This mailbox was made completely from recycled materials. The main frame is pine boards taken out of an old church during a renovation, the roof and sides are a mix of pallet wood, a birch branch, and oak scraps, and the door hardware came from some thrifty trash picking! I was winging it from the start of the project with no plans of the final product and just saw where my creativity brought me. The person who received this as a Christmas present couldn't have been more thrilled - it doesn't get better than that.
Notable tools & materials used:
Countersink bits: http://amzn.to/2jSidkj
Stainless steel screws: http://amzn.to/2j4cnKi
Combination square: http://amzn.to/2kNCCFt
Brad nails: http://amzn.to/2kdHhAF
Magnetic catch: http://amzn.to/2js7b6C
Flap sanding disk: http://amzn.to/2koDdzA
Spar urethane finish: http://amzn.to/2knSr8p
Step 1: Cutting Materials to Size
So I start by cutting all of my reclaimed pine material down to length on the miter saw.
Pieces are all cut down to width next. The roof pieces of the mailbox are cut at a 45 degree angle where they meet up with each other, everything else is cut square.
The pieces for the front and back need a slope cut on the top at both sides. I mark these out and cut them on the miter saw at a 45 degree angle.
Here are all the pieces ready to go!
Step 2: Box Assembly
I start assembly by predrilling around the perimeter of the pieces where everything is to be attached.
I then use glue and stainless steel screws to hold everything together so they won't rust away.
I still need a door in the front so I mark that piece out with my square.
I then cut this out on the bandsaw carefully because I only get one shot since the cutoff is going to be the door.
These cuts are all sanded smooth on the belt sander.
I can then complete the assembly of the box by attaching the front and the roof.
Step 3: Adding the Facade
Now that the base of the box is done, I can worried about the decoration. I decided to make it look somewhat like a little house with roof shingles. I cut some pallet slats into little wedges to act like shingles.
These are then glued and tacked in place with some brads on both sides of the roof.
For the back of the box I decided to do a mosaic of some end grain birch.
And the sides are covered in some thin pallet slats. These are measured out, marked, and then cut on the miter saw. They are then glued and tacked in place like everything else.
This is what I ended up doing on the back. These are glued and tacked, but I will fill in the gaps later.
Step 4: Installing Trim & Door
To hide the joints of all of the shingles I covered them with some trim that is just painted pallet slats which are glued and tacked in place too.
It's then time to finally install the door to wrap this thing together. I mortise out the bottom of the door a bit so it won't be hinge bound and then attach it to the door.
I then screw it to the inside of the mailbox as well.
To keep the door closed, I install a magnetic catch. This is just screwed right into the face of the box because I'm going to add a facade to this face too.
Step 5: Finishing Front Facade
I decided to do something different again for this face and cut up some reclaimed oak that I install in a herringbone pattern. I make sure to mark the door out as I go so I can cut it back out later.
Once the front is all dry, I use my oscillating saw to cut along the joint to free the door again.
This is all then sanded smooth.
Step 6: Finishing Back Facade
Moving back around to the back, I added some grout to fill in the gaps between the birch pieces.
When that is dry, I use a flap disk in my angle grinder to remove the excess of the grout from the wood until the wood grain is exposed again.
Step 7: Finish
To complete the build, I apply a few coats of an exterior grade spar urethane over the whole projects so it will last out in the weather for years to come.
Final shot of the installed mailbox! I added a pull handle to the door before install. And don't worry, the homeowner wanted me to show her how to install it and she's going to replace the leaning post soon.
For the full experience, make sure you don't miss the build video: