Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Woodwright Shop: Building a Coffin

Coffins are included on the list of products the Woodwright Shop produces. Several years ago an old 19th century toe pincher coffin was hastily constructed. It served well but due to the popularity it became battered and started to fall apart. Simply put, it was loved to death.

Initially it was used as a display, but unexpectedly, a huge percentage of our patrons liked to have their pictures taken in it. We even added a bouquet of artificial lilies for the patrons to pose with.

This winter was replacement time for the old coffin with a newer one that was more sturdily constructed. It was constructed in my garage as the Woodwright Shop is closed for the winter.
1. Raw materials. Rough cut, one-inch, pine planks. Total cost; $40 dollars.

2. Tongue and groove cut in the planks.

3. Tongue and groove planks glued and assembled for the sides.

4. Sides standing up to see how they look.

5. Sides and ends cut and temporarily assembled to make sure the measurements and angles are correct.

6. Rough assembly.

7. Cutting the box joints to hold the pieces together.

8. Final assembly with the bottom started.

9. Final assembly on saw horses, The height makes finishing a bit easier.

10. Completed with molding installed and rope handle holes drilled. It was necessary to add molding as the box joints did not fit as well as I would like. Molding is very useful for hiding poor workmanship.

11. Coffin permanently installed in the Woodwright shop. It is safely screwed to the wall and ready for patrons for many years to come. A top was not constructed as it would just be in the way. It would be simple to make as it is essentially a clone of the bottom. 

It took about a week of off-and-on work to complete the project. As the garage door was open and the project in full view there were quite a few comments from the neighbors. It was great fun and probably reinforced my friends and neighbors opinion that I am totally nuts. I suspect Mrs. Woodworker agrees with them. Hopefully the new coffin will be as popular as the old one.

1 comment:

Mark said...

As always, I'm super impressed with the woodworker. It's a rarity to know someone personally who's so skilled in making things from wood. There's something magical about creating an object that never existed before as opposed to just purchasing it somewhere.