Mailbox: Solution to Soggy Mail

I don’t know about you, but I prefer my mail dry. It helps with the readability. My house comes with a mail slot in the door that was poorly designed. The entry slot on the outside of the house leads to a vertical chute with an exit slot at the bottom on the inside wall. So the mail has to pass two 90 degree bends before reaching its destination: our floor. Unfortunately the mailman can’t always get all the letters and magazines past both bends, so half of the mail ends up jammed in the slot and the other half is left hanging outside, exposed to the elements.  I am only leasing this place, so it’s not worth it to knock out the wall and make a proper mail slot. I decided to utilize the railing along the entryway landing and stairs and hang a mailbox. Not a super technical or novel idea, but it was still fun to make!


  • mailbox (standard front-door with the red flag works well)
  • (4) 1-1/2″ u-bolts w/ nuts & rectangular washers
  • rubber washers (or a sheet of rubber to cut your own)
  • 3/8″ wide rubber foam weather seal
  • heavy duty duct tape
  • scissors
  • exacto knife
  • 2 crescent wrenches


1. I used 2 u-bolts to hang the mailbox from the railing. I needed to wrap the u-bolts with something so mailbox wouldn’t slide around and keep the mailbox level and not hang tilted out from the railing. First, I wrapped the u-bolts very tightly with the weather seal. It was easiest to do this with thin weather seal rather than thick or wide weather seal. Wrap slowly to make sure the seal is as tight as possible and layer about 3 times (depending on the thickness of your railing). Repeat on 1 more u-bolt.

2. Wrap both the u-bolts with a few layers of duct tape so it can withstand getting wet without getting the weather seal underneath completely soggy.

3. If you can’t find rubber washers snug enough to fit around the u-bolt legs, then cut out some from the sheet of rubber. I cut mine to be about 1in in outer diameter (I used a spare wooden dowel as a template).

4. Assemble the u-bolts together. In order from left to right: u-bolt, nut, metal rectangular washers, rubber washer, rubber washer, metal rectangular washer, nut. The mailbox wall will fit inbetween the rubber washers.

5. The mailbox was easiest to hang by its long side on the railing. Drill 2 sets of holes into the mailbox at 1/3L and 2/3L of the total mailbox length(L). Both sets of holes should sit at 1/2H of the total mailbox height (H). The holes should be drilled to fit the u-bolts. Make sure to measure the railing to confirm the u-bolts will be able to hang 1/3L apart. If not, adjust the distance to space the u-bolts as evenly as possible.

6. Assemble the mailbox on the railing. The u-bolt, nut, rectangular metal washer and 1 set of rubber washers should be on the outside.

7. The other set of rubber washers, rectangular metal washers and nuts should be on the inside.

8. Tighten the nuts against each other with the wrenches so that there is a really tight seal between the rubber washers and the mailbox. This will prevent the mailbox from getting rusted out where the u-bolts go through.

Voila! You now have a mailbox that will keep your mail nice and dry! Enjoy your reading – smudge and wrinkle free!


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