Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Our existing mailbox is functional, but not ideal. It is large enough for normal letters, and even a folded-up magazine. However, on those days when we get three or four magazines, a stack of letters, and the odd Netflix envelope, our mailbox really isn't up to the job. It's purple, too, which is just odd. Plus, I've had a hankerin' for a new woodworking project, so a new mailbox is on the way.

The plan was for a horizontal, house-mounted mailbox large enough for the big bundle of mail I just described. I strove for a design that was not perfectly rectilinear ('cause what fun is that?). After a little doodling, this is what I came up with:

As it turns out, this can be made from two 4' lengths of 1/2" x 6" lumber, with just a little scrap left over. The back face and the lid need to be built up from smaller pieces, being about 7" wide. I intended to paint it a dark forest green, so that it matches out new porch, so I decided to make it from poplar, which is a bit nicer and more durable than pine, but less expensive than a natural-finish wood like maple or oak.

The project made good use of my table saw, both for cutting the pieces to size, but also for mitering where the angled pieces come together.

It was also an excellent first project for my brand new router table (many thanks to my generous benefactors!), which I used for the rabbit joints at the top and bottom, the joints on the left and right sides, and a round-over on the edges of the lid.

In just a few hours on a Saturday, despite occasional thunderstorms, I was able to get all the carpentry done.

Up next: painting.

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