Post Office Door Bank

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Project by Max posted 07-29-2011 11:04 PM 8076 views 18 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a bank that is constructed of Oak for the top, and a wood that I had never heard of before, called Burned Maple or Cooked Maple. They literally, from what I was told, cook the maple which crystallizes the sugars in the wood turning it this rich dark brown. It is however a very brittle wood. This bank was inspired by the banks that closetguy Dennis has made and sells. I would like to thank him for answering my many questions that I PM’ed him and his willingness to share his experience.

The construction is box joints (finger joints) and then finished with 4 coats of lacquer and then waxed. It is 4 3/8” wide 5 3/4” tall and 5” deep. The door is a 1961 Grecian style door that I cleaned according to closetguy’s formula of coke and ammonia. I have constructed more of this style in different woods but am only posting one of them. Thanks for looking.

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

24 comments so far

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14182 posts in 4588 days

#1 posted 07-29-2011 11:13 PM

Neat idea using the post office pieces. Would make a great gift for anyone.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View john's profile


2381 posts in 4986 days

#2 posted 07-29-2011 11:31 PM

Beautiful work Max !!

-- John in Belgrave (Website) ,

View Max's profile


56000 posts in 4878 days

#3 posted 07-29-2011 11:35 PM

Dan, They would make great gifts.

John, Thank you for the compliment, I appreciate it.

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View will delaney's profile

will delaney

327 posts in 3241 days

#4 posted 07-29-2011 11:41 PM

Beautiful love the contrasting finger joints and how the metal complements the wood. Thanks for sharing.

View SPalm's profile


5334 posts in 4487 days

#5 posted 07-30-2011 12:00 AM

Cooked maple is a new one to me. It sure is pretty.

I have a stack of PO box fronts from many years ago. I took the locks off (dumb) so I would not lock myself out. They would make cool banks that you could rob easy.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Max's profile


56000 posts in 4878 days

#6 posted 07-30-2011 12:28 AM

Will, thank you for the compliment.

Steve, It was a new one for me also. It is a very brittle wood. I dropped a piece of it on the floor and it cracked, even across the grain.

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 4497 days

#7 posted 07-30-2011 01:56 AM

It’s good to see the final results Max. Very nice job!

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View Max's profile


56000 posts in 4878 days

#8 posted 07-30-2011 04:10 AM


I appreciate your compliment and your answers to all my questions. Now to make a different style.

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View Woodenwizard's profile


1363 posts in 3648 days

#9 posted 07-30-2011 04:40 AM

Outstanding Max! What finish did you use?

I have done some things with postoffice box doors. I have an order to do some for all the grandkids. But don’t think I have enough doors left. Where did you get your doors? I got the last bunch off ebay but the prices seem to be going up.

Never mind the question about the finish, I just didn’t read far enough.

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View Max's profile


56000 posts in 4878 days

#10 posted 07-30-2011 06:17 AM


Thanks for the kind words. I got my doors off of eBay, and yes the prices are going up..

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3409 days

#11 posted 07-30-2011 01:55 PM

nice project. great box/finger joints. the woods have a nice contrast

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4584 days

#12 posted 07-30-2011 02:07 PM

Great work on this.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Max's profile


56000 posts in 4878 days

#13 posted 07-30-2011 04:57 PM

Roger, I appreciate your compliment, thanks.

Lee, Thank you for you compliment.

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 3103 days

#14 posted 07-30-2011 08:26 PM

Perfectly lovely finger joints on a grand scale and an adorable finish. Very nice indeed.
I had occasion to work with a boatload of cooked oak last winter and it was truly a disaster. The material had no strength, was as light as a feather, blew up on the shaper and had noxious dust. And yes, any board dropped would break. What was interesting was its behavior on the rip saw. The kerf remained at blade thickness perfectly over an eight foot length with no movement up or down either. All tension in the wood was gone, it had given up the ghost. Beautiful appearance though.

-- [email protected] : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View Max's profile


56000 posts in 4878 days

#15 posted 07-30-2011 08:29 PM


Thank you very much for the kind words. This cooked maple reacts that same way. I do like the look of it though.

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

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