how to install a mailbox to a post

chuehJanuary 30, 2008

I know that my question sounds stupid, but I have never installed a mailbox before. I bought a new mailbox; the instruction is only up to assembling the mailbox itself but does not say anything about how to attach it to a post. Do I just use any kind of screws to fasten the mailbox to a post? Thank you

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You can use 2" deck screws if the mailbox didn't come with any hardware. If you can, drill pilot holes to make the job easier.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 11:11PM
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Many mailbox posts require that you attach a base plate on which to mount the box. Simply a piece of lumber that is sized to fit fairly snugly under the bottom of the mailbox that is then attached to the post prior to attaching the mailbox. The mailbox is screwed onto the base plate. You can use a scrap of plywood, but regular planking may be better (plywood will eventually delaminate).

2 inch screws will make that sucker hurricane-proof, for sure! I have used much shorter brass screws (brass for the visual effect but brass and black metal combos are fading fast from being fashionable).

One other thing to consider - do the teenage ruffians in your area have a history of mailbox bashing? If so, you may want to have your box just a bit less securely fastened to the post. That way if the punks smash your box, it'd break away without your post going down with it.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 11:17AM
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In my area there is a fair bit of mailbox bashing that goes on. The day we moved in, in 2003, there was a broken mail box in the ditch at the end of my driveway. So I went and bought a extra heavy gauge steel mailbox, only to discover that the broken mailbox was my neighbors and that mine was done at the end of the street.

A couple of years later my mailbox and 2 of the other 3 mailboxes next to it were all bashed, so I installed the heavy gauge one that had been sitting in the garage since 2003. I used a pressure treated 2x8 trimmed to the width of the mailbox, attached to the post with 6 inch lag screws, and attached the box to the 2x8 with 3 inch deck screws.

It has taken several direct hits which have wiped of the neighboring boxes, and thus far is only slightly dented in one corner.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 1:12PM
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Thank you all for your replies. The mailboxes of the unoccupied houses in the neighborhood are all broken or missing. Some even don't have posts. Well, my house used to be one of them. However, thank you for your help, I know what to do now.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 3:40PM
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I'm seeing more and more of the style of heavy plastic shaped like the mail box that the mailbox actually sits inside of and mounted on the post. hopefully we don't get to the point of mounting them in a concrete bunker. also, when mounting my mailbox, had trouble getting a piece of wood that sized up with the bottom of the mailbox, guess it doesn't have to be exact.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 5:40PM
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I had a home with street side mailbox problems. Lived on a side street just a couple houses off the main drag, a couple miles away from the high school and almost every football season that poor mailbox took a beating.

I loosely single bolted that top plate so the box would swivel round and round and found a heavy steel tunnel shaped insert made for baseball bats ,, that took care of it except for when they drove over the whole thing ... after straighten it up a couple times I packed a piece of 4 inch sewer pipe with concrete after dropping it over the skinny post so it could make a significant dent when bulldozed. And it moved sideways a couple times so somebody had dents.

Was a never ending headache.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 12:28AM
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We had a problem with local high schoolers hitting the posts and breaking them off.
After the 3rd time, I did the same as Mikie-
a 3" pipe-4 feet in the ground-
Filled with concrete-and set in concrete
framed out with 1x4 lumber to look like a 4x4 post.
Next time the local mail box bashers hit that, they needed a tow truck!


    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 9:50PM
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I avoided reading this thread because I knew all of you would tell chueh how to do it.

But you might enjoy reading about the "creative" ways people around here mount mailboxes. I laugh my head off everytime I see a new way of doing this.

One guy down the road must be handyman challenged. He fastened his mailbox to the post with shrink wrap!! That was my laugh of the day, the first time I saw it.

We live way out in the boonies. A very deserted area where lots of mailbox bashing also goes on. Some people have lost so many that they no longer permanently fasten them to the post. They are all bungy corded on!!! I still like the shrink wrap better--LOL.

Then there is another area where everyone must be related to Red Green. MANY mailboxes are mounted to the post with duct tape. One of these people had a broken post--so it is all mumified with duct tape. Red Green would, most asuredly, be proud of them.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 12:55PM
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Coated deck screws are normally the best way to go. An under board or base plate is usually needed on your standard domed metal mailboxes. Although a solid piece of wood is preferable, in reality you might not be able to get a big enough piece, especially if you have a larger sized mailbox measuring 7 1/2' across the base. In this case use a thick 5/8' piece of treated plywood and drill pilot holes.

Be careful of the suggestions posted above about hidden metal posts and surprise concrete enclosed mailboxes. An innocent person having an auto accident can be injured or killed by these kinds of vandal traps and you could be liable. Many CountyƂs and Road Commissions have regulations and guidelines about the maximum weight of mailboxes. Make sure you check in your area.


    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 3:26PM
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