Call Maintenance

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Below, maintenance tips to keep your box call running at peak proficiency.








With normal usage, your box call will need very little maintenance however long term periodic maintenance and up keep such as  buffing or lightly sanding the lid and adjusting the lid screw may become necessary.  I do not recommend sanding the soundboards or sides of the call since only a few strokes of sand paper can destroy the response and sound of your call in short order and cannot be undone.    

Box call sounds are generated by frictional contact between the movable lid and the stationary sides or soundboards of the box call.  Over time, the lid and sides of the call will wear smooth and friction between the two points of contact will diminish changing the sound of the call or in extreme cases no sound at all.  The short term daily fix is the application of chalk and I personally use the half spherical shaped blue chalk commonly called carpenter’s chalk.  Do not use chalk that contains oils!



After using your box call you will notice the normal wear pattern between the lid and the sides of the call and the shape of the wear pattern will be similar to the letter W or a butterfly depending on the design of your call.  The chalk wear area on the lid is the only area you will need to chalk if the other area has adequate chalk.   How often you chalk your call is a personal matter but chalk when the normal sound of the call changes or you cannot feel the lid “grab” the sides of the call.  This will really show up when you are doing calls sounds like purring as a purr requires continuous frictional contact.



Some chalk with the grain of the lid going lengthwise and others chalk perpendicular to the lid.  Try each direction to see which applies the most chalk to your lid.

When the application of chalk does not produce the desired effect and it is obvious there is a smooth wear pattern due to compression and wear of the wood on the lid, rotate the lid away from the box and turn the call upside down and sand a half dozen gentle strokes lengthwise using either Scotch-Brite pad or 150 grit sandpaper and this should give you enough friction lines for the call to properly work.  Note:  I have used some box calls for many years and they have not required sanding the lid!

Most call users will “tinker” with their box call moving the adjustment screw in or out.  “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.  Moving the screw in or out will change the contact angle between the lid and the sides of the call changing the pitch and frequency response of the call.  Each call that I hand tune has the screw adjusted where the lid is at a very slight angle downhill toward the handle end of the lid and sometimes it will be more or less level depending on the desired sound and playability of the call.  Box call bodies from very soft wood such as Butternut, the adjustment screw will become loose over time if one continues to “mess” with the screw which will require gluing a small piece of filler wood back into the screw hole and in extreme cases, drilling the hole oversize and installing a wooden dowel and then drilling a new countersink hole.  Remember,   “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” 


On this Mahogany “Dual Hens” call, you can see the slight angle whereas there is a little more gap between the lid and the call body at the screw end of the call than at the handle end of the call.  This angle will vary a little from call to call in order to have the lid contact the soundboard or side of the lip at the “sweet spot” or slightly forward of the center of the call toward the handle end.   

It should be noted that the longer stroke you take when operating the call will cause the lid to make contact with the area much closer to the screw end of the call which will give a different somewhat higher pitched sound.  My calls are designed to use a much shorter stroke for optimum sound resonance and requires less movement which is a plus.  If you desire to make a Kee Kee call with a much higher pitch sound, then use the soundboard further toward the screw end of the call without the sound rolling or breaking over into a yelp and then finish the Kee Kee sound off with a completed yelp sound! 

I will discuss ways to make different sounds in another section of the website.  Below pix of the normal operating lid angle or position of my box calls.  This shallow stroke angle helps the resonance of the call.


Some hunters operate their lid at an acute angle as much as forty-five (45) degrees but it is not necessary with my Dual Hens call.   

My calls are not waterproof treated, therefore take appropriate action to protect call when used in wet and inclement weather.  I carry my personal box calls in a large zip lock style clear plastic bag for protection.

Good Calling and Good Hunting! 


I no longer donate calls to NWTF chapters or support the organization due to alcoholic bars set up with free drinks as a means to inebriate potential high dollar spenders and bidders at their banquets.  This is a disgusting and immoral way to conduct business to raise money in my humble opinion!  Also, the usage of "bar maids" (literally and figuratively) to serve the drinks and assist in the auction is low class.  When you are of the world, this is a normal protocol.

Web page updated by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 11-26-17.


If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please take this moment to accept him by Faith into your Life, whereby Salvation will be attained.   

Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

Open this link of Bible Verses About Salvation, King James Version Bible (KJV).

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

Micah 6:8 “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”