About the Sugar Chest

The other day the letter below dropped into my inbox. The sender made a couple of great points about attending a woodworking class, and asked a few questions that most of us might ask. As I wrote my reply, I thought that the information included may well be of interest to other woodworkers contemplating taking a class with 360 Woodworking.

KY_SugarChestI looked at your class schedule this morning along with places to stay. There are a few of us out here who have recreational vehicles and might wish to stay in an RV park instead of a motel. There’s a very nice county park with an RV campground about 14 miles from your location. It is the Winton Woods Campground in Winton Woods Park. Sites range from $28 to $48, for seniors $34.20 – $43.20. It has a 4-star rating (out of 5) on rvparkreviews.com, which many RV owners rely on for user ratings on campgrounds.

The class that most interests me is the Kentucky sugar chest, but I’m concerned that it may be too much for a novice with hand tools. Can you comment on this? Would it be possible to build it as a cellaret for alcohol bottles?

Thanks for your help and best wishes for success on your new venture.



We had not thought about recommending an RV park on our website. While my experience with  woodworking schools has  been through teaching only, Chuck Bender ran his school for many years and had one, or maybe two, woodworkers stay in something other than a hotel – one attendee stayed in his camper right there on the school grounds. I’m happy you could find a campsite so close, but I must admit that I know little about Winton Woods.

As for the Sugar chest class, I’m not sure that I understand your question. Are you looking for a class that is hand-tool based only? If so, none of our classes are run that way. We are a hybrid shop – much of the “grunt” work, such as milling lumber and cutting panels, is completed on machines. Hand tools become the tools of choice when fitting and finishing, but we also offer methods that use router, and power sanders, too.

If you’re asking if a novice can get through this class. By all means, yes. You may have to step back on occasion to absorb what you just did, but you will get the work completed.

While sugar chests and cellarets are similar is style, coming from different parts of the South, there are some differences that make the switch from one to the other difficult. Many cellarets have an upper portion that can be removed and carried elsewhere. This Kentucky sugar chest is a single unit. Additionally, the storage portion on the chest we’re building in class is rather deep (top to bottom). There could be wasted space if modifications were not made. Any changes in design could be made during the class, but those changes may add to your completion concerns because you would be working from modified-on-the-fly plans.

Build Something Great!


If you have questions about any of the projects offered in the upcoming woodworking classes with 360 Woodworking, such as the Chester County spice box, Esherick music stand or Boston block-front chest, please send us a message. And look for announcements for additional classes in the future.

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4 thoughts on “About the Sugar Chest

  1. Glen, I know the guy who camped out at Chuck Bender’s workshop. It was the tea table class that you taught.

    1. You bet, Elmer. I think there was a heater issue, if I remember correctly.

  2. i lived within walking distance of winton woods for two years. It’s great. Getting from there to west chester should be a piece of cake.

    1. Shawn,
      Thanks for the comment. I hope it helps potential class attendees.

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