskets. 

How long does it take to make an Amish casket?

This depends on many factors, lots of time there is a waiting list. But the Amish casket maker I spoke with said he could build a nice casket in about 3-4 days, if conditions where right. 

Do the Amish casket builders put metal or brass handles on their coffins?

Yes, it is not uncommon to see the Amish casket makers order and use brass handles in their casket designs.

What is the best way to contact an Amish casket builder?

General if you need to find an Amish casket builder a trip to an Amish community is best. Look for signs such as the one in this post. Also, word of mouth the Amish people in the Amish community can usually direct you to the Amish casket builders. (Remember: The Amish don't work on Sunday or holidays.)

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