Step 3: step 3 The first course and after

Dry fit (called dry bonding) the first two courses of bricks, alternating the stacks so you know how to lay them down. The next thing to do, is to mix your mortar. Open 2 of the 6 bags of Quickrete Mortar mix (containing sand) and pour them into your wheelbarrel. (only two at this point because you don't want your mortar to set up (harden) before you can use it) Pour in water per package instructions and begin to mix with a shovel until the consistency of heavy oatmeal and there are no more dry particles. Spread mud around the edge of your base (two blocks) using your trowel be sure to spread the mud out to the edge of the block about the width of a brick. Begin laying bricks atop the mud (don't push them down too far at first, it's better to have too much mud under them before leveling, than not enough, too much and you can tap them down removing the excess squeezed out mortar with your trowel, too little mud and you have to remove the brick, relay your mortar and basically start over) Lay each brick on the course before using the level at the end, start from your first corner layed and level each side all the way around in a circle, gently tapping the top of the level with the handle of your trowel to get each brick to "settle" downward. Keep going all the way around your course leveling and tapping until you have done your first corner over again. Next level from corner to corner, then use your square to check the corners, gently tapping the brick with the handle of the trowel to move them slowly. To double check the square, measure the distance diagonally with a tape measure, both measurements should be equal corner to corner. You want approximately 3/8" joint between courses and between bricks (bed joints horizontal and head joints vertical) Congratulations, you've just layed the first course of your new mailbox! Now continue up to the next course by spreading mud and laying down a new course of brick, level, square, continue.
<p>I love the look of masonry, and this looks easy enough to do! I've even got some bricks leftover from a recent project, so now I have something to do over the weekend. Thanks for sharing this fun idea! www.bouldermasonryltd.ca</p>
<p>This is a great, thorough, and well-documented Instructable! I would love to see you post some more masonry projects. I'm sure there's a lot that I could learn!</p>
Thanks for the post, I'll always been fascinated with all of the <a href="http://www.redrobinmasonry.com" rel="nofollow">masonry work in Toronto</a> right by my home. And now I have an amazing mailbox that I can call my own. Booya!
Excellent pictures. very easy to follow. Thanks!
Another way to make the job easier would be by using Mortar Joint Spacers. They help keep everything level and at the perfect 3/8&quot; mortar joint. <br>http://www.BlockandBrickSpacer.com
Very very good instructable. Care was obviously shown for safety, aesthetics, and quality. I'm extremely impressed. Not to mention, the number and purpose of pictures was great. I'm handy but not experienced and although I won't be attempting this anytime soon, I may recommend it to my parents =)<br><br>Regardless, for a tech/language junkie, this was a fun and informative read!
Now your mail will be protected by fire!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wow! Great Instructable! I have never attempted to do any type of masonry before, but this looks to be very do-able with hubby's help. I found this while looking for things to build with some free new bricks I found at a local dump. We found a mail box there too. So we can combine the two and use your instructable to make a great mailbox. Ours is in much need of replacing as it has about 10 small bullet holes in it from when some friends got rowdy with a hand gun one night. Would a plastic mail box work or would it need to be metal? Thanks so much for a great tutorial and lots of photos! They helped very much with some of the lingo!
Plastic mailbox should work just fine. Most of the pressure is supported by the bricks. Please make sure you follow all steps carefully for safety reasons and check with your local post office to find out about any rules or restrictions. Good luck!
I've always lacked the confidence to tackle anything like this, but after seeing your step by step guide, I'm going to have a go!! if this project is successful, Id like to tackle a piazza oven, do you know of any web sites that have a similar step by step guide?
I've never seen another masonry tutorial. It's a pretty protected trade. Please remember when you do your project (if you can't get it all done in a day, joint all the seams you have finished that day! It's very important that you do this, once they set up you can't finish them out nicely) Thanks for the comment and good luck! Leave a comment with any questions you may have and we'll try to get back to you quickly.
Did u get postmasters consent?
The pictures and directions are great. My mailbox was stolen three times. I have not worked with brick before, but grew up watching my dad make BQ pits and walls at our cabin. After reading your instructions, I am prepared to make the brick purchase. I will have to buy a few of the tools. You were very kind to post your skill of brick mailbox creating. Thank you. I will send you a picture when I am done.
I think you will be pleased with the result and save a lot of money in the process! Please make sure you follow all the steps, many are there for safety as well as cosmetics. (i.e. level and plum) Hope it all goes well for you. If you have any questions, shoot us a message and we'll try to help as best we can. And we would love to see pics of yours when you get done. Good Luck!
Looks great! I want to make 6' hi driveway entrance columns and have two 20" x 20" pads already. I assume with that height I need to fill the center as you did? I need space in the middle for electrical wiring and a couple of electrical boxes on the outside. I guess I could run the wires thru 8"x8"x16" standard cement blocks in the column centers?
It is aggravating as heck, especially when people hit your mail box on purpose, but in many places, like along side State Highways, it is against the law to have a super strong mail box post. You can be liable for significant damages as a result of an accident. Sort of like getting sued by a thief because he got hurt while robbing your house.
nice I like the look of it this is something we need to do lol<br/><br/>cars (college kids mostly) like to hit our mail box with their cars <sup>.</sup> our mail box has been broken off at the very bottom 3 or 4 times. he he he just wait when I switch the wood post for brick :P who's laughing now :]<br/>
Downside is if they do hit it it could get knocked over any way, my suggestion, dig a deep hole, needs to go below frost layer anyway, then put in an I beam, with a wood veneer, concrete in and wait for the resounding crunch... Or you could mount the mailbox on a large counter sprung mechanism so it's perfectly upright until a car hits it and it leans over, it might work...
maybe I could put my mailbox right next to our ditch :P
Ha, ha, no kidding. We did this one because the last one was hit more times than anyone could count. It was a huge bumper magnet! The final hit took it out good. But it did give us a good Instructable, LOL.
This is an excellent instructable, with very helpful pictures all along. I may try to make one of these for my mom after seeing such an easy to follow guide.
Hey thanks for the comment. You are welcome to contact us at any time with any questions if you are going to build one yourself. I think we did a pretty good job showing how to do it. My husband does make it look easy but it is a lot of work, although it's well worth it in savings. He built this one in a day but If you have to stop in the middle of it and do the rest the next day be sure to finish out all the joints with the jointer and brush before stopping. You can't finish them if the mud has set up already.
Nice instructable, love all the info in the pictures. Now come build one at my house.
It's about time someone put up an Instructable on building with brick, I've done a few jobs myself and this Instructable tells it like it is, it's all there. Good Luck to you.

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Bio: I am a mixed media artist living in the Ozarks with my family. I have been published in many magazines including the cover of Sew ... More »
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