There was a call for artists at a local art gallery. A show was being sponsored by a long time Waukegan business Waukegan Tire. They gave us a tour of their main facility and let us scrounge through bins of parts. Artists were asked to submit work “that utilize the Waukegan Tire logo, ethos, products and services along with automotive themes in general”. It was a great opportunity and really got me design mind going. I did two pieces for the show and the “Independent” box was the first. What better way to design around an independent company than to have a box that has working independent suspension legs!


The body is constructed of bark inclusion maple. The grain wraps around the box. The joints are strengthened using brass and aluminum pins. The top and bottom are capped in black walnut.


The suspension legs are made from hard maple and black walnut. The curved leg portions are a bent lamination consisting of five 0.062” thick pieces of black walnut. They are faced with rubber tread sourced from the truck tire retread industry. The shocks are HPI racing RC shocks. They were some of the largest ones I could find. Instead of filling the shock bodies with oil I placed a spring inside to handle the box weight.


The lid is made from black walnut and maple. The joints are strengthened using brass and aluminum pins. The slash cut pipes are made from 1.25” diameter aluminum tubing that was shaped and polished.


The inner tray is made from black walnut and with maple handles. The grain wraps around the tray. The joints are strengthened using brass and aluminum pins. The handles also have brass pins holding them in.


The suspension is fully working. What you can’t see is that in every pivot joint I epoxied in brass tubing so that the assembly screws would not wear the wood away…40 little 5/32” diameter bushings.


“Independent” is 15” x 15” x 18”. It was finished with three soakings of Danish Oil and two buffing of Briwax.

Please contact me if you're interested in purchasing this piece.

Price: $2550


Jeff Baenen Boxes

Kenosha, WI



Tel: 847 331 0756