Lesson 8: Installing Deadbolts - Part 5

Retrofitting a deadbolt into a pre-existing hole.

Retrofitting a deadbolt is when you install a deadbolt into a whole that was drilled for another lock. Often you will retrofit a deadbolt when you are replacing another deadbolt. Sometimes retrofitting a deadbolt is a simple process of dissembling the old lock and assembling your own. Other times the holes cut into the door do not work with the lock you are retrofitting. To make it work you need to adjust the holes to work with your deadbolt.

To begin retrofitting the door, wrap the installation jig around the preixisting hole and mark the door in the same way you would when installing a deadbolt. Once you have removed the jig and put on your safety gear, begin grinding out the marked area until the lock fits onto the door. Once the lock has been assembled on the door you need to check if the bolt engages with the frame. If it does not, you need to grind the part of the frame down until the bolt slides in and out smoothly.

The best way to mark a part of the frame that is catching is to use the lipstick trick. If a bolt hole marker won’t do the job, apply lipstick to the bolt. Draw out the bot, rub lipstick on the end of it, draw in the latch and close the door. Now using the thumbturn or the key, attempt to draw out the bolt several times. The lipstick will leave a mark on the part of the frame that it is catching. Grind this away until the bolt draws smoothly.

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