Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Have I mentioned we're cheap?

I came home from work one day, and lifted the lid of our mailbox to get the mail. It snapped off in my hand. Now, lets be clear. I know that's how a lot of things happen around here. Like the faucet or on the first night we owned the house, when the front doorknob came off in my hand when the pizza guy came? Or the walls in the office? Okay, I admit, I picked at those. Anyway, I digress.

The mailbox we had was from the seventies, you know, the generic one that looks something like this?

Picture it older and uglier and you get the idea. Anyway, we had always wanted a more period appropriate mailbox, so we viewed this as the perfect opportunity to get one like this:
Last weekend, we went salvage shopping. At one place, as we were walking out the door, the owner asked us what we were looking for. He happened to have a mailbox in the back that just came back from the sandblaster. While there, a very important piece came off: the bracket that holds the lid on. It was lost, and now he had this beautiful, but useless, mailbox. We (see title of post) asked how much he wanted for it. He said, "As is: $25.00." Now, we had been looking on Ebay, and these normally go for $90-100. We saw this as an opportunity (again, see title of post). So we left for a quick stroll around Home Depot to think of how we could fix it. Enter FastSteel, a moldable, metal epoxy. Jackpot! We dashed back to get the mailbox. I think the owner was sad to see it go, he took forever to ring up our bill. After a failed attempt at using just plain FastSteel (not strong enough for moving cast iron) Kevin created this:It is a bracket made of a copper coupling. He screwed it on the back.
Then he made a mold from the bracket on the other side. In this picture you can see the bracket in the top right corner, and his mold out of FastSteel in the middle.

Then he carefully used his mold to make a new "bracket" over the copper coupling.

Our finished product:

And the detail shot:
Now, in the pictures of the repair, you might notice the surface he is working on. Wow, you might think, that looks like a really nice work bench. And then I would tell you, no, no, no, that is not a workbench. That is our coffee table. Oh, you would say. Oh. And then you might wonder, with trepidation, did he clean up the coffee table when he was done? And I would have to answer


No comments: