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Redesign Your Mailbox Post: How to Replace a Wooden Post with a Stone Column

Many mailbox posts are constructed with a store-bought wooden post inserted in the ground. It is functional but doesn't add anything to the yard. In this project, we will be cementing medium-sized river rocks to the wooden post all the way around. It will add color, texture, dimension as well as weight and strength.

Materials Needed:

  • Medium river rocks (3-4 inches)
  • Disposable mixing container
  • Disposable stir stick
  • Water
  • Rubber gloves
  • Liquid nails
  • Concrete (med/fine mix)
  • Ziploc bag
  • Scissors
  • Sponge
  • Optional-polyeurathane and brush

Preparation

  1. Clean off the post with warm soapy water.
  2. Allow to dry for about an hour.
  3. Wash the rocks in warm soapy water and lay out to dry.

Turning Your Wooden Post into a Stone Column

  1. Beginning at the bottom of the post, liquid-glue the first rock to the base of your post.
  2. Continue gluing all of the rocks onto the post leaving space in between for concrete.
  3. If you are having difficulty getting your rocks to stay while the glue dries wrap a piece of masking tape around the rocks and pole at that spot to hold them in place. Do not use duct tape. It will be difficult to remove it without disturbing the rocks.
  4. Once the glue has set, you will begin mortaring the negative spaces.

Working the Cement

  1. Remove any masking tape you used to hold the rocks into place.
  2. Mix a batch of cement. It is better to mix up less and make several batches then make too much and have it harden before you are done.
  3. Pour the cement into a Ziploc bag.
  4. Using scissors, clip the bottom corner off of the Ziploc bag. This will look just like a frosting bag and will be used in a similar manner.
  5. Begin at the bottom. Insert the cut tip of the bag into the space between the rocks and gently squeeze. Continue moving to fill the space around the bottom.
  6. Don't go too far up you post without allowing some time for the concrete to set slightly. If you cement begins moving downward with the weight of itself, you went too far. If you give it a short break you will have better luck working your way up the post.
  7. Each time you come back to add more concrete, use a damp sponge to clean the excess off of the area you just finished first.
  8. Once done you can add polyeurathane for a glossy finish or leave it natural.

Beginning with a 4" post you will end up with about an 8" diameter when completed. If you prefer to have a larger diameter, build up the post first by nailing boards around the post for added width. The rocks will add about four inches to the diameter. Decide on the diameter you want to end up with and subtract 4". This is the size of the base you will need to start with.

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