NEW! Faster Search Option


How is this mailbox post constructed

johnjingles's picture


Anyone interested in offering opinions on how the bottom of this post is built. I would like to replicate it but I am not sure how the bottom panels are put together. I am assuming they are built up panels or build out panels. It they are built up, is the process of building up the panels accomplished with brads & glue. If the panels are build up, are the pieces pre finished?

My assumption is that the panels are not "real" framed panels - that is, routed stiles and rails with a panel.

What I would like to do is drop a 4x4 pressure treated post into the ground and then drop something like this over the top of it.

BTW - this image is from the walpole woodworkers web site

Edited 6/24/2009 9:19 pm ET by johnjingles

roc's picture

(post #89094, reply #1 of 12)

I don't know if you have any interest or if it will help but here is the Norm Abrams New Yankee Workshop episode where he made something similar. I remember a fair amount of attention was given the part that went in the ground and how to set it.


Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. Abraham Lincoln ( 54° shaves )

Edited 6/24/2009 9:35 pm by roc


Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. Abraham Lincoln ( 54° shaves )

mrbird90's picture

(post #89094, reply #2 of 12)

I have been looking to make just that one shown in Walpole and I plan to make the bottom a regular frame and panel construction and make it fit over a 4" x4" pole that is built up on the sides to fit tightly into my frame and panel housing. I plan on making mine from cypress and the 4 x4 a treated wood.

boilerbay's picture

(post #89094, reply #3 of 12)


I would think in terms of backing panels sized to match routed "raised" panels, fixed to a square tube to fit over a 4x4 PT. Spline panel miters and slip down last. All done in the best appropriate "weather" wood. Cedar, Cyprus etc. Epoxy end sealed and primed/painted. Perhaps bottom short of concrete base by a touch for drainage.


MikeHennessy's picture

(post #89094, reply #4 of 12)

From the pic, it just looks like some trim tacked on around the central 6"X6", tho' the 6"X6" itself may be a 4"X4" wrapped with 1"X. Purely decorative. Me, I'd do this with a PT central post and wrap it with Azek.

Mike Hennessy
Pittsburgh, PA
Everything fits, until you put glue on it.

Mike Hennessy
Pittsburgh, PA
Everything fits, until you put glue on it.

Zolton's picture

(post #89094, reply #5 of 12)


I'm with you on this. Building a mailbox post out of wood and then painting it would enslave you to a lot of maintenance over the years. This would be a perfect application for composite trim like AZEK.

And the construction method seems as though it's just as you said: built up trim tacked to a central column, probably a wrapped 4x4 PT post. I'd consider making the post from 2 - 2x4's laminated together to help avoid twisting though..


If you see a possum running around in here, kill it. It's not a pet. - Jackie Moon

If you see a possum running around in here, kill it. It's not a pet. - Jackie Moon

marking's picture

(post #89094, reply #6 of 12)

I agree with mikehennesey:
the "panels" below are the post above. the rails and stiles are applied trim with a beveled cap. The stiles are often mitered to avoid the unsightly seam of a butt corner joint. then the "rails" are applied between the "stiles".

As a carpenter, I "fake" fine woodworking all the time.


johnjingles's picture

(post #89094, reply #7 of 12)

I don't know how to reply to all - but everyone who replied - thanks a million - I really appreciate it.

I am on my way. Thanks everyone.

woodrat1's picture

(post #89094, reply #8 of 12)

Hi John,

I just finished up this very project last week (tho not yet
installed in the ground). I used the best 4x4 I could find.
Just plain pine - not PT as I was afraid of warping.

I used 1x6 Azek boards mitered at the corners & used
the recommended PVC glue to glue together. I then did
as previous posters suggested - simply add another layer
of 1x Azek to the lower section and used Azek trim to
finish off the piece.

The exposed 4x4 pine (approx. 5" worth) at the base
that is inserted into the metal post that supports the
whole unit with concrete was sealed with 2 heavy coats
of tar to protect it from the elements.

This may not be the correct way of doing this - but
I believe this is well sealed and expect it to last a long time.

Good luck & have fun. It's a fairly easy project once you
get going.


Edited 6/26/2009 12:22 pm ET by Woodrat1

bill5335's picture

(post #89094, reply #9 of 12)

My brother in law found out the hard way that 4 x 4 posts swell depending upon humidity.

He took a 4 x 4 and applied trim, mitered at the corners. His miters were perfect and tight to the post. Then it rained and the post swelled. You guessed it, every miter popped open.  I think it burned nice though.

Just something to keep in mind. Someone may have mentioned this: Norm made a sleeve that fit over the post. If I remember, he used MDO.





James R.'s picture

(post #89094, reply #10 of 12)


I made a similar one a year or so ago. I used 3/4 BB plywood, mitered and joined with biscuits. As you can see from the size of the box I had to make a much heftier stand.
I dug a post hole, 2 1/2' to 3', with a unit I rented from HD. I used pressure treated wood and had to resaw some pieces and put them together to make a large enough post. Don't use cement to hold it in the ground. Put rock around the base and fill the rest with dirt. Mine is rock solid.
The old guy was walking down the street and I asked him to stand there while I took the picture.


Edited 6/27/2009 11:53 pm ET by James R.

Edited 6/27/2009 11:54 pm ET by James R.

Edited 6/28/2009 2:25 am ET by James R.

My memory's good, it's just short.

Huge_Mailbox_021.jpg50.73 KB
johnjingles's picture

(post #89094, reply #11 of 12)

Very nice - thanks for posting that picture.

There is a mailbox up the street from me that I like and similar to the one I posted originally - I am going by there today with my camera.

From the street I do see a lot of joints splitting so when I look at it up close today I will see if there is a post underneath the box or not and if there is I will see if it has been wrapped with anything.

YesMaam27577's picture

(post #89094, reply #12 of 12)

The pic in the original post of this thread.....

Looks to me like a 6X6 with trim attached. And very well designed -- quite pleasing to the eye.

Politics is the antithesis of problem solving.
. . I can't live proud enough to die when I'm gone, So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here. (Phil Ochs)