How To Build a Pie Safe
A 19th-century cook's companion adapts well to modern storage
Synopsis: Because they were pieces of utilitarian kitchen furniture, most pie safes found in 19th-century kitchens were simple in design, usually made at home from local softwoods such as pine or yellow poplar and finished with paint. But there were some elegant hardwood pieces made in cabinet shops for families who could afford the very best. Michael Dunbar’s pie safe takes its inspiration from both types: He kept the simple design of the originals but made it a showpiece by using figured yellow birch. The joinery is uncomplicated but ambitious, with 48 mortise-and-tenon joints, most of which can be cut with power tools. The top features crown molding that you can make on the tablesaw, and the tin panels in front are hand-punched.
When my wife and I decided recently that we needed more room for her holiday dishes and large servingware, we agreed that an attractive way to store…