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Bill Jobe
02-27-2018, 3:36 PM
2 nights ago someone hit our mailbox, breaking the 4x4 post and damaging the metal box. They also donated a side mirror.

For some reason our mailbox has always had a target on it. A few times it has been taken out by snow plows. Once or twice in the past they've been hit by cars.
Nevertheless, I'd like to make something a little different from what materials I have. There are a number of logs in my stash that could be turned and used as a box and I have plenty of heavy lumber I could use.

Has anyone turned or built their own box and if so I'd love to see what you came up with.

Adam Herman
02-27-2018, 3:58 PM
I think i would be going to an h beam in concrete and boiler plate box if destruction was assured.

a big log with a door would be neat though.

like a giant bandsaw box?

Bill Jobe
02-27-2018, 4:08 PM
I think i would be going to an h beam in concrete and boiler plate box if destruction was assured.

a big log with a door would be neat though.

like a giant bandsaw box?

The U.S. Mail frowns on immovable posts. They do not want them to survive being hit by a vehical..
But after so many times having to replace one your idea is tempting.

Peter Christensen
02-27-2018, 4:54 PM
There are setups where the mailbox moves out of the way when hit. Nothing says the box itself can't be strong enough to resist a hit from a car and if the arm is longer than shown and stronger it should survive too.

https://www.swingclear.com

https://www.returntocentermailbox.com

Jim Becker
02-27-2018, 5:16 PM
Bill, if I'm not mistaken, the box, itself, has to meet certain specifications. That's one reason you see a lot of folks who will "wrap" a regular box in wood, brick or whatever rather than actually creating the box. It's probably a good idea to check on the requirements, but I do like your idea at a base level. Note that mailboxes take a beating from the weather, too, so that must be a consideration. I have to routinely replace really heavy steel boxes about every 5-7 years here because the road salt from winter weather does a number on them eventually...and I don't like the short lifespan of plastic options, either.

Bill Jobe
02-27-2018, 5:58 PM
Jim, I read the requirements for mailboxes on their website so I'm pretty sure I could stay within those guidelines with a turned piece.
I recently was given 2 pieces of hickory that are large enough to make a box. And I still have plenty of the lumber I used to make shutters and a window box for the wife and I'm considering making either a rectangular box or a hexagon box with that.
The post office said they'd hold my mail for 30 days, but I'm not sure the ground would be thawed enough by then to dig a new hole. Right now it's 67, but winter is far from over here in Northeastern Illinois.
How do you set a post when the ground is frozen? The old post snapped at ground level so I can't attach a new 4x4 to it.

Bill Jobe
02-27-2018, 6:01 PM
Bill, if I'm not mistaken, the box, itself, has to meet certain specifications. That's one reason you see a lot of folks who will "wrap" a regular box in wood, brick or whatever rather than actually creating the box. It's probably a good idea to check on the requirements, but I do like your idea at a base level. Note that mailboxes take a beating from the weather, too, so that must be a consideration. I have to routinely replace really heavy steel boxes about every 5-7 years here because the road salt from winter weather does a number on them eventually...and I don't like the short lifespan of plastic options, either.

A can of POR would be cheaper than a new box that often.

Your post reminds me of some older pickups around here that are buckled in the middle from rust. In my mind's eye I could see a mailbox in that shape.
They must use an awful lot of salt where you live.

John K Jordan
02-27-2018, 6:26 PM
... I have to routinely replace really heavy steel boxes about every 5-7 years here because the road salt from winter weather does a number on them eventually...

Ah, another reason to move south, they salt very little if at all. The heaviest steel mailbox I could find is starting to show a bit of surface rust in a couple of spots where paint pealed off - It's lasted 13 years so far.

JKJ

Marc Jeske
02-27-2018, 7:52 PM
Get your post pounder and like a piece of 1" Sch 40 Galv pipe as a temp post w a legal cheapest possible box... then replace when ground thaws ?

Just cobbled quick together, can be ugly for now.

Decorate post w the donated mirror.

Marc

Perry Hilbert Jr
02-27-2018, 7:54 PM
I made a large pull off for our rural carrier and kept the post and box back a good four feet off the travel part of the road. It was still getting dented up. I could not figure out why. Then one day I was across the street visiting a neighbor and she told me to watch the kids coming down the hill on bicycles. One had a baseball bat and would take a wack at every other box, including mine. Little SOB lived four doors up the street. I went and talked to his mother, who denied her little precious would ever do such a thing and cussed me out. So I got video of him doing it a week later, purchased a new box and sued her and the brat in small claims court. In opening statements, she and he denied they were even home that day. Showed the video and the judge looked at the lady and advised her to pay, and advised the kid to apologize. Then he told them, if they made the trial continue, he was reporting the kid to juvenile authorities for criminal prosecution. He also suggested the momma might want to read up on the penalty for perjury. She paid, the kid said sorry in a barely audible voice. a month later, her vehicle was blocking my driveway, preventing me from leaving for work. So I went to the house and knocked on the door. The Tv was on, and I could hear the coffee pot puffing away. So I went back to the barn, fired up the tractor, wrapped a chain around her bumper hitch and pulled the vehicle out of the way. State trooper shows up that evening, rambling about unauthorized control over a vehicle. Says I illegally moved her vehicle. Showed him cell phone picture of the vehicle parked on my driveway, blocking it. Advised that a vehicle 20 feet off the road and blocking my driveway, constitutes motor vehicle trespass under the law. Further, parking in such a fashion, was obviously intentional and amounted to misdemeanor stalking under the harassment sub paragraph. Told him indeed, I went and tried to ask that she move her vehicle and I towed it out of the way with my tractor. Other than wrapping the chain around the hitch, I made no contact with her vehicle. I moved it only enough to get passed and showed him an after picture. Well the crazy woman and her son moved away a few weeks later. And about three days after they moved, my mail box was knocked completely off the post, yet the post was not damaged or marked in any way.

Jim Becker
02-27-2018, 8:01 PM
Ah, another reason to move south, they salt very little if at all. The heaviest steel mailbox I could find is starting to show a bit of surface rust in a couple of spots where paint pealed off - It's lasted 13 years so far.

JKJ
The interesting thing about the current mailbox that I'll be replacing this year is that it's survived getting run over twice with nary a dent (it's that heavy!) but 'ol Mother Nature is unstoppable. LOL I did just check and it's actually about ten years old, not 5. Unfortunately, the manufacturer no longer makes that particular larger size, so I may end up with a lighter-weight box this time around. But it's about 25% of the cost, too.

No thought of moving south anytime soon...Professor Dr. SWMBO is younger than me, is tenured and her job provides our medical insurance. The younger daughter is only in her first year of college, too, and will be living at home for all four years. The older daughter, who is a special needs adult, also lives at home, but we are hopeful that she'll be able to live independently at some point...but I'm not holding my breath!

Bill Jobe
02-27-2018, 8:30 PM
Get your post pounder and like a piece of 1" Sch 40 Galv pipe as a temp post w a legal cheapest possible box... then replace when ground thaws ?

Just cobbled quick together, can be ugly for now.

Decorate post w the donated mirror.

Marc

I reported it just in case the driver was drunk and could be located or posibly involved in a hit and run wreck that killed or injured someone, and also if there had been a rash of mailboxes intentionally hit in the area. We have had multiple cases of vehicles broken into and belongings stolen.
I reported it and the cops took the mirror.

Bob Bouis
02-27-2018, 8:46 PM
There was a big controversy here a while back when the county started enforcing ordinances forbidding steel/brick/armored/whatever mailboxes along the highways.

One night long ago I was driving along when I heard a bang. Thought I'd hit a bird or an animal or something. Later I looked over and noticed my side mirror was gone. The culprit turned out to be a mailbox leaning a foot into the road with its door open. Black mailbox, black post, black door, nice heavy gauge steel by the look of it.

Bruce Wrenn
02-27-2018, 9:19 PM
As for moving south, would the last person leaving NY/NJ turn off the lights.

John K Jordan
02-28-2018, 7:58 AM
Yikes, all kinds of people in the world.

Some neighbors are wonderful. One called and apologized for accidentally backed into my mailbox post and wanted to know what kind of replacement I wanted. It was a good opportunity to spend some time with him in the shop while we made a new post from cedar.

JKJ

Adam Herman
02-28-2018, 10:15 AM
seems to be a mailbox story thread now. haha. My parents have one of those all plastic boxes. one day they heard a loud bang and saw a car go tearing down the street. (very rural area) goes out and find the mailbox has been blown up. The next day, a kid shows up with his dad with a new mailbox and an apology. My father and the Kids dad then had a beer while they watched and directed the kid install the new box. haha.

Mike Hollingsworth
02-28-2018, 10:52 AM
Manufacturers of Curbside Mailboxes must be approved by the Postmaster General.

https://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/2007/html/pb22206/mailboxkit.4.7.html (https://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/2007/html/pb22206/mailboxkit.4.7.html)

John K Jordan
02-28-2018, 12:54 PM
I just now wondered about the potential market for rubber mailboxes.

There was a guy in Knoxville who was the subject of an article in the paper - his mailbox on Middlebrook Pike was destroyed by vandals so many times it was almost part of the local culture. I think he saved most of them and had a big pile for the newspaper photo. Sometimes he just left the smashed one on the ground for a few days and the mail carrier was kind enough to put the mail in it anyway.

JKJ