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Letterbox: Fitting instructions


Letterboxes everywhere are flapping in the wind, letting the heat of our houses out into the atmosphere, and making a racket. If only we could get around to fixing that flapper we could cut down on noise polution and avoid the terrors of Global Warming at a stroke. But...

When you look at the thing there's no visible means of support, and attacking it with a toolkit is a risk when it could snow tomorrow.

In fact all letterboxes, young and old alike, are held in place by just two screws. One on either side. Once you have your new letterbox in hand fitting it is the work of a couple of minutes with a screwdriver. Here's how...

1. Remove the old letterbox

First remove the old letterbox. It will be held in place by two screws, one at each side of the slot. The screws are always screwed in from the inside, and will be behind the flap. If you have a draught seal (looks like two brushes inside the letterbox) this will probably be in front of the screws, so you will have to fiddle around in your brush until you find the screw heads.


2. Measure your hole

There is no standard size for the hole in your door. There should be, but there isn't. You might have bought a new letterbox already, based on the external size of the old one, but the best advice is to measure the hole now and fit to that. Its the only way to be sure. Measure the height and width in mm and then use my Statistics and Measurements page to make sure the letterbox you want will fit.

It is possible to enlarge the hole a bit if needed, depending on the materials of your door and your dexterity. My advice is to get a letterbox which will fit. Its also worth checking the thickness of the door.

Unlike the dimensions of the hole, it is not too hard to accommodate doors which are too thin or too thick. If your door is thinner than about 36mm you will probably find that the sleeve on the letterbox is too deep, so you don't get a firm grip on the door. You can solve this by cutting it down slightly with a hacksaw. If your door is very thick, you may also find that the standard screws are too short. The screw lengths vary on different models, but are usually 45mm long. If you need longer screws than this contact me and I can send them out.


3. Place the inside piece

The back one goes in first, it should fit easily into the hole. Note the white weather seal in the picture. In fact you don't need a weather seal on the inside, but some letterboxes have them just for good measure.


4. Pushing the screws through the holes

The two screws fit in from the back. There is a hole on either end of the letterbox to accommodate them.


5. The screws attach to the front piece

Then the tricky bit. You have to reach around the door, while still holding the back side in place, and push the front of the letterbox set into place. There are two holes to receive the screws. If you have someone else around to hold this in place while you tighten up it helps.


6. You might have to shorten the screws

Sometimes the screws are too long. Note that they generally have a couple of spaces in the thread to allow you to cut them down if you need to. This might be needed if your door is thinner than average.