Mail Truck Bank Plan
Build this nostalgic Mail Truck Bank and capture the imagination of a child!
This easy-to-build plan uses our Solid Brass Mailbox Door (#55358) to commemorate the stalwart little truck that kept America’s mail moving during the 1920s.
Build the Basic Body
Step 1.
Cut the fenders and sides to dimension as indicated in Bill of Materials. We recommend using cherry, although the truck looks good in walnut, too. Stack cut these pieces with double-faced tape, then sand surfaces to lines.

Step 2. Transfer the full-sized Window pattern to the top face of the stacked sides. Scrollsaw the window to shape. Dado the inside face of each side where shown on the Side drawing. Reset the fence, and cut a 3/8" wide rabbet to the same depth along the inside bottom edge of the two sides. Finish sand both faces of the sides. Now transfer the full size fender pattern to the stacked fender pieces. Cut to size, sand to shape. Then, glue and clamp a fender to each outside face, aligning the ends of the parts. Make sure you have the fenders oriented correctly (larger wheel well forward). After glue has dried, sand the fenders flush with the contoured end of the sides.

Step 3. Cut the floorboard and cab wall to dimension. To minimize wood movement problems, cut the cab wall with the grain running horizontally. Finish sand floorboard and cab wall. Dry assemble these two parts with the sides, and check for fit (seat the cab wall in the dadoes and the floorboard in the rabbet). Now glue and assemble the parts. Check for squareness, then clamp.
Make the Hood and Radiator Assembly
Step 1. Cut hood from 2" thick stock. Move your tablesaw rip fence to the side of the blade opposite its direction of tilt, then set it 2-1/8" from the blade.Tilt the blade to 45º, and chamfer one of the top edges of the hood blank. Turn the blank end for end, and chamfer the other top edge. Crosscut a 23/4" long hood from the blank. Trace one end of hood onto 5/16" thick contrasting stock (we used a scrap of rosewood).

Step 2. Bandsaw the radiator to shape. Adhere radiator to the front end of the hood using double-faced tape, then sand it flush with the hood on all edges.

Remove the radiator from the hood. Using a marking gauge, scratch a line 3/8" in from all edges of the radiator. Scrollsaw inside the line to remove the waste. File to the line.
Step 3. Grille is a piece of fiberglass screen patch.Make a paper template, hold/tape to screen and cut to size. Be careful to use a sharp scissors, or the “fabric” will fray.
Step 4. Drill holes in the hood for the steering-wheel column and headlights (see Hood drawing). Lay out a centered dowel hole on each headlight. Clamp each one into a handscrew clamp laid flat on the drill press table, set the depth stop, and drill a 1/8" hole 3/8" deep. Glue the steering wheel to the column, then glue the column into its hole. Cut two 3/4" lengths of 1/8" dowel, and

glue one into each headlight. Glue the dowels into the hood, and level the headlights.

Add the Seats, Bumpers and Axle Blocks
Step 1. To make the seat parts, cut a 12" strip of 1/4" x 1" stock. We chose cherry, but walnut works well also. Cut a 4" strip from the blank, and set it aside for the seat base. Rout a 1/8" roundover along one edge of the remaining blank, and use it for the seat bench and back.

Step 2.
Measure the cab interior, then cut the three seat parts 1/8" too long. Using a stopblock on your miter-gauge extension, trim the parts to fit snugly. Next, glue the seat base to the bench and the bench to the back where shown on the Seat Assembly drawing. Apply glue to the cab wall and to the bottom edge of the seat base, then maneuver the assembled seat into position without smearing the glue.

Step 3.
Cut each bumper to dimension (we used rosewood), then bandsaw a 3/8" x 3/4" notch in the back edge at each end where shown on the Bumper drawing. Lay out a 1" partial radius on each end of the front edge, then sand these radii to the line. Drill two 1/16" shank holes through each bumper. Center and glue a bumper to each end of the floorboard. Using the shank holes as guides, drill pilot holes into the floorboard. Now, drive 1-1/4" brads, set them, and fill the holes.

Step 4. Crosscut two 4" long axle blocks. On one end of the blocks, locate and mark a point 3/8" from one edge and centered side to side. Use this point to position a tall fence and stopblock on your drill-press table. Clamp each block to the fence and stopblock. Meas-ure the true diameter of your axle pegs, then drill an axle-peg hole 1-1/4" deep in both ends.

Step 5.
After you’ve positioned the wheels vertically, place the body on a work table that allows you to view it from both sides without moving it.Set the body on the assembled blocks and wheels, then maneuver the wheels to center them horizontally in the wells. Now, adjust the wheels on the opposite side to center them. Then make a pencil mark on the floorboard along one edge of each block. Turn the body upside down, and use a try square to scribe a perpendicular line at each pencil mark. Align the blocks with these lines. Center them from side to side, then glue and clamp them to the floorboard.

Assemble the Hood and Door to the Body

Step 1. Center the hood on the front of the floorboard so its back end is flush with the back edge of the cab posts. Make faint pencil marks to mark this location, then temporarily adhere the hood to the floorboard with double-faced tape. Drill and countersink four shank and pilot holes — two in front of the axle block, two behind it — through the bottom face. Remove the hood, peel off the tape, and set the hood aside for now.

Step 2.
Position the mailbox door in the back opening with its bottom edge resting on the bumper. Mark the four screw-hole locations for the mounting brackets with a short pencil. We found it necessary to “drill” holes using the #4 x 3/8" screws themselves, which is not an elegant solution. However, the mounting brackets on the door will conceal any tear-out.

Make the Roof, then Add the Coin Slot

Step 1. Rip and crosscut the roof to dimension. Using a 1/4" roundover bit, rout the ends and then the edges. Lay out the coin slot where shown on the Roof drawing. Using a fence on your drill-press table, drill overlapping 3/8" holes to rough out the slot. File or scrollsaw the slot edges flat. Now, finish sand the roof.

Step 2.
Center the roof on top of the body, then mark its location faintly on the underside. Apply glue to the top edges of the body, position the roof, then gently clamp.

Step 3.
To make the cab and door fillers, cut a 3/8" x 3/4" x 12" blank. Then crosscut a 31/2" long piece for the cab filler; trim it to fit snugly between the top front ends of the cab. Next, lay out a 5" radius arc on the bottom edge, centering it 3/16" from either end. Sand the arc to shape. Now, finish sand the cab filler, then glue and clamp it to the underside of the roof.

Finish and Final Assembly
Step 1. Apply a hardening oil finish to the truck, hood assembly, wheels and axle-peg heads. Wipe off the excess according to the manufacturer’s instructions, then repeat. After the second coat has dried overnight, apply a coat of paste wax to the exterior surfaces.

Step 2. Attach the floorboard using flathead wood screws. Next, mount the door in its opening. Fit each wheel with an axle peg and washer, then drive the pegs into their holes in the axle blocks. Check the action to make sure the wheels turn freely but don’t wobble.