Whether your fashion yourself a handyman, a woodworker or just one who tinkers, having plans for do-it-yourself (DIY) projects around is always helpful. One of the most common parts of the household you interact with nearly every day is the letter box. Still, most of us are content to just use the mailbox that came with the house. If you want to spruce up your mailbox, a good mailbox plan in your hands is the first step.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- 1-inch-by-8-inch finished oak (72 inches in length)
- Two 1 ½-inch brass hinges
- Two 2 ½-inch brass screws
- Two brass finish washers
- Four 1-inch wood screws
- Wood glue
Cut two pieces measuring 5 inches wide from the 1-inch-by-8-inch finished oak. Make a cut on each piece that will begin at the top corner on one side and taper down to 6½ inches on the opposite side.
Mill a five-eighths-inch dado that measures a quarter inch from the front edge on each of the side pieces. This will make it possible for the side pieces to receive the front of the mailbox.
Use a half-inch and five-eighths-inch rebate joints to join the bottom and the back pieces to the side pieces. The pieces will be joined in a later step.
Cut the front piece of the mailbox from the 1-inch-by-8-inch finished oak to measure 12 1/8 inches by 6½ inches. Cut the back piece from the 1-inch-by-8-inch piece of finished oak to measure 12 1/8 inches by 7¾ inches.
Bevel the top of the front and back pieces to match the side pieces. Do this by tilting your blade on the table saw to 17 degrees off 90 and complete your cut.
Cut the bottom piece out of the 1-inch-by-8-inch finished oak to measure 12 1/8 inches by 4½ inches. Cut the top piece of the mailbox out of the finished oak to measure 14 inches by 6 inches. Taper the back edge of the mailbox to match the back face of the mailbox. Do this by using the same angle used on the front and back.
Attach spacers to the back of the mailbox. The addition of spacers will make it possible for the lid of the mailbox to open without hitting the side of the house.
Sand all of the cut pieces with 100-grit sandpaper, followed by 120-grit sandpaper and finished with 150-grit sandpaper. Take the time to round the corners for a more finished look.
Assemble the mailbox. Apply wood glue to the front dado that was made on both sides and attach the front mailbox piece. Repeat this step to attach the back of the mailbox. Use a clamp and let the wood glue dry completely.
Attach the bottom of the mailbox using glue along the middle of each of the side dados.
Attach the top of the mailbox by adding the brass hinges, equally spaced. Attach the brass finish washers to the back of the mailbox with wood screws to hang the mailbox.
Tips and warnings
- Be careful not to use too much wood glue in the joints of the mailbox. Wipe off any excess glue immediately before it dries.
- Drill pilot holes before screwing in the hinges. Add a wax lubricant if desired.
- Finish the mailbox with your choice of stain and polyurethane to seal and protect.
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