Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

The Casket Maker

Tim Nolting Keeping Busy A New Way

In retirement, former Kimball County Commissioner Tim Nolting decided he wanted to build caskets, which is not the typical retirement activity, but if you know Tim, building caskets fits him.

For many years Nolting spearheaded the Plains Historical Museum and authored books about the Western way of life.

His experience building caskets has an emotional background, as he made both of his parent’s caskets. He built a casket for his mom about eight years ago, then he and his brother built an old-style coffin called a “toe-pincher” or a “cowboy casket” for his dad when he passed from this life.

Now working on his fourth hand-made wooden casket, Nolting said with a custom casket, the consumer can choose what they want the interior to be like.

The individual who commissioned his current casket will have the interior lined with an heirloom quilt.

They have viewed the casket and are pleased with the results.

“She really liked it,” he said.

Nolting said, “It is not like it is a fine piece of finished furniture, but it isn’t primitive either.”

Naturally, the price depends on how elaborate the product is, but the caskets start with the plain model at about $1,500 and go up from there.

“I am excited to be able to do something like this,” he said.

When the casket is finished but not yet ready for use, some people use it as a coffee table or bookcase.

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