Southern Yellow Pine (SYP)
This is our 'go to' wood for caskets. Our materials are sourced from responsibly managed forests in the southeastern United States and milled in Siler City, NC. Local forests and mills means less fossil fuels used for transportation, more local jobs, and verifiable land management. It also means that I can go to the yard and pick through the stack, selecting boards with attractive grain for my caskets.
Classified as a hardwood, we use poplar primarily in urns. Poplar can exhibit a striking range of color in a single board. I select for that figure and design each piece to make the most of the personality of the wood.
Titebond I Wood Glue
Glues and tight joints are critical when building without metal fasteners. But if the product is toxic, the advantage is lost. I've found Titebond to be safe throughout its life cycle, from the manufacturer's production, through use in my shop and ultimately to burial or cremation.
Tung oil is an natural finish with a long history. It is pressed from the nut of the tung tree (Vernicia fordii). We have transitioned to this product from boiled linseed oil (from flax) out of concerns around some of the additives used in the linseed oil as drying agents. More details about both products are to be found in this article.
Sometimes used as a top coat following Tung oil, paste wax was also chosen for its safety in the shop. It's an 'old school' product that does the job.