Saturday, 19 December 2015

Mounting a new post box : curb appeal

With our beautiful new gates, I couldn't leave the old rusted mailbox there. It had huge holes in the bottom that the slugs sneak in through and quietly chew on our post. Whilst it's accepted that the dog ate the homework, people look at you very strangely when you explain that the slugs ate their invoice and you want a new one as a result. I wanted something that was as beautiful as our home is going to be and reflected something of the stature of this amazing farmhouse. I found a great bargain on a Dutch shopping price comparison site, moved quickly and had it shipped over the next day. Its an upright post box that reminds me a great deal of the beautiful red pillar post boxes all over the UK, and is a lovely dark green to match the house. We tried standing it next to the new gates, but it just tilted in an alarming fashion towards the canal. I really don't want to lose my new post box into the murky depths!

We had a lot of off-cuts of wood left over from the gate building and lots of concrete scree from the drain building, so I came up with the idea of building a raised concrete stand for it. The Makita chop saw made easy work of turning 4 poles into stakes. The deWalt cordless screwdriver/drill waltz through screwing 8 panels together to make a lovely mould.

Some broken concrete lumps, some prepared mixed new concrete and we soon had a  fill in place. Remember to tamp down the concrete thoroughly - it makes sure that the gaps are all filled and that there aren't any air bubbles in the concrete. You can level the surface with a concrete trowel. but if you are unsure, using a stick to skim along the edges of the frame works well too. We let the concrete harden and pushed some long iron bolts into it to bolt the post box to it.

As the concrete hardened we decided to keep the wooden frame at a single plank, and had a bit of a quick fix to saw away the extra wood. It also saved on concrete as we'd have had to pour a lot more in! Now the concrete is set, it looks beautiful with the post box set square and centre in it. I still need to do a quick slap of green wood paint to weather proof the wood, and I'm planning a future project to mosaic the concrete surface to include house name and number. I'm thinking of a nice vine or floral/leaf design.....this needs a bit more cogitation I think! But for today - here it is, with me sneaking off to the stables to do a bit more work on window frames in the background......

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