|Project by Schwieb||posted 05-04-2013 12:29 PM||4378 views||4 times favorited||14 comments|
I am old enough to remember cabinets similar to this being useful for storing bread and baked goods to keep the flies away before the days of plastic bags and containers. The traditional pie safe had tin panels that were hand punched in a design of the builders choosing. I had admired these very practical cabinets since I was a little boy. My folks had restored one that was in our house when I was growing up and it was used as a storage cabinet. I always had a mind to build one. I admit that there was something inviting about making the hand punched panels and an old-fashioned cabinet so in 2012 I set out to do that. I had a plan from a craft magazine from 1988 that I had saved and I used it as a guide. I almost never build things from someone else’s plans so this was an experience by itself.
I located some sweet gum from a guy on Craig’s List and picked up what I could get. There was about 50 bf but nothing wider than 5” or longer than 7’. It had been cut about 5 years before and was well stored. I let it “stabilize” in the shop environment for about 6 months. It was pretty wood but pretty squirrley as far as knots, checks, and twists; but I got enough out of it to make the main parts of the cabinet and eliminated any possibility of getting more of it so I had to use secondary woods and elected to make the back out of plywood. Yes, I cheated
I wanted to build a very traditional cabinet: Mortise and tenon joints for the case and the doors. Dovetail joints for the drawers but I also took some artistic liberty with a few of the elements. I added some detail to the bottom rail of the cabinet; added a curved backsplash to the top; and made the side panels more sculpted as opposed to just flat. I was planning to punch my own tin, maybe copper panels, but as I was building the cabinet I realized that it would never be used for a pie safe and the inside was beautiful and it would be better used as a display cabinet. So I elected to insert glass panels instead of the puched tin panels in the doors. This was a short-cut I know but it seemed to make the best use of the cabinet.
I turned my own knobs out of some eucalyptus, left over from some urban wood harvesting for turning stock.
I finished it with Minwax antique oil finish and then wax.
Thanks for looking and I always appreciate comments.
-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.