Letterbox/Letter plate aperture wrong?


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Established Member
12 Feb 2021
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Hi all,
I sourced a polished brass letter plate for an upcoming job for a external front door and I was making a jig to router it out and decided to test fit it to a piece of scrap before going ahead.
I have made the cut-out to the exact size it needs to be in order to allow for the opening spring and room for the flap to open inwards.

My question is the letterbox doesn't seem to have any overhang at the top of the cut out? - I'm not sure if I'm being a wally, but in my opinion this is awful and won't last if the door shrinks/changes in the weather. Let alone if it rains, water will just soak into the cut out?

I have about 1mm overhang between the top of the letterbox and the top section of the cut out. This can't be right, but looking around on the internet at other letterboxes, they all seem pretty similar in design.

What are my options, what is your advice?
Photos -
It's a poor design, but not unusual for fancy-looking door furniture. You could cut tighter to the hinge pin with a bit of easing for the hinge lugs to give a bit more overlap, but it'll never be brilliant.
It might help to show a picture of the back of the letterbox with it closed and with it open. Maybe include a straight edge in that picture to represent your MDF template.

Could you file 1.5mm off the top of the hinges without loss of structural integrity?
I hate dealing with letter plates because many are like this.

About all you can do is make the opening big enough for the flap to open but ignore the spring etc at the top, then make cut outs/rebates in just the front face of the door the minimum you can for the spring etc, the pin it all pivots on is normally a bit lower than the spring. It will look untidy until you put the letter plate on to cover it.

I generally try to talk people out of a letter plate in their door unless they go for a good one that has a sleeve and letter tidy built in.

Will it still work if you install it upside down?

You will be sued by every postie that visits your house and breaks her/his fingers ramming them into something solid in the place where the flap normally opens.