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Old-House Online » Old-House Tips, Restoration Stories, & More » Repairs & How To » One-Day Project: Install a Mail Slot

One-Day Project: Install a Mail Slot

Add convenience and charm by putting a mail slot in your front door. By the OHJ Editorial Staff

    Mail slotAdding a mail slot to your front door will not only offer convenience—no more dashing to the mailbox in bad weather—but will also boost the homey appeal of your entryway. When you’re installing the slot, remember to put it within easy reach for mail carriers; on paneled doors, install it in the lock (middle) rail, never a panel. Here’s how to do it.

    Step 1

    Use a tape measure to find the door’s exact center, and mark it with a pencil. Then measure and mark the slot’s center point. Align the two, then measure from the floor to the sides of the slot to ensure that it’s placed evenly. Trace around the slot with a pencil. Turn the slot over and measure the interior flap, including the distance from the outside edge; transfer to the door.

    Measure the mail slot

    Step 2

    Connect the dots on these measurements to create a rectangle inside your slot tracing. Use a drill to make four holes just inside the corners of the inner flap marking.

    Drill the hole for the mail slot

    Step 3

    Close the door, put shims beneath it to absorb the weight, and gently tap up on the hinge pins to remove it, then place it on a raised, flat work surface. Use a jigsaw to carefully cut along the center flap mark and remove the interior piece. Next, gently sand the edges of your cut and test to ensure that the slot fits your opening. Finally, put the door back on its hinges, slide the slot into place, and secure it with screws.

    Cut the hole for the mail slot
    Published in: Old-House Journal October 2013

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