Made at 173: Colonial Pipe Box to Kitchen Utensil Box


This is one of my Legacy Projects, projects I post years later because they took place before House 173 hit the blogosphere.  This project was built somewhere around '99 or 2000, and was one of my first little woodworking projects down in the workshop.  It started because I had bought this book at a second hand bookstore...


It has LOTS of great project ideas, with clear directions for each.  Unfortunately, 173 really doesn't have a country theme going, so many of the projects just aren't practical...then again, who knows - times change!  LOL.  One day when I was looking through the book and itching to make something, I settled on this little beauty...


They called it a wick holder, but many other sources refer to these as pipe boxes...

From:  Old Red Barn's Etsy Shop
They were made to safely store the fragile clay pipes of colonial times, and had a small drawer to store the tobacco.  So for me, it's a pipe box.  Semantics aside, the plans for this box were simple and clear...


Although I complicated it a little and ad-libbed on the measurements and a few details, although the main structure stayed the same.  From the start, the plan was to use it as a kitchen utensil box, you know - to hold spatulas, those pancake-flipper things, etc., therefore the alteration in dimensions.  I also wanted to be a little creative with the top-most part of the box, so I added my own flair.  I don't have project pictures, but here it is when it was first built...


Back when I made the box, crackling paint was all the rage, so I followed suit.  Unfortunately, the only natural habitat picture of the box before the kitchen remodel is this highly filtered, somewhat blurry shot cropped from an old printed picture...


As you can see, at the time of the picture the bottom had come loose, and was beginning to show its age.  But then again, so was the whole kitchen!  So after the kitchen redux in 2017, I reglued and affixed the bottom, and repainted the box - red!


That's because the small kitchen appliances like the electric tea kettle, toaster, etc are red, so - why not?  Here's a slightly different angle, which gives a sense of the dimensions...


And finally, a shot of the rare pipe box in its natural habitat...


There you have it - colonial pipe box turned kitchen utensil box!  I'd like to make another of these sometime...

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