Friday, October 25, 2013

New Mailbox!

Our old mailbox was rotting at the base.  After letting it go for....too long, we decided it was time for a change. 

We looked around this new thing called "the internet" looking for inspiration.  When we found this mailbox and both loved it, we knew it was our stopping point. 

At home depot we picked up these supplies:

8' 4x4 post
Post Cap
60 lb concrete 

We also used some of our scrap for:

2x4 cut to 17" 
Fence picket cut to 10 1/4"x3" (decorative plate)
Fence picket cut to 18"x5 5/8" (base)
Fence picket cut to 17"x5 5/8" (base)

We cut the 4x4 to 70".
  • 14" underground
  • The mailbox starting 36" above ground
  • 10" tall mailbox
  • And we wanted the post to come 10" above the mailbox
After cutting the fence picket for the decorative plate, I used a penny as a guide to cut the rounded edges out of the bottom corners.

The mailbox has a 1" recess on the bottom for mounting, so we needed to make a base fill the void.  

I cut a fence picket piece 18"x5 5/8" which was  1/8" less then the dimensions of the mailbox's opening on bottom.  The next piece I cut to 17"x5 5/8" so there would be clearance for the mailbox to open.  I applied deck stain to the insides of both pieces, clamped and screwed them together, then stained the rest.

Megan sanded and stained all of the other pieces, and the next day we ripped that old sucker out!

Using a San Angelo Bar I pried out the old concrete base easily.  Our first time dealing with concrete that was easy, HOORAY!  I roared with victory!  I dug the whole a little deeper to about 14". 

I attempted to measure the water with my bucket for the concrete, but it had been left out in the sun and became very brittle.  

So instead I winged it, mixing the concrete to the consistency of chunky peanut butter.  Once mixed, I poured a scoopful into the hole, then placed the post in. 

My lovely assistant held the post while I shoveled in concrete, occasionally stabbing it down to release air and condense it down. 


Looking good!

Once it was level, we tamped down the concrete with our hoe and my feet.

I let the concrete set around the post for 24 hours before moving on. Even with just a post it was looking good!

I was still really excited about how easy the concrete was to remove!

Day 2
I started the assembly by screwing the bracket to the decorative back. To avoid visible screws, I screwed through the back of the plate into the back of the bracket.  I also screwed the 2x4 into the the top of the bracket.

Next, I clamped the plate/bracket combo and the 2x4 to the post. 

I should have used my Kreg jig before connecting everything, but I was just so excited to see the pieces together.  It was interesting trying to get the angle right for the clamp since the bracket is curved.  I screwed these pieces in with pocket holes, and put one 4" screw through the center of the bracket into the post below.

I may still wood putty and stain over that screw. Or not.

During this assembly, Gabe found the box for the mailbox and transformed into ROBOT-GABE!

After this was all together, the Chargers game started.  So....TO BE CONTINUED!  I had work after the game (yuck), but got back to finishing the job that night at 9 PM.  My neighbors love me!  I dry fit the mailbox and the base so I would know where to screw it into the 2x4.  

Best picture ever!  Of course my phone's battery was too low for flash and I was suffering from lazyitus to go and find the camera.  But it still shows the platform, and the gap on the back for the mailbox to sit into.  Screw the base into the 2x4, put the mailbox on, and screw it in!


I love driving up to the house everyday.  And checking the mail.  It's the best looking mailbox on the street.

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