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wingless’ Cedar Mailbox Post Replacement

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This week the Uber driver dropping off the tenants at my AirBnB rental flattened my mailbox, breaking the post and crumpling the metal. Of course he didn’t stop to report the damage.

 

Fortunately, I have cameras recording exterior activity and captured the incident. After much searching, I discovered how to file a claim and it looks like I will be paid for the damage.

 

From a practical perspective, I selected a one-piece plastic mailbox that slides over a post, done. No rust, no painting, easy installation, lasts forever, sounded good to me. My daughter looked at that choice and instructed me to NEVER AGAIN ask for that mailbox.

 

She instead has a good eye for style and design. She selected this Gibraltar Elite E1600B000 Large Black Galvanized Steel Mailbox, this Universal Forest Products 7405 Cedar Mailbox Post and these Diggoo 2” 0-9 Reflective Numbers. I also used this Gibraltar Mailbox Steel Mounting Bracket, plus two 50 lbs. bags of Quikrete 1004 Fast-Setting Concrete Mix.

 

The cedar mailbox post assembly is rough cut wood w/ raised grain. I used my Festool RO150FEQ Rotex Vacuum Sander to quickly make the exterior smooth. The recessed nail holes on the angled support and cross-halving joint were filled w/ DAP Plastic Wood all-purpose wood filler and then sanded smooth.

 

The vertical post and horizontal arm have a cross-halving joint. There is also an angled support nailed to the post and arm. My mailbox post assembly was nice and solid, even though some of the cross-halving joints had ~ ¼” gap.

 

The wood was protected w/ three coats of Minwax Pro Series Spar Urethane. This is a high-gloss water-based finish that protects against water and sunlight. I sanded w/ 220 grit between each coat and used a tack cloth for dust control.

 

The reflective decal numbers were applied using the standard tape hinge method, to ensure proper registration before committing to the placement. The “hard” thing on the number placement was not being a block letter format, w/ lots of slanting to the right, requiring visual inspection and slight tweaking to get good placement.

 

A fine Sharpie was used to mark the left and the bottom edges on the top paper to aid placement visibility. A clear grid ruler was also used for placement. The spacing was set at 1-3/4”, left edge to left edge.

 

The mounting brackets worked okay, just a little tedious. Install brackets onto mailbox, put mailbox onto post arm, mark bracket location on post arm, remove brackets from mailbox, mount brackets onto post arm, attach mailbox to brackets. I also drilled a hole high on the rear mailbox surface and screwed the mailbox to the vertical post for extra stability. The brackets worked fine w/ my mailbox, w/ holes at appropriate positions, so no extra drilling required.

 

The old broken post was removed from the sandy southern Florida soil. The old post already had a large buried concrete “donut”. The once-monthly city bulk pick-up arrived the next day and removed the broken mailbox using the claw arm. The hole depth was tweaked to get the USPS-specified 41-45” arm height.

 

The installation is “easy”, place the post, pour in dry concrete, adjust post to vertical, pour water onto ground, allow to harden.

 

This AirBnB mailbox should not get mail. All the “real” mail has a permanent transfer to my house, so it is just the junk mail. The old mailbox had crime scene tape covering the opening, behind the door. For this one I cut a Styrofoam plug to obstruct the opening and added a “Nothing Into Mailbox” label to reinforce not placing junk mail into the mailbox. The pedestrian mailman did a triple take at my foam plug / No Mail sign after opening the door and then not depositing junk mail.

 

This street gets a dozen cars per day. Hopefully they will miss hitting my new mailbox.

 

 

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