Mounting mailbox on a springy mount (like garage door spring)

Some dumbass knocked over our mailbox. It was clearly due to
stupidity, the tracks on the snow show that it was done at slow speed,
the person driving the car left various pieces of his/her mirror, most
likely when he or she was maneuvering. The tracks show that the person
reversed direction shortly (6 ft) after hitting our mailbox. Whatever
damage was done to our mailbox, the damage to the car was 5x that.
I heard a suggestion somewhere to mount mailboxes on spring type
mounts, like garage door springs. The idea is that collisions like
this will only make mailboxes bounce and return to the original
position. I really like this idea, has anyone done something similar?
i
Reply to
Ignoramus1723
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Oh that doesn't sound very feasible, except maybe if you were talking about a drunk bicyclist. ;) Mounting a stick or two of TNT in the post might get some results however. :)
Reply to
Mark Jones
Great idea! Kick the hornet's nest.
Reply to
Tom Gardner
Errol had a swing arm mailbox setup which was pretty cool. I've seen people take that one step further by angling the pivot so it automatically returns, like so:
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'm sure that it wouldn't take you long to come up with something similar... --Glenn Lyford
Reply to
glyford
:)
For a long time, I delivered a paper to a mailbox mounted on top of three truck-sized coil springs U-bolted together end-to-end and concreted into the ground. A lot like those "cast iron critters-on-a-spring" for kiddies to ride at playgrounds in years gone by, only taller. Run over it with a tank or a steamroller and you *MIGHT* convince it to stay down, but I don't think anything less would manage the task. Whether the mailbox itself can survive the hit is a whole different question, as should be obvious! :) But the spring is likely to stand back up for anything short of being ripped out of the gorund.
Do those spring-rides still exist, or have they been "OH MY GOD WE GOTTA PROTECT THE KIDDIES!"-ized into extinction? My favorite, oh so many years ago, was (Surprise...) the horsey-shaped one. Our playground had that, a caterpillar, a dolphin, and something that might have been either a hippo or a pig, or maybe something else, but not even Mr. Driscoll, the principal, could say for sure - whatever it was, it wore a yellow fez - lined up side by side between the swings and the monkeybars.
Boy... LOTS of metal in this post - Tons of it, if you count the steamroller and the tank :)
Reply to
Don Bruder
Yep, our neighbor down the road back in Michigan had one similar to that, but of his own design. His swung on the horizontal and reset bu way of an angled cut and its own weight. He went one step further and "armor-plated" it - The entire area around the mailbox itself was enclosed in those plates that go between the rail and the tie on railroad tracks welded up to form a seriously impressive bit of armoring.
He needed it, though - His box was right at the point where the snowplows veered off Mackinac Avenue at about a 30 degree angle to the left to clear our road, and it got hit about a dozen times a year with no damage more significant than scuffed paint visible. Only time I ever recall it going down was the time Jimmy Schmidt caught the upright (along with the swing-arm) with the snow-wing on the Oskotch (*REALLY* big V-plow truck - Major "drift-buster") while trimming the snowbanks a couple days after the blizzard of '78.
Reply to
Don Bruder
Guy near us has his on a swivelling beam. At the other end is a counterweight. A screendoor spring holds it in the Box Out position against a stop pin. When smashed, the assembly swivels. The iron counterweight usually get the rear quarter of the car. We have been having Coyote Vs. Roadrunner wars with the vandals for decades here. My passive approach has been the simplest and most effective. Bought a regular aluminum mailbox, unfolded it for a pattern. Cut a steel tube (1/4 wall) longitudinal to get the top radius. Flame cut the door and rear plate, and side rectangles from 1/4" 18 Nickel maraging steel, and welded it up. We change the paint color every few years. So, we recover broken aluminum baseball bats (I never knew they were filled with urethane before), and even an abandoned crowbar. We heard the screaming and the *GONG* sound when they hit the box with it. Must have stung. The box is welded to a piece of concrete filled Lally column. The mailman loves it, as it looks exactly like a regulation rural box...Stealth, you might say. It sounds like a vault when slammed closed. The local hardware store wnted to retail them if I decided to make them. Nope, don't need the liability, but a fun project.
Reply to
Grunty Grogan
Lots of folks on rural northern roads with heavy snow fall use swinging and self centering mailboxes. Main post comes straight up, has a 45 degree bend at mailbox height. Slip a pipe with a cap over the bent portion, weld on a horizontal pipe with a suitable brace. Mount mailbox at the end. When the snow plow comes by, the force of the snow will flip the box up and it recenters. Ours got flipped up multiple times per winter, the plow operator would deliberately drop the wing plow down in front of the mail box to dig a path to the box. If you watched him, you'd think he was trying to get the most windup on the box. Then again, maybe he was!!!
Ignoramus1723 wrote:
Reply to
RoyJ
Sounds like one of the other boxes on my route - Take one of those "2 foot wide by 2 foot tall by 3 foot deep" ultra-jumbo rural mailboxes (You must know the ones I'm talking about - Practically big enough to count as luxury accommodations for 3 families of cambodian refugees), another "more standard for in town" style boxes of roughly the same size and proportions, and half a bag or so of concrete - Mix well, center the small one in the large one, and pour the void full of 'crete, then mount the whole mess on a chunk of what looks to be 4 inch well-casing sunk Idunno-how-deep in concrete.
Looks like it's been fairly effective - The mailboxes before and after it have been nailed twice each (and look like they take frequent "minor" hits besides) since I got the route, while the "concrete-lined" one has a couple of minor dings, and has often been seen with the splintered remains of broomsticks and ball bats nearby :)
Reply to
Don Bruder
Yes, they do. When my now 4.5 yo was 2, we went to a couple of playgrounds with such spring mounted things.
I would love to get a 3 ft tall spring of this sort for the mailbox. Or weld together a couple of shorter ones.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus16163
Did it have one like this?
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Not my site! Probably a photoshoped image...
Reply to
William Bagwell
This is very nice. I am actually holding the regulations for mailboxes that were faxed to me. It is very clear that no "fortress mailboxes" or "reinforced mailboxes" are allowed. Brick mailbox posts much be of hollow construction with bricks standing on the edge, not attached to the foundation with rebar or anything like that. No railroad rails etc.
Basically if I build an illegal mailbox like this, and someone slams it and gets injured or dies, I would likely be found liable.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus16163
My uncle bought one of those large mailboxes, and a small one (normal size). He took the door off the small one, and placed it centered inside the large one. Then he filled the gap with concrete. The large box simply had a smaller hole inside. He had very good results against vandals. :)
Reply to
Dave Lyon
Oopps, ignore my last post. :)
Reply to
Dave Lyon
Just to caution that you have a serious liability issue if you do something like this and somebody gets hurt when they crash into your purposely-armored mailbox.
I'd suggest the spring idea is a lot safer.
D> Yep, our neighbor down the road back in Michigan had one similar to
Reply to
Mike Berger
I agree. I do not like it too much, but in our times, making an illegal mailbox that hurts someone is likely to result in liability.
I am looking at a swing arm mailbox recommended here:
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i
Reply to
Ignoramus16163
The trouble is... I think that most "ramming", for my mailbox, is not deliberate. One was a hit by a snowplow, hardly deliberate, and another, yesterday, was clearly some driver not paying attention. I concluded that by seeing parts of their car that he or she left (mirror).
My village requires mailboxes to have thin walls of 1/4 of a brick.
So... I am going to have a thin walled brick mailbox, that will have major damage after being hit, that would be hard to relair. Hardly worthwhile.
I have almost decided to have a swing away mailbox. Maybe with reinforcement around the actual mailbox.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus16163
[...]
See if you'd be within the law to build an armored box with an easily sheared off base. Hold it down with just a couple of small home depot bolts, so when it's hit it falls off, minimizing damage to the vehicle, but only costs you about 30 cents to put back up with little or no damage to the box. Thinking about it, if you mounted your box on a spring then when hit it would probably just whip down, damaging the car heavily and ruining a flimsy mailbox. Unless you use a really stout spring. Or, if the attachment between the box and spring came apart it could fling the box a long way.
Reply to
B.B.
On Wed, 25 Jan 2006 03:36:52 GMT, with neither quill nor qualm, Ignoramus1723 quickly quoth:
Do a Google search of rec.woodworking for "mailbox". We had a real knockdown, dragout session about those a long while ago.
I prefer the 20-ton foundation style but they're illegal in some states, especially where there's snow and plowing going on. Swingaways are recommended there. Check with the USPS and your own state for your state's laws and the federal requirements.
--- Annoy a politician: Be trustworthy, faithful, and honest! ---
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Reply to
Larry Jaques
Thanks Larry, I will check it out (I think that I did check it out a couple of months ago, and saw some good stuff, so it will help to do it again).
I am now coming up with a plan for something nicer looking than the bend pipes that sell for $55.
It would involve a straight stand, a hinge (like a big 5/8" bolt pin), and a square channel beam that holds the mailbox
== |~!~~~~~~| | | | Mailbox| +--------+ beam +=||| ===================================!=||| ==+=||| The exclamation mark to the right is the 5/8" bolt, going through a horizontal beam and two steel angles. I would use some door springs to return the beam back if it swings away.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus16163

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