This mailbox lock is installed backwards. I figured I either need to flip the lock over or flip the tailpiece.

I can pry out the "U"-shaped retaining flange to loosen the lock, but I can't get the lock out with the tailpiece still on. All the videos I found online for mailbox locks show tailpieces that are held in place with a hex locknut - this obviously does not have one (see photo). Any ideas on how to remove the tailpiece? closeup of inside of mailbox lock

  • Think the tail piece is only held on by some metal that was spread out from the square centre. A file or grinder should remove enough for it to slip off.
    – crip659
    Feb 18, 2023 at 18:39
  • 2
    What happened when you tried to get it out? You didn't try, did you? Try. Feb 18, 2023 at 18:55

1 Answer 1


Slide the U-channel straight up by maneuvering a flat blade screwdriver between its tab and the lock casing and manipulating it. Now you have a U-channel in your hand, and the lock is loosy goosy.

You are correct that the lock will not come out using exclusively isometric movement, so if you're doing this inside Minecraft, you are pretty screwed. However with the full use of 360 degree rotation in three axes like we have in the real world - well, treat it like a puzzle! You'll figure it out. The people designing this equipment are not fools, and would not have swaged it on there at the factory if it needed to come off to be installed.

  • 2
    It might help or even be necessary to have a key in the lock to enable manipulating the lock during removal of the lock. Feb 19, 2023 at 3:23
  • That was probably the problem, I was trying to do this for a neighbor and they didn't give me the key. Mar 31 at 21:16
  • Yeah, I the hole is asymmetrical, it wouldn't surprise me if that hole is shaped to frustrate removal while locked. I recall having exactly that issue actually. Apr 4 at 3:31

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