Mailbox Rehab

My Mailbox used to look like this:

Leaning Tower of Mailbox

Leaning Tower of Mailbox

It was sort of floppy, but Hey!  I’ve been busy!  Then I got a notice from the mail carrier that I needed to fix it.

Fix your mailbox notice

Fix your mailbox notice

It says,
13. Your box should face the road,
14. Your box should be securely fastened to its support
15.  Your box should be made level, and the post firmly planted.

Also notice that it’s dated mid-march and today is Mid May.  That poor letter carrier has put up with it for too long.

Today the mail carrier delivered a parcel to Rehab Jr and asked him to ask me to fix the box.  His reply was “My Dad is too cheap to fix it”.  Well….. ouch.  The truth hurts.

He’s pretty much right.  I priced a replacement mailbox in Home Depot and it was about $60 – $70 bucks.  No way Jose.  I’d like to build a brick one to match the house and other mailboxes on the street  (we sort of stand out in a not-so-great way), but that’s pretty far down the rehab priority list at the moment.   Still, I had to do something.

About a month ago I tried a temporary fix and put a furring strip next to it to give it support, not too effective.  See how the mailbox post plastic is cracked at the bottom?

not to effective

not too effective

That temp fix didn’t work, so it was time to do it right.  First was remove the mailbox.  The crack at the bottom was caused by a dumb little metal post.  No wonder it cracked – no all around support.  This design was destined to fail.  As my Dad used to say, ” Damn Engineers!”.

Out comes the old metal support.

no all around support

no all around support

Next I grabbed a scrap 4×4 and eight $.10 lag screw with 8 $.02 cent washers.  I pre-drilled holes and then screwed the lag screws through the mailbox plastic post into the 4×4.

Support post attached

Support post attached

Next was dig a hole.  The leftover post-hole digger from our farm owning days made short work of the hole.  It sure is good to have the right tool for the job.

TaDa!  Total cost – $.96.  Four cents shy of a buck.  Actually all this stuff was laying around in my garage, so technically did this fix not cost anything?

job done right

job done right

I have to fix the horse trailer lights before I take it back to the farm.  Stay tuned for more rehab fun.

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Book Review – Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson

I give this book 3 stars out of 5 – I enjoyed it.

I really liked reading this book and learning about the people and dangers that are in this sort of deep wreck diving.  The difficulties involved and overcome were pretty amazing to learn about.  That people die doing this sport is not surprising given the difficulties involved, and that people continue to do it despite the dangers is pretty incredible.  Once you are drawn to something though, and it speaks to you deep inside I guess you have to go do it.

I find it pretty incredible that people will pay hundreds of dollars, risk their lives, and then spend hours slowing rising to the surface to decompress just to spend 20 minutes or so swimming around a wreck.  That takes real dedication and courage.

The book is more about the two people that were instrumental in exploring the wreck of a submarine and the efforts they went through to identify  it than it is just about deep wreck diving.  I read a lot of history so I was also very interested when they uncovered facts that pointed to errors in accepted accounts of history. I don’t want to do any spoilers, so I’ll end with two things.  First, it’s a really good read and I really enjoyed it.  Second I also saw “Shadow divers exposed” on Amazon, and it makes me curious about what it says about shadow divers.

 

Catalina 22 keel replacement – purchase

Bought the keel yesterday.  It was a small adventure on an absolutely beautiful sunny day.  I got to meet a great guy and he says he’ll guide me if I need help getting through the keel rehab.  Here are a couple of links he suggested.

 

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/catalina22/

 

http://www.catalinadirect.com/forums/fr_topics.cfm?forum_id=98

I have to be able to move the keel around myself, including unloading it once I got home.  I decided to put wheels on the keel pallet and that should let me roll it down the ramp.  So I took everything I could think of that I might need.  Here I have beefed up the pallet with 2×4’s and then added wheels.

pallet mobility enhancement

pallet mobility enhancement

Then he loaded the pallet into Mrs. CapnRehab’s horse trailer.

loading keel

loading keel

A short drive to his house to pick up some parts, and then head for home and unload.  Here is how it looks at the rehabitat.  Yes Charlotte, I got the blue one 🙂

keel in the trailer

keel in the trailer

The best laid plans…  Things didn’t go quite as planned while unloading.  Hit a bump and the wheels stopped but the keel didn’t.  Yanked the nails right out.

wheels fell off

wheels fell off

ALL the wheels came off.   I muscled it over to a temporary pallet so I could repair the wheels.  I’m glad somebody invented the lever.

moving to temp pallet

moving to temp pallet

 

wheels repaired and pallet re-loaded

wheels repaired and pallet re-loaded

It turns out it isn’t that hard to move the keel around one side at a time.  I can’t even pick up one end, but I can slide it over – that’s all I needed.

Soon to be joined….  stay tuned.

Catalina 22 and keel

Catalina 22 and keel

(OK, not so soon, I have a lot of projects going on right now)

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