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Project by ChuckV posted 02-17-2019 03:45 PM 1277 views 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Our town’s Historical Society recently received some old post office box doors. These have a long history in the town and were most recently built into a counter in an antique shop. Before that, the counter was the bar of an inn and tavern.

The property was being sold and the new owner had no interest in the bar or the boxes and doors. The Historical Society was given permission to recover the items without worrying about the condition of the counter. Two of us from the Historical Society resorted to attacking with a Sawzall, since the boxes were built right into the counter.

We now have about 30 doors in the original structure that will be put on display. There are also about 15 loose doors. We are considering selling these doors as a fundraiser. I volunteered to make a number of banks using some of the doors. This is the first one that I built as a test.

This box is made of birch with black walnut miter splines. It is finished with Danish Oil. I envision the other boxes being made from various wood species as I use odds and ends that I have in my shop.

Here is the next door that I will work with:

-- "Join the chorus if you can. It'll make of you an honest man." - I. Anderson

9 comments so far

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5108 days

#1 posted 02-17-2019 03:51 PM

What a nice way to preserve history. Well done.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


7754 posts in 3419 days

#2 posted 02-17-2019 05:46 PM


-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10961 posts in 5063 days

#3 posted 02-17-2019 08:38 PM



A few years ago, I wanted to do this… but, all of the Postal boxes priced me out of the market…

Do they have workable combinations?

How much will they sell just one Postal Box – raw, w/o any wood around it? (to me)... :)

Thank you…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View ChuckV's profile


3357 posts in 4538 days

#4 posted 02-17-2019 09:42 PM


Yes, they do have workable combinations. The combinations are written on the part that ends up hidden against the wood, so we will have to make sure that we maintain a list. When the door is open, it is possible to reset the combination from the inside.

For the 30 or so that are still inside a frame, I was able to figure out the combinations by opening the doors from the inside, where the letters would be placed by the postal worker. Once open, you can rotate the two dials until you see two notches line up in the proper place on the back side and then read off the combination from the front side. They also have a clever mechanism that gives the two dials a spin when you open and close the door so that it will not be left unlocked if you close it without spinning the dials.

-- "Join the chorus if you can. It'll make of you an honest man." - I. Anderson

View jeffswildwood's profile


4842 posts in 2988 days

#5 posted 02-17-2019 10:00 PM

These are really fun projects. I have done quite a few. Yours looks amazing. These doors are getting harder to find and are expensive on Ebay. The doors you have are older, a little more rare. Most are from the 50’s and 60’s. I have only found one like that. Excellent work!

(Edit) I too would like to purchase some if possible)

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View Porchfish's profile


862 posts in 3543 days

#6 posted 02-18-2019 01:14 PM

Nice idea for the box…goodon’ya for preserving a chunk of history !

-- The pig caught under the fence is always the one doing all the squealing !

View mel52's profile


1978 posts in 1275 days

#7 posted 02-18-2019 07:52 PM

Always have had a liking to these boxes, just haven’t had a chance to make one yet. Great job !!! Mel

-- MEL, Kansas

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4345 days

#8 posted 02-18-2019 09:53 PM

Charming bank.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25935 posts in 4116 days

#9 posted 04-15-2019 11:36 AM

great idea to preserve these historical box covers!!

cheers, jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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