February 6, 2018 4:41 pm
Updated: February 6, 2018 5:51 pm

Do-it-yourself casket kit adds life to New Brunswick woodworker’s business

WATCH: Jeremy Burrill wanted to give people a simpler, cheaper and more environmentally friendly option for their end of life send off. As Shelley Steeves reports, it has already brought new business to his workshop.


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

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.

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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.

WATCH: Fredericton small business offering environmentally friendly casket alternative

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.

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