Mailbox Project

One of the visitors to my neighbor did a bad job backing out a few years ago and the mailbox has sat at an odd angle ever since. I never thought my mailbox was anything special, but that didn’t really add “character” to the damn thing. But even still, I didn’t exactly jump at the opportunity to fix things. We have a group of three mailboxes on one post and none of them are in great shape. My mailbox has been in need of replacement for probably closer to two years than I’d like to think. I have been threatening to replace it and my neighbors boxes for a good long time, but haven’t gotten around to it until this past Sunday.

24-inches + some space for gravel

I’ve spent some time putting together a new mailbox post. It’s nothing special, just a few pieces of 4×4, 2×4, and scraps of the 5/4 deck board I used to build the privacy screen in the backyard. All treated pine, of course, because I don’t want to make another one of these over the next 20-years. I used some 8-inch long lag screws to give the arms some strength and rigidity, the rest of the connections are just coated deck screws.

I coated the whole thing with three coats of black stain. I stained the bottom bit that goes in the ground, not that I needed to, but I thought it might help the post resist rotting. Only time will tell if it will or not. I also added a black hook to the bottom of each support post, but I’m not sure how those will hold up to the weather. I don’t know if they’re meant for the outdoors.

I debated between plastic and metal for the mailboxes, but the large boxes only come in metal at both my local Home Depot and Lowes. So, that’s that, metal it is. I secured the mailboxes to the post from inside the boxes, so the screws should be that much less likely to rust, as they’ll be out of most of the weather.

Of course, I followed all the appropriate guidelines when it came to placing my new project at the curb.

usps mailbox guidelines

I’m quite happy with the job I did on applying the vinyl numbers to the front of the boxes. The numbers on the sides I’m less happy with. Those damn reflective number blocks are ugly and damn hard/impossible to reposition once they come in contact with the metal. It’s not terrible, but I thought it could be better. Here’s the final project.

new mailboxes

So there you have it, new mailboxes for myself and my neighbors. Both of whom offered to give me money, but I refused. It was my idea. I didn’t ask anybody about it. I just did it. Let’s consider it my gift to them and a little bit of neighborly goodwill.

One thing I do want to mention. A thing I would do differently if I did it again. That bit of trim at the bottom was an after thought, and if I had thought about it, I would have added it after the post was set. I like it and I’m glad I put it on. But it’s just big enough to make getting the cement into the hole a bit of a chore, as it pretty much covers the hole. I managed, but it would have been easy to have simply put those pieces on after the fact. Later.