Course Curriculum

    SKIRTINGS & HANDLES

    Skirting and mouldings are used to add details to caskets and coffins. These are available in various materials from solid wood, to MDF and plastic. Each will have its own methods of being treated. Some are pre-stained, and some are untreated. These will be chosen based on the material and staining / painting procedures used for the casket or coffin.

    Handles, hinges, and ornaments are covered in the course material, with suppliers listed. Handles can be ornate, or simple, made of metals or wood. Choice will be up to your discretion, budget and clientele requirements. Quality in this regard must be high as these are the parts of the coffins / caskets that matter most.

    LEGAL REQUIREMENTS

    This will be touched upon, but please consult the course material for the complete legal requirements. It is prudent to keep up-to-date with these laws and requirements, as they may change over time.

    DEFINITIONS

    Coffin - this is a burial / cremation box that tapers around the shoulders towards the head, and again from the shoulders to the feet. It can be constructed from any number of materials, but must conform to the purpose for which it was built.

    Caskets are by nature more ornate and can have many features added. They are rectangular in construction. The sheer variety of add-ons and ornaments is numerous. View an infant coffin and casket HERE

    Burial boxes / cremation boxes must constructed of a material that is easily disintegrated either by fire or over time underground. It must be strong enough for carrying a body and its fluids (sometimes leaked, but always contained in the box) without coming apart or spilling its contents – this for the sake of public health and safety, as well as modesty.

    IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS

    Coffins for the purpose of cremation must have NO metal parts. Use glue and alternative joinery techniques (biscuits, dowels, rabbits etc

    Religious requirements must also be considered. For example, those of the Jewish faith must be buried in a plain pine box, with no metal items in or on the box, and no viewing may be done. Muslims may not be buried in a casket / coffin, but according to SA law, must be transported in a box.

    Coffins and caskets have two main stress points, the floor of the box must be able to support the weight of the body, the handles need to be strong enough to carry the weight of the box as well as the body, without breaking off. There are many techniques that can be employed to make these two points stronger and will be explained by the trainer. (screws, dowels, glue, reinforcement brackets, joinery techniques, dovetailing, finger joints, modesty blocks).