How to store finished project long term?

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Forum topic by oldwood posted 01-31-2018 04:43 AM 2005 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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155 posts in 1697 days

01-31-2018 04:43 AM

Well at least I hope its long term, maybe 10-15 years if we are blessed. About to build burial boxes for wife and I. Hers will be a more traditional casket and mine will be a pinch toe coffin, both from local longleaf pine. Probably will finish with poly.

The question! How to store these until needed. Some of the issues I have thought about are wood movement, finish deterioration, keeping them clean ect. About the only storage option I have is my non climate controlled attic, and it gets hot in S. Ms.

I have access to some 6 mil plastic 55 drum liners. I am thinking I could slip one over from each end and seal them together with some kind of glue or tape. I also thought about inserting a fitting in the plastic and using the shop vac to pull a vacuum with the hope of preventing any condensation inside the sealed bag.

So do you think any of this will work or am I overthinking the storage issue?

7 replies so far

View LesB's profile


2152 posts in 3896 days

#1 posted 01-31-2018 06:14 PM

Have you considered making them in a manner that allows for disassembly and flat storage. Then they could go under a bed or in a closet instead of the attic.
I’m thinking about making the assembly with either stainless steel or brass threaded inserts and similar metal screws or bolts and of course the hinges and latches. Add a schematic and instructions glued on the bottom for whom ever will need to put them together. Sealing them up should help and maybe adding a thick insulation to slow the temperature change if they are in an uninsulated attic. I did this with cradles I made so they could be more easily stored between children and for future generations.

-- Les B, Oregon

View LittleShaver's profile


564 posts in 1072 days

#2 posted 01-31-2018 06:22 PM

I saw one being used as a blanket chest at the foot of the owner’s bed.

-- Sawdust Maker

View Bill_Steele's profile


539 posts in 2184 days

#3 posted 01-31-2018 08:15 PM

I think the environment in which it’s stored will be the most important consideration. Assuming it’s stored indoors in a climate controlled and humidity controlled space—I think that some sort of heat shrink wrap might provide protection (I thought about the boats I see that are transported on the highway and covered in shrink wrap).

The “flat pack” coffin idea sounds interesting—an IKEA idea. But alas someone is already doing that >

View CaptainKlutz's profile


1636 posts in 1947 days

#4 posted 01-31-2018 08:53 PM

Idea borrowed from an uncle who made his own box:

Make the lid removable, then make a shelf on high up on your wall to store the open box on it’s side (use it like a large shadow box decoration with pictures/pretty things inside) with lid stored on top. Leave some written instructions on how re-install lid, and hand rails.

More difficult issue with long term storage of homemade casket can be inner material selection. If you plan to build a display box with padded resting place , then need to consider how storage will effect wall pads, mattress pad, pillow, etc. Man made foam and “plastic” fabrics do not store well in high temp/humidity. Best to put these inside (an antique?) suit case that sits on shelf next the shadow box on wall.

My uncle even packed his favorite suit/tie inside the suit case for his final trip. :)

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View tomsteve's profile


958 posts in 1672 days

#5 posted 02-01-2018 09:38 AM

shrink wrap?

View oldwood's profile


155 posts in 1697 days

#6 posted 02-03-2018 03:33 AM

Thanks for the response guys.
The knock down idea would work but I think it would detract to much from the tradiontail look I’m going for. I will investigate the shrink wrap. It just occurred to me that the foam insulating panels made into a box might work. Would be cheap, at least compared to commercially purchased caskets. Thinking cypress wood chips behind coarse linen cloth for the lining. Excelsior, long stringy wood shavings, were used for this purpose at least until the late 20th century.

View wood2woodknot's profile


101 posts in 2426 days

#7 posted 02-03-2018 08:13 AM

Two experiences from my family planning ahead on their caskets.

My great uncle used to work in a coffin factory. The newbies were permitted to build their own wood coffins as practice and then store them at the factory. Anyway, dear unc built his and kept it in the shop. Each day he sat in it at lunch time, ate and then took a short nap. He swore if he was going to make it, he was going to get some use out of it. Not suggesting anyone do that here.

And at least you will be able to avoid the mistake the funeral home made with my FIL. MIL and FIL were planning ahead and prearranged everything with the funeral home. They picked out and purchased their caskets – MIL’s the standard grey metal casket; FIL enjoyed woodworking and picked a wooden casket. FIL was the first to go. When the time came for his funeral, the funeral director screwed up. The family was gathering for visitation the night before. As we approached the casket, my wife gasped, nudged her brother, and said, “They put dad in the wrong casket! He’s in mom’s.” Needless to say the caskets were changed overnight.

-- ajh

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