External packages box query.

Hi there,
Long time lurker, occasional poster here.
As usual I have a query. I'm trying to build an external box to that my postie can put parcels in. I work nights you see so I'm usually asleep when the parcel guy shows up.
At the the moment I have constructed a small suitable wooden box which will be attached to the wall. It has a slant lid on a piano hinge and is looking alright. The trouble is I can't think of a way of securing the packages that wouldn't involve giving Royal Mail a key. I was thinking of a means so that the postie puts parcel in box, closes lid, pulls a lever which would lock the box and it would require a key to open. After the lever has been used it would be useless for unlocking and would require the keyholder to reset. I'm sure there must be something like this on the market or something that could be knocked up in a weekend, but I can't seem to get my head round the intricacies of it all. (I blame the night shift.)
Any ideas or links to products on the market? I'm UK based, so any products, I'd prefer to have them based here please.
Many Thanks
TR
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The traditional solution is a "magic box". The lid possesses a tray and baffles which receive the package and dump it into the box when closed. The baffles block all entry into the box when the lid is open, and the lid blocks entry when it is closed. There are no "mechanisms" except for the one moving lid/baffle arrangement.
Look closely at a street-side letter drop box for clues on how to construct a magic box. It's dead-simple.
LLoyd
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thanks - I've had "Magic Bus" in my head all morning. Haven't come up with any clever replacement lyrics for "Magic Box" yet, but I'm working on it... Andy
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
TrailRat wrote:

Just a simple idea: If it doesn't need to be big, how about some variation of the simple public mail box method. Arrange some internal spring loaded flapper that only pushes downward and key a door below.
- S
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

A house-door type lock, of the "spring-latch" rather than deadbolt variety. You leave it unlocked, you hope you can convince the postie to be nice enough to spring the latch and close the door when packages are delivered, and then you hope the package thieves are not overly determined. A lip covering the seam between door and jamb will help with the classic "credit card attack" on cheap spring locks.
--
Cats, coffee, chocolate...vices to live by

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

What we do around here is just put a box (or boxes) securely attached to the porch. They have a padlock and hasp on each. Delivery person puts the package in the box, closes lid and locks it. We get home, unlock the box and remove package. Simple.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I think the letter drop box is probably the simplest method, although it will be more than twice as large as other solutions, since the tilting carrier must be large enough for largest expected parcel, plus storage must be large enough for largest expected group of parcels.
Somehow I had gotten the idea that the mother country was a bit more civilized than the former colonials...
I live in a 1970's vintage neighborhood. We've been here a little over two years and have never had anything "go missing".
The US Postal Service leaves parcels either by the garage doors or on the front porch. FedEx Ground uses the garage door location; FedEx Express uses the front porch. UPS uses the front porch.
No, it's not a small town in middle America or a gated community with guards at the entrances - it's an unincorporated area just west of Atlanta, GA. Public transportation, two supermarkets, pharmacy, sandwich shop, mexican restaurant, cafeteria, dry cleaners, bank and more all within 1/2 mile. Lowes and HD are about 2 miles (across the road from each other). If the location sounds good, there's a house for sale across the street (brick, about 2400 sq. ft, garage, basement, ballpark price $200000). If you're interested, better jump on the opportunity - at most one house in the neighborhood goes on the market each year.
John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Many thanks for the replies.
Firstly to the subject of the civilised state of the "mother nation". Very civilised around here too and my general little slice of England is safe. It's generally hidden from view from everyday foot traffic. The box is there now to keep the weather off, the lock which I aim to add is to keep a very vindictive ex-partner from destroying or stealing my packages which I know she has been doing because I caught her at it one morning.
Now as to the ideas for securing the parcels.
The magic box is a nice idea but the box would need to be rebuilt and I wouldn't be able to make the box big enough to accommodate the mechanism.
Had a couple of DOH!!! moments at some of the ideas. The simplicity of them.
Padlock lock and hasp. Simple, efficient and cheap to fix.
A Yale "spring latch" is again genius.
Wonderful ideas. Keep them coming.
PS. Thought how to make a magic box work for my situation while I've sat here, it's if I can scale it down though.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Drop box, hasp and unlocked padlock - simple and effective.
That, and a small video camera hidden up out of reach or inside a window that covers the box area, set as a webcam to your computer inside the house.
Set the software to capture and timestamp an image whenever anything moves, and to send an IM or E-Mail alert to your cellphone when tripped with an image capture. You'll get a false alarm when the postman delivers that will tell you when the package arrived, but the next alert will be the real one.
(Audio might be a nice thing to grab too, if that won't cause legal problems. If said person talks to themselves while committing the acts of burglary and trespass you might get insight into motives.)
Hopefully you have serviceable laws over there about tampering with the mail, criminal trespass, petty theft or grand theft depending on the value of the items, etc...
--<< Bruce >>--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thu, May 10, 2007, 4:14am (EDT-3) snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com (TrailRat) <snip> Any ideas or links to products on the market? I'm UK based, so any products, I'd prefer to have them based here please.
I'd say contact the delivery people, they may have some rules on the type of box. Here in the U.S. the post office has certain standards that have to be met - height of box, distance from the road, and whatall. So they could have some rules on the size of the box, and so on. Or, tey might even have some recommendations. Who knows, they might even have an alternate solution that'll save the cost of making or buying alogether. Never hurts to ask.
JOAT What is life without challenge and a constant stream of new humiliations? - Peter Egan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Check with the Royal Mail. Odds are both that you aren't the first person with this problem and that they won't use anything they haven't approved.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.