Home>Discussions>DOORS & WINDOWS>Plugging front door mail slot
5 posts / 0 new
Last post
thekarat
Plugging front door mail slot

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I could plug the pass-through mail slot in my solid wood front door?
If possible I'd like it to be hidden, as if it were never there.

(Some have suggested putting a kick plate over it and adding house numbers on top- but I'd prefer to fill it in with wood (if possible) and paint over the whole door. Plus if I used a kick plate on the outside, I couldn't finish off the inside of the door without it looking like a crafter's quick fix.)

Thank you for any suggestions. Just bought the home, my 1st, so money is tight and buying a new door isn't an option right now. If I have to live with the draft for now then I'll just deal. Thanks!

A. Spruce
Re: Plugging front door mail slot

Unless you have some fairly substantial woodworking skills and at least a basic set of tools, there is nothing you can do to make it disappear. Even then, with seasonal expansion and contraction, the patch will likely crack and be visible in short order anyway.

You could leave the slot there, which won't change the aesthetics of the door, and fill the void with foam rubber that you can buy from a craft or fabric store.

dj1
Re: Plugging front door mail slot

A piece of wood to fill in the space requires good backing. Without some sort of good backing it will collapse. As mentioned above, some woodworking skills will be needed to do this, yet results will not be guaranteed.
Another option is to hang a flag on the opening.

thekarat
Re: Plugging front door mail slot

I should have thought about the wood swelling/contracting and showing cracks around the edges- especially with such high humidity here in Savannah, GA. Thanks for the replies.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Plugging front door mail slot

If you make a patch of the same species and close to the same grain orientation, it will shrink and expand exactly with the rest of the door. You would need a router and some chisels, a saw, a plane and some sandpaper.
Rout out a grave for a 1/4" or 3/8" thick patch so there is a larger gluing area and the edge of the patch makes contact on it's back corners all around. The grave can be about 3/8" bigger on all sides than the hole. A router with a mortise bit will give you a grave of reliably even depth all around, but you may want to use a guide to get the edges straight and parallel. You can square off the corners with a chisel, or round over the corners of the patch.
Cut the patch for a friction fit, apply the glue, and pound it in with a mallet and a block of wood, not too hard to split the patch. Repeat on the other side. If you want, you can cut a coarser plug of wood to fill in the volume inside and attach that before or after cutting the graves.
Plane and sand the patch perfectly flush, without going into the original material because a dish will be obvious when painted with shiny paint or varnish.
Casey

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.