Wooden mailboxes make an attractive and durable addition to any home. The mailbox can be custom designed to meet the family's specific needs with regard to security, mail volume and appearance. When considering creating your own custom mailbox, be sure to check with your homeowner's association to be certain it will meet their specifications for exterior fixtures.
Designing the Mailbox
Determine the needs of your family as far as the size of the mailbox and what design suits you.
Make a rough sketch of what you want the mailbox to look like.
Determine the necessary measurements for the mailbox.
Obtaining and Cutting Wood
Purchase the necessary pieces of wood from a local wood vendor such as Home Depot or Lowe's.
Measure and cut the pieces into the necessary shapes using your table saw. Be especially careful with this work.
Verify the correct size of each piece by placing the mailbox pieces together as you work. If the pieces aren't flush, cut off any extra wood.
Assembling the Box
Brush some waterproof glue onto the mailbox pieces you have sawed and have a helper hold them in place.
Nail the frame boards into position using a pneumatic nail gun with finish nails.
Sand the frame of the mailbox with 100-grit sandpaper and a circular sander. Sand with the grain in the same motion until the wood is smooth.
Assemble the bin portion of the mailbox using the wood and nails. Plane down the edges of the bin to ensure a smooth opening and closing.
Place the bin onto the bottom of the frame with a piano hinge. This will allow the bin to flip open. Assemble your drill with the necessary driver bit for the type of screws you are using. If you are using a hardwood such as cedar, consider predrilling the holes into the wood with a drill bit that is one size smaller than the grooves on your wood screws. To place the hinge onto the mailbox, have a helper hold the box still while you place the screws into the holes on the piano hinge. If you have trouble holding the screws in position, consider placing a driver bit extension onto the drill. This circular sleeve will cover the screw and hold it in position.
Adding a Handle and House Numbers
Create a handle using a scrap piece of wood. The handle can be as simple as a rectangle or as complex as a bar.
Attach the handle. Clamp the handle into position and screw it into place from the inside of the bin.
Attach an address frame and house numbers with clear silicone, pressing the frame firmly into position.