How to Build a Mailbox

Even in the current age of email, there are still those who prefer to write and send their letters the old-fashioned way. In order to receive these traditional hand-carried messages, one will have to know how to build a mailbox if they don’t happen to have one already.

To begin how to build a mailbox, one would need a post to perch it on, which would be made of either metal or pressure-treated lumber. A metal post should have a diameter of 2”, while a wooden post should be no more than 4×4”. Other materials needed are 2 side posts or an extended arm post, a shovel or a clam shell post hole digger, concrete, gravel, and of course, the container that will be used as the mailbox.

The actual box where the mail will be inserted can either be bought or built. One can purchase a ready-made metal mail container built according to standard regulation size. If one decides to construct their own, it has to meet the guidelines of the US Postal Service and will need to be verified for approval by the local postmaster. The mailbox is required to have a top and bottom, side walls, a back portion, and a hinged door placed in front. The box or house number at the side of the box should be in a contrasting color and must be no less than 1-inch high. A signal flag should be attached to the box’s side as well.

To build the mailbox’s support, the box is set on a horizontal piece of wood, the size of which depends on the size of the box. They are then attached to the post. A couple of boards are bolted to the post, each board set at an angle of 45 degrees. To make the support stable, the boards are attached to both sides of the post, as well as to the bottom of the horizontal piece.

In installing the mailbox, one has to determine its position. The mailbox must be placed on the road’s right side, facing the direction of traffic. Its roadside face should be 6-8” from the shoulder’s edge or from the curb’s face. If it is placed near gravel roads, it must be distanced further from the edge of the roadway’s graveled area. A hole is dug which should have a depth of around 2’ and should not be wider than required. The post is buried in the ground, and then anchored using either concrete or stones in a layer of gravel. A 6” gravel layer is put at the bottom. One must install the mailbox no less than 42” above the ground.

The concrete is prepared and poured around the post. A level is used to find the post square, and the concrete is allowed to set until the following day. The hole is filled with soil and pressed down firmly. The mailbox is then attached to the base, securely screwing it in place on the board.

If one should think that trying how to build a mailbox is a somewhat futile endeavor in these high-tech times, think again. Aside from letters, they are also made to receive small packages, or bills, or ordered magazines and catalogs, and so on. The mailbox still pretty much has a place in today’s modern world.

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