Home Repair

How do I install a mailbox?

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Someone asked me today "how do I install a mailbox on a wood post". I wasn't sure so I figured I would ask the expert here on this awesome forum!

Also how do you know where to put the post after you figure out how to install it?

Thanks!
This is easy... first things first. The location. When you install a curbside or rural mailbox, make sure that it is easily accessible to the mail carrier. By regulation it should be 41 to 45 from the ground or street surface up to the inside floor of the mailbox. The door should be set back 6 to 8 back from the front face of the curb or the road edge. However, you should check with your local postmaster to ensure that the mailbox is installed according to local regulations. The numbers should be at least 1" high.

Now the installation. With a post hole digger, dig a hole deep enough for gravel to be added for drainage and so that the post surface to which the bottom of the mailbox will be attached is the required height.

Pour approximately six inches of gravel into the hole. Prepare your concrete mix. Set the post in the hole, level it and temporarily attach sticks from 2 sides to the ground to hold it level, and fill with the concrete mix. To reduce any air pockets, occasionally jab a stick into the concrete.

Slope the concrete around the base of the post for water runoff. Pour it to within a few inches of the top of the hole. Check the post for level again and adjust if needed. After the concrete has set, cover it with soil to conceal it.

The next step is to attach the mailbox to the post. Attachment brackets are available that are designed to fit a standard 4x4-foot post. You can use your old brackets if your mailbox was installed that way. Also check to see if brackets came with your new mailbox.

Or if you prefer, you can cut a board to fit within the overhanging lips at the bottom of the mailbox. You will bolt the board to the post and then screw the mailbox to the board through the lips at the base of the mailbox.

Your final step will be to label the front and sides of the mailbox with your house numbers with paints, stick-on numbers or add decorative letters to the post.
But first you may need to buy some power tools to cut the board to fit within the overhanging lips at the bottom of the mailbox. So I did. Smile
Fill me in... which power tools did you buy? A circular saw? Jig saw? reciprcating saw? Roto zip? c'mon let us know?

That could be pretty expensive to cut 1 board... Shocked
I purchased the Crastman 19.2 Volt cordless set with the Reciprocating saw and the circular (they call it a trim) saw.

I would have liked a larger set, but I already had the 19.2 volt drill, so I didn't want to spend an extra $50 for a tool I already had.

I am fully prepared to cut! Maybe even a straight line, too as the trims saw has a laser-line attachment! Rolling Eyes
Wow. I'm impressed! A cordless saw with laser guidance. What will they think of next.
What size is the blade on the trim saw? My guess would be around 5" and would be real thin kerf. This lets the saw work easier as it is taking less wood out of the board. Am I correct?

Hey we are getting off topic slightly!!! lol

Don't forget to stick (or paint) the numbers (at least 1" high) on your mailbox front AND side so the fire department and the ambulance can find your house in case of an emergency!!
It's a 5 1/2" blade.. I don't know how to compare the kerf.. is there a number on the blade? Maybe that could be another topic.
A normal table saw blade is 1/8" wide at the widest point (teeth).
A skillsaw blade is a little less, somewhere between 1/8" and 1/16".
A battery trim saw (with laser!) is even smaller, closer to the 1/16" side. They are also measured with a micrometer.

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