I am planning to install a new maibox and I would like to make the post
out of wood and add some nice design elements. The vinyl and metal
mailbox posts that you can find at the BORG are rather drab (yet
expensive). The one advantage that they have over wooden mailbox posts
are their resistance to rot. Even if I used pressure treated wood,
treated cedar, or fir I'm sure I would be replacing it in a few years.
The post will need to be anchored in concrete because of all the
heaving and freeze/thaw cycles that we get here in Wisconsin. Even the
best wooden post will eventually tend to rot near the ground in this
climate when set in concrete because of how the moisture gets trapped
at the base.
What I would like to do is use a metal anchorage constructed from angle
iron or similar material and set that in the concrete. The wooden post
could then be secured to the angle iron. If some day I need to replace
the post because of rot (or if SWMBOs taste suddenly changes) I won't
have to be chipping out and re-pouring my concrete base. I'll just need
to unbolt my wooden post and reattach a new one.
Any thoughts? Does something like this already exist in stores or
should I polish my metalworking skills? Is there a downside to this
approach that I am missing?
There are "breakaway" mounting systems. These are metal bases that are
monted in concrete and have wooded posts attached. The theory is that any
mailbox post will eventually be run over by a car. This breakaway design
allows for a quick replacement.
I have seen a number of commercial product that would do what you propose.
But even if you had to build something yourself.it should not be a problem.
I would just use some flat stock above the concrete with something bent or
welded across it below the concrete. You don't want any protuding metal
edges under a mailbox. Make sure that you use a good paint on the metal.
Try making a "receiver" make a post for forming in concrete, cover it with
releasing agent, mix your concrete stout so that is doesn't have much slump.
Pour and form your rock let it set a few minutes and wiggle out the post
reaming it around somewhat to make room for sliding replacements in and out
easily. I live in WI as well and have lost several mailbox mounts to
Mr.Plow. This works pretty slick. You can also modify this design to have a
pipe sticking out of the concrete and you just drill a hole vertically in
from the bottom of the post and you can change that thing out in minutes...
I have used the Simpson base on a porch where the top is captive. Works
great in that application. I don't know how steady it will be with a
box on a post held only by the screws/nails nailed into the bottom.
What I've done when putting something in the ground that I might want to
move later is use two stacked concrete blocks, underground. The post is
wedged into the northwest corner of one of the blocks, and the southeast
corner of the second block, and each of the block's hollow areas is filled
with gravel to help brace everything. It's hard to describe how the blocks
are used -- but essentially they form a "V", with the only overlap being the
point of the "V", which is where the post goes down through the blocks.
Each of the blocks steadies the post in two directions, and the dirt packed
around and over the blocks keeps everything in place.
This arrangement has been good enought for a 20' pole with a purple martin
house at the top, for several years and through more than a few hurricanes
and thunderstorms, and when I wanted to change the location it was easy to
dig up and move to another spot.
I have a mailbox and post made by Rubbermaid and available at Wal Mart, and
the like. The post is just driven into the ground, no concrete needed, then
the top section is inserted. It has been in place for years now and has
never moved even with some snow plowing. I'd use that and then trim around
with the wood and mount the box on top. .
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