Custom mailbox with aluminum number plates

Hi, working on a new mailbox, I designed one for my old house back in 2014 and had someone carve out the plates for me, long before I ever owned a cnc machine. Been at my new house for a while and am finally getting around to replacing the current one.
Using my past work as inspiration, I got busy in Fusion, these are side panels and a two sided topper that will fit perfectly on the same pictured aluminum XL mail box and will carve a 3rd side panel for a matching number plate for the front entry area of the house. Currently waiting on some materials to be delivered, will post more pics as I make progress carving on my new XXL Pro!
I used Comic Sans for a template, then sketched my own version over it, straightening, and spacing it to be less crooked and more even and refined with numerous scaling, height corrections, and other tweaks setup to fit a 1/16 bit in all the crevices.
I powder coat the plates then sand and polish the high spots for a great look. Lasts for years in the direct Florida sunlight…
Last to design will be a polished aluminum flag and a thumb pull I plan to carve on my Nomad 3, will see what I can come up with…


Wow, that’s super cool! I like it. I want to do this for my own house now.

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Here is a few related links…

Mayne Mail Posts

Whitehall Mailbox

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I finally had a chance to get started on this, been experimenting with using some interesting methods to remove tooling marks. Using multiple steps of .0025 depth, .02 stepover with a 3 flute 1/8th flat end mill, using perpendicular passes with simple path set. Always have to follow it up with a contour because it pushes material up against the edges of the walls. You can’t feel these ridges with your fingernail, it is smooth. One more to go for the house and a little bit of finishing work, and it is time for powdercoating!


Beautiful Max!
When cutting .0025 depth with a .02 stepover, what’s your feedrate to prevent heat buildup?

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I only had any issues in the past with aluminum when I am cutting a trench or hole deeper then 1/2". At that point I had to hook up air blast due to running over chips and causing melting.
Recently when I got the Pro and started using the included Sweepy V2, I realized that no chip can survive under it’s canopy with a 220 CFM Ridgid shop vac on the other end. I have had no issues with any heat buildup, my tools are cool to the touch between operations, and the V2Sweepy is the best dust boot I have used yet.
Here are the speeds for this machine brush op. Slow and steady, it has a lot of hops.


Looks best with a few layers removed, start at 0, then Axial stock to leave -.0025 then -.005, third time gets it very uniform and smooth.

I can’t even shave that smooth with a new razor!

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Hah well, I can see light through my caliper jaws at .0025 so does that count?

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On the number plates I had designed and commisioned many years before, the machinist used a miniature sandblaster to remove the toolmarks from the recessed area, and I am fresh out of miniature sandblasters smh.

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I don’t see any other option, I am not getting in there with sandpaper. Possibly a vibratory tank with small abrasives could do it better?
By the way, if you use this method with a cross hatch pattern using the perpendicular passes, it makes a really cool holographic style pattern that ripples in the light.

Scotch brite pad?

Need to give Guilloché/engine turning a try.

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I feel like any hand operated method will just ruin it with visible uneven surface. I never heard of Guilloché before, thank you for the suggestion, Googling.

What about a needle scaler for the texture?

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I am not sure, aluminum is so soft… Might just dig in.