**** mailbox vandals!


  #1  
Old 03-24-03, 04:22 AM
josh1
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**** mailbox vandals!

i have replaced many mailboxes due to vandalism. from custom painted ones given to me by a friend to cheap plastic ones that crack. I finally went with a "baseball bat proof" plate steel one for a $$ price tag. But the *&^#*&# broke the 4x4 post! This is war!

Clearly I have been thinking like an idiot. I need to build a brick and concrete block mailbox square with a super sized poly (so it wont rust) mailbox set inside of it. This should be vandal proof!

What sort of foundation do i need for this? I live in PA with cold winters. How are these typically constructed? I was thinking a hollow core 6 inch block then brick facing on it? How do i put a flag on it to show when mail is in the box or just forget that part? What do I use as a cap for it? Im thinking 2x2 dimensions roughly? What height should i set the mailbox at in it? Has anyone else used this to solve mailbox vandal problems?

Thanks for keeping my mailbox upright! -Josh
 
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Old 03-24-03, 07:44 AM
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I don't know, but what I did was to mount a cheap metal box with only enough of a fastener to hold it in place on the mounting post. Whenever it was hit it fell off, generally in a useable state unti it could be replaced with another $5 one from the box store.

My problem here is people hitting the box with vehicles as they come down the road and misjudge the curve. I have a 4" steel post in a hole with only the tamped earth to hold it and a cheap mailbox with heavy duty letters and numerals mounted with double faced tape. When it is hit, all I have to replace is the box itself. The post will fall over and the numerals are reusable. I have collected many expensive remote controlled side mirrors and running lights over time.

You might try a 4" extruded steel tube to replace the post.

Good luck.
 
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Old 03-24-03, 09:07 AM
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I had a mailbox set in a brick deal, but due to city ordinances had to remove it. I hated it anyway, and can't imagine why it was here in the first place - unless due to the fact that a judge use to live here they may have had problems with people trying to bash their mailbox because of one of his 'judgements' LOL. Either that, or they were trying to make this property look more elegant and grander than it is, which also needs another LOL!

When I lived in a small town (50 people) we had trouble with mailbox bashers. Kids riding around in pickups seeing how many boxes they could take out before someone came after them. We solved this by putting a tree (talking 2' across - gotten from mill yard across the street) and putting a large mailbox with a smaller mailbox inside it. The gap in between the two sizes was filled with concrete before mounting to the 'post'. Of course this also took several men to dig the hole for the 'post', and the log loaders and forklifts to accomplish but it was a hoot the next time the box bashers came through! Whichever of the boys hit the box let out a shout of shock and pain, and we found the baseball bat broken on the ground next to the box.

Kay
 
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Old 03-24-03, 09:55 AM
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What the kids don't realize is that damaging a mailbox is a federal crime.
 
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Old 03-24-03, 10:18 AM
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doesn't it involve two things? messing with communications and also the fact that the mailbox is truly property of the gov't (post office). i can't remember what the details are, but know that it is a federal crime.

kay
 
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Old 03-24-03, 03:43 PM
josh1
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federal crime or not you have to be pretty nuts or very stupid to mess with my stuff. I picked up some hollow 8 inch concrete blocks, I have this planned out I think.

I will pour a 3x3x 2 foot deep concrete pad with 4 foot rebar all over edges and in center and use rebar to reinforce the outer edge in a square shape. Then stack the hollow concrete blocks set back the width of solid core bricks from the edge of the pad, and fill the cores with rebar/concrete. I can then backfill the inside of the void area with concrete to fill sort of my way of getting out of building forms. Then position mailbox, finish cement up to top level and set a large 42 x42 cap on top. I will set the mailbox back from flush of the bricks surface so its not subject to any damage. I think this idea will be bulletproof. I have to contact the post office about height and distance from road requirements,but I think im finally on the right track! I cant figure out how to put a flag on the brick, so no flag the mailman will have to fend for himself. -Josh

PS how do i convert cu ft into bags of concrete? I need 34 cu ft i caluculate +- a little. how many cu ft does 80 lbs yield? Thanks-Josh
 
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Old 03-24-03, 03:59 PM
josh1
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ok according to the quikrete website 80 lbs is 2/3 cu ft. So if i need 34 cu ft i will need 51 80 lb bags. 80x51=4080 lbs of concrete in this sucker. this will be amazing. cars can smash into it and it will probably win! -Josh
 
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Old 03-25-03, 09:50 PM
josh1
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im rethinking the size, i want to make it a size that results in not having to cut the concrete blocks, so probably 23 inches wide square.
I was also thinking of making a recessed area in the side for a metal house number type plaque, by cutting the bricks to a thinner size say 1" thinner.

Has anyone out there made one of these and can offer some particular tips? Thanks-Josh
 
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Old 03-26-03, 05:28 AM
bungalow jeff
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Federal crime or not to damage a mail box, as a roadside element you may want to check with your local codes about what can be placed along the roadside. Breakaway items are mandatory in some areas, depending on the road use. This is annoying to consider, but you can be held liable in some areas if a kid tries to take out your mailbox and is injured because it is mounted to well.

If not a problem, then there was an awesome steel tube section mailbox posted in Fine Homebuilding a few years ago. Cruise missile required to dent.
 
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Old 03-29-03, 05:25 AM
zinger
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mailbox

Had a friend that put up 3 boxes. The 2 outside were filled with concrete. He found broken bats on the side of the road. Another friend put railroad ties on both sides of his. The box should be 2-3 feet off road, 42"-45" to the bottom of box. Thats what our postmaster told us. When you lay the brick leave a 1-2" cavity, then recess the brick for you numbers.
 
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Old 04-07-03, 12:22 PM
PJ57
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Josh, thanks, I haven't laughed at a DIY thread this much in a long time
I feel your pain. I've had a few taken out myself. I just don't think you're coming clean here. Are you the school Principal, or never give out candy at Halloween?
I'm with chfite...I've got a $5 dollar box. It's been taken out twice. To tell you the truth it makes me laugh...takes me back to when I did a few
Anyway, you've got to post a link to a picture of that mail palace when its done. OK?
 
  #12  
Old 04-07-03, 03:51 PM
josh1
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Unfortunately! they wont let me do the concrete because im not in a subdivision, despite my claims that i am in a subdivision, its just a small one house area.

Rethinking the whole thing, recently bought a welder so this opens new opportunities,

Learn from Nature!
My first idea is an exoskeleton over a std size mailbox using
1 1/2" .125 sqaure tube. This would be great, as I calculate it would have 14 LF of steel tubing protecting the box.

Now for the mount post, well I am not alone apparently, theres a website about Mailbox vandal comments, in some areas they set them on fire, (stay away from the unbreakable composites, they burn) So I need Class1-A fire proof pressure treated lumber in 6x6 post with 4x6 flat for the mailbox to sit on. This would be unburnable/unsmashable. The exoskeleton would have holes that align ( in theory, they probably wont align if I weld it) with the std mailbox mount holes. Use some 3" 1/4 lags through the tube and box into the wood mount and should be secure as dickens!

Alternately, A company called "fort knox mailbox" makes 1/4" plate steel box with 3/16" plate steel door and post. Bomb Proof, literally.
Costs though, starts at 300+.

I mangled the old box up for awhile while I contemplate. Plus now I have 30 cement blocks to do something with, I might make a backyard bar b que.

My focus is always my downfall. Eventually ill get something up that will be unbreakable. -Josh
 
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Old 04-08-03, 06:13 AM
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This came up in welding to. I would build one a post buried in the ground. But instead of attaching it to the post rigidly build it so that when hit it just rotates around. If you really want to be sneaky put triangle gussets that end up the same height as the mail box. on the sides of it welded to the pole that is buried. Then cutís some designs in the gussets and paint them. That hides that fact that the will inflict a good amount of damage (broke axel, bumper, tires, radiators) when ran over. If ran over the mail box will most likely break away, but will cause massive damage to the vehicle that hit it.
 
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Old 04-09-03, 10:23 PM
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You have to check with your local laws because if you build a non breakaway mail box and kids hit it or someone hits it with their car you will be sued big time.
Check with your local laws first and see if you can plant a tree there because alot of cities will allow you to plant a good sturdy tree but not a good sturdy post,go figure.
I have a friend who built a bunker bomb proof mail box and all the kids did was go get a 4x4 truck and yank the whole thing out and then dragged it across his yard and did donuts across his grass and wrecked his whole yard, it will only make them more happy and look forward to finding a new way to out smart you if you make it too noticeable that their getting to you.
good luck
 
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Old 04-09-03, 10:56 PM
josh1
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I briefly toyed around with welding 16 penny nails onto the outside of the box, so you hit it with a wooden bat, its like reverse hammering, go from 40-0 pretty fast. That would amuse me, but probably get me in more trouble than its worth. Maybe i need a PO box. =-Josh
 
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Old 04-10-03, 12:53 PM
PJ57
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Here's one Josh from a catalog. The Indestructible Mailbox; 7-guage steel, withstands the weight of a 15 ton D6D Caterpillar bulldozer, 800 firecrackers and nine rounds with a .45 Thompson rifle. Baseball bats barely mare the paint. It mounts to a 6" X 5 1/2" X 66" tall pillar of solid granite, weighing in at a mere 230 pounds (house address nicely engraved on the sides). Total cost $690 plus shipping/handling.
Are you sure you don't want to just put up a $5 box and replace it now and then?
 
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Old 04-10-03, 09:57 PM
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Or you could just buy 20$ of scrap iron and $50 of sac-crete and some old rebar and make pretty much the same thing. If you wanted to get real fancy you could put numbers in the concrete and dye it
 
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Old 04-12-03, 06:45 PM
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josh1,

You may want to do a couple of things first...

1. Is this happening regularily? Have you considered a hidden video camara? It would be nice to nail whomever is doing it to wall!! Federal crime carries a stiff penalty.

2. Check with your local post office on their requirements for a mail box placement, there are regulations as to what they require before considering a Fort Knox mailbox!

Just some thoughts....
 
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Old 04-23-03, 06:02 PM
Thinkly
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Brick Mailbox

Not long ago I had a neighbor lose his brick mail box. It was completely made of brick with the box encased. Guess what. The dumb kids drover their care over it. It was a heck of a mess. He had to have masons out to rebuild it.

I personally have a very poorly attatched cheap mailbox that I painted to match accent color on house. One good whack with a bat and that sucker is headed for the ground. Big deal. I'll just stick up another $4 box.
 
 

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