Salesman’s Sugar Chest


The first time I made the trek to MESDA (Museum of Southern Decorative Arts) was when I was to help choose projects for an upcoming book on Southern Furniture. As we thumbed through the many, many filing cabinets looking at documented pieces, I was awestruck by a Kentucky sugar chest. I knew at that moment that I would build the piece someday.

(Fig. 1) Shown here is a photocopy of the information pulled from the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts archives.

During the next few years, I built several  similar sugar chests and cellarettes, it’s more coastal cousin. I built a couple of chests for customers, one for a DVD and article and one for myself. I didn’t need another.  As we tossed about ideas for 360 Woodworking hands-on classes, however, I immediately thought of the Kentucky chest. (Fig. 1)

When we decided to use the project as an article, I needed to do something different. A decision was made to build the sugar chest as a miniature – some might say it’s a salesman sample. Because the building process was the same (save a few areas that I’ll point out), anyone tackling this project full size would also benefit.

A Different Start

Most times I begin building furniture with the base. This time, however, the box of this piece is so much more important, and time consuming, that I decided to begin there.

To continue reading this article, you must purchase a 360 Fanatic Membership or a 360 Enthusiast Membership.

Posted on

One thought on “Salesman’s Sugar Chest

  1. What’s interesting is that the carcass is dovetailed front & back, instead of top to bottom. Since the front is solid and not drawers it makes sense– kinda cool project indeed. Some great techniques that can apply to lots of furniture making. Well done Glen! Thanks !!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *