The pole in this image holds up a regular mail box. You can see where the 4 screw holes are. This pole is cemented into the ground and has been untreated for over 10 years. This is in Phoenix Arizona so hot and dry most of the time. I've given this pole a heavy drenching of boiled linseed oil and will leave that to soak in for a couple of days.

How can I EASILY repair and reinforce those holes and cracks in the wood? I was thinking of using a syringe and injecting wood glue into the holes and cracks and then clamping the brace in place after reattaching. I also thought of spraying Gorilla Glue in there because the blast of the spray would penetrate deep.

I know that there are other solutions like rebuilding with wood. I wanted to keep this one simple and specific and try and work out a good solution that will make those holes reusable in those positions without moving where the mail box brace goes.


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    Guy, you really should have sought help before drenching this in BLO. That can directly prevent certain further remedial action (e.g. consolidating with penetrating epoxy). But I concur at least in part with @EliIser, the top of the post looks like it's toast. So one good option is to scarf in new material to the top, however this isn't the easiest thing to do, and do well so that the repair is as structurally sound as poss.
    – Graphus
    Commented Mar 28, 2021 at 9:36
  • I absolutely shouldn't have used BLO until after I had a solution for those holes. I wasn't thinking that far ahead. I was really thinking about how I could prevent the pole from weathering any further at that point.
    – Guy
    Commented Mar 29, 2021 at 0:01
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    The good news is that if the wood has enough substance to glue in dowels for new screw holes, or be drilled through for bolts, as per the chosen Answer, the BLO should not/won't interfere with either of those. The linseed will have sunk in only where it can, but if there is enough substance in the wood in the interior of the post to take dowels that means it won't be that absorbent — just as new wood isn't. Oil penetration into sound wood is surprisingly shallow (less than a 64th in many cases) except on the end grain.
    – Graphus
    Commented Mar 29, 2021 at 5:41
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    Something that occurred to me late, does the mailbox need to remain at exactly the same height for convenience of you and the postman? If there's some wiggle room there the top could be sawn off, down to where the wood is basically unaffected, and that becomes the new post top. Regardless of whether you keep the post as-is with any of the fixes suggested in the Answer or can cut it down, some treatment of the end grain would be advisable to extend service life — it is water absorption into the end grain (which is akin to the open ends of straws) that is chiefly responsible for the decay here.
    – Graphus
    Commented Mar 29, 2021 at 5:49

1 Answer 1


Frankly, that post looks like it has served its days. I would replace it.

However, to try and extend its life, I think the simplest solution would be to drill out the existing holes, glue in dowels and re-drill to accept the screws. Use an exterior grade wood glue (such as Titebond III) or even construction adhesive (like Liquid Nails or PL-Premium). Note that the holes for the dowels don't have to be particularly accurate.

I would caution that your application of BLO might prevent a good glue bond for any repairs. You might have to wait several weeks for the BLO to fully cure before glue will adhere to the wood.

An alternative solution that doesn't require gluing or reinforcing the existing holes is moving from screws to through bolts of similar diameter. Simply drill the existing holes all the way through. Don't forget to use large washers on the wood side.

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    It wouldn't be a bad idea to cap and/or cut the top of that post (if it is exposed) so that it isn't flat at the top.
    – user5572
    Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 12:58

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