634 Robertson Road S., Murray, KY 42071,  1-270-753-9279


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A 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.

Unless notified 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 vault.

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.

This guarantee 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 or crypt.

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

This agreement is governed by Kentucky law.

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"Do 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.

"How 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.

"What 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.

"How 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.

"What if I don't know exactly what I want?"
Call 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.

"How 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..

"If 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.
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"I 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."
L. "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

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The 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 visit www.funerals.org/bookstore/index.htm

No states have laws regarding the kind of container in which you can or can not be buried.

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 may.

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.

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Association for Gravestone Studies
A non-profit group dealing with preservation of cemeteries and gravestone art.

Casket Plans
Excellent, detailed plans for those wanting to build a coffin.

Create Your Own Funeral
Books, articles, resources and instruction in creating your own funeral or memorial services.

Crossings: Caring for Our Own at Death
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Eternally You
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Final Passages

The Nature of Life includes the Eventual Miracle of Death, a rite of passage that deserves
dignity and loving care.

Funeral Ideas.com

A very unique site offering suggestions for and presenting
alternatives to traditional funeral rites.

Funeral Consumers Alliance
A federation of non-profit consumer information societies dedicated to a consumer's right
to choose a meaningful, dignified, affordable funeral.

Green Burials
Memorial parks specif
The Museum of Funeral Customs provides a deeper understanding of the history of American
funeral and mourning customs, funerary art and practice.

My Funky Funeral un
Plan your own funeral at My Funky Funeral.

National Museum of Funeral History
A museum of 19th and 20th century funerary history in the United States.

Sympathy & Condolences E-cards

Constance Alexander
Writer, poet, columnist, and all around great person to know.

Mount Pleasant Studio
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Murray-Calloway County, Kentucky. A great place to visit, live, and work.

Wayne Bates .com
Fine porcelain pottery (including urns, if you ask him) by a leading American craftsman.

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