Sorry as even I feel this looks stupid question as it seems so easy but
here I go.
Moved to a house with silly small post box, on wall next to front door, but
not big enough for larger items of mail. Hence the need to remove and put in
a conventional letter box in the door. I do limited DIY but will have a go
at things and wonder how to cut the hole so it is smooth and accurate. I
will need to buy whatever tools needed so would prefer not to have to buy
stuff that would cost as much as getting a joiner in.
Any tips would be useful?
The hole won't be visible, therefore doesn't need to be all that smooth and
accurate, you just need to avoid falling into the trap of not leaving enough
material round where the screws are going to go. Get one with a flap or
brushes etc on the inside to keep draughts down and it will hide a multitude
Mark on the door the hole you're about to cut and make sure you mark the
screw holes, to stay away from them when cutting. Is the door wooden or PVC?
If the latter, it may be a complex shaped extrusion, or there may be a steel
bracer inside, either of which will complicate matters.
Thanks for the tips and just found this video on a Google. My door is wooden
and also just found a padsaw blade that will attach to my Stanley knife as I
don't have a jigsaw. I guess it will be harder work cutting but I will have
a go. Hope I can find the solid bits of the door in the middle and not just
Having tried to do this a few years ago with a Bocsh jigsaw I would say you
are better off with a nice stiff padsaw blade and plenty of time. The
problem I found was that the jigsaw blade bends too much in thick material
like a door. The side you are working from may be nice and straight but the
other side will be all over the place as the blade bends making for a very
Just drill (making sure you keep the drill square to the door) each corner
of the hole with a bit large enough to get the padsaw blade through, then
cut between the holes. This leaves a neat hole with nice round corners.
Precise accuracy is not required for the hole. The fittings will leave a
good margin for error and the actual hole and cut need never be seen -
covered either by a flap or brushes. I think a jigsaw should be OK provided
only light pressure is applied to the blade.
Anyway good luck!
Especially if it is a hardwood door, then, IMHO, the door needs to come
off, a template made and that and a router used. But no way would I
recommend using a router with a cutting bit, to anyone who might try
using it without a template guide.
If the OP wasn't used to using a router, I'd still suggest using one but
with a large-shank 1/8" drill bit used to plunge dozens of holes into
centre-popped marks around the outline. The holes will then all be at
right angles to the wood and can be joined up with a pad saw without a
lot of effort.
Argos has a plunge router for £29.99. I use routers for loads of tasks -
I don't know how people can manage without one :)
If I had to use a jigsaw, I'd still take the door off and use a couple
of guide rails to hold the saw on track for each of the cuts. Plus use a
new *high quality* blades of the right type - so that there would be a
chance of it cutting straight. As you suggest, light pressure is
essential. But a high quality blade, with no bias to one side, makes a
lot of difference.
==========> If I had to use a jigsaw, I'd still take the door off and use a couple of
I find that once the wood gets beyond about 1" thick no matter how slow I
run the jiggle saw or how slow the feed, the blades always seem to bend &
give sloping sides.
do reverse cut blades (part numbers end in 'R') that do the business on the
up stroke and give me a squarer cut.
All depends on how 'slow' is defined I suppose.
Do you find that the blade bends when cutting thick MDF/chipboard worktops?
If so, then I would strongly suggest try screwing a guide rail either
side of the saw - so it cannot rotate at all. Then try again. I find
that, using new quality blades, gives consistently good results. Using
just one guide doesn't - at least IME.
If not, but it bends when working on real wood - does it always bend to
the same side, even if you reverse the direction of cut?
With real wood, the blade will want to bend away from knots and will
want to find the path of least resistance - only cutting very very
slowly will produce a decent job if there are knots to encounter, or you
are cutting /almost/ along the grain.
If I try and use a jigsaw freehand, the results are bloody awful..:(
Of course, YMMV.
I think it is down to technique, once the blade has gone the slightest bit
off vertical my only solution is to drill another hole & start cutting
Looks like this old dog has been taught a new trick! Never thought of using
2 guides. If I can clamp 2 guides parallel enough so as the jiggle saw
doesn't bind things should look up for the next sawdust creation excercise.
Real wood! On a pension! I don't think the trees at the end of the garden
will be ready for my ministrations in the foreseeable future.
and follow the grain. Why are trees so awkward?
as long as it is undersized a goodly bit of chiseling cures most things.
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