"Mail Call"

“Mail Call” is the most recent box designed around the actual mailbox door the client used to open as a kid. The door dates from 1958.


To make the body of the box I used black walnut wainscoting scraps from a savings and loan building the client used to work at. She gave me a small box of them The scraps were pretty short and had the profile of wood flooring so only about 5/8” of the thickness was usable. To stretch it out I resawed the largest piece to make the side panels. For the top and back I resawed and book matched some smaller pieces. You will notice how the grain on the back panel flows up into the top panel. The other wood in the box is curly maple. That came from my own stock. I basically made four panels and then mitered the edges. I then routed 1/8” grooves to use hidden splines. Once I had the box glued up I routed rebates on the edges and edged it with black walnut. I made both ends were smooth and flat and then capped them with black walnut frames.


The feet were made from the black walnut scraps also. Because of the rectilinear design of the door and only having small pieces of walnut, I wanted to design the legs to be simple with chamfers to match the box.


Finishing touches: Red was one of here favorite colors so I used a red fabric to line the bottom. “Mail Call” was finished with four soakings of Danish Oil (with 0000 steel wool sandings in between) and then two buffings of wax.


An extra bit of fun with this box is I also turned the client a pen out of the walnut scraps…she was very happy on receiving both!


"Mail Call" is in a private collection.

Jeff Baenen Boxes

Kenosha, WI



Tel: 847 331 0756