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Make a collectible that's as easy as pie

Back when baking meant building a fire and refrigeration meant an oak icebox, most kitchens had a pie safe. A simple cabinet with one or two doors, a pie safe held baked goods behind punched-tin panels that allowed air to circulate while keeping insects and curious fingers out.

Today pie safes, like wood-fired stoves and ice boxes, have become sought-after collectibles. Unlike the more prosaic appliances, however, the elaborate and whimsical designs punched into the tin panels of pie safe doors have elevated these humble objects to folk-art status.

You don't have to be a collector or even a baker to appreciate this do-it-yourself version of the classic pie safe. It features three shelves behind a single door, and its convenient size and simple styling make it a good match for almost any decor. Straightforward construction techniques and full-size patterns make it an easy project, even for beginners. The plan includes two traceable designs for the punched-tin panels (a mail-order source for blanks is included), but original designs are a popular option. The pie safe measures about 40 inches tall by 20.5 inches wide by 13 inches deep.

The Pie Safe plan, No. 886, is $8.95 and includes step-by-step directions with photos, full-size traceable patterns, construction diagrams and a shopping list and cutting schedule.

If you're looking for other antique reproductions, a package of oak ice-box projects, No. C58, is $18.95 and includes three other

The elaborate and whimsical designs punched into the tin panels of pie safe doors have elevated these humble objects to folk-art status.

plans. A catalog picturing hundreds of projects is $3.95.

Please allow three to four weeks for delivery. For rush delivery, add $1 an item, up to $3 maximum, and allow seven to 10 days.

To order by mail, clip this article and send it with a check or money order to U-Bild Features, c/o the St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 2383, Van Nuys, CA 91409. To order by credit card, call (800) 828-2453. Visit U-Bild on the Web at http://www.ubild.com.

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