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Hey, you're in the home improvement zone--YOUR HANDYMAN ZONE!

Doors and Components Category

Improvement Project:

How to install a doorknob lockset.

Tools / Materials (See Below for Applicability):

  • Doorknob lockset (should come with template and screws)

  • Power drill with the appropriate drill bit (1" spade bit), and 2 1/8" hole saw

  • 2 carpenter's clamps (preferably C-Clamps)

  • Scraps of wood (2 small pieces)

  • Carpenter's chisel

  • Screwdriver

  • Hammer

  • Tape

  • Awl

  • Pencil

  • Grease pencil

  • Lipstick

Guide:

A primary component of a door is its doorknob lockset.  Installing a doorknob lockset may seem difficult at first, given all the precision holes that must be made in a door, but with the right tools and determination, it can easily be done.

Caution: When dealing with sharp objects, such as a power drill, make sure you take precautions; read all product manufacturer instructions.

Installing a doorknob lockset can be done in a few steps, and here's how:

  1. Tape the doorknob lockset paper template to the door, per the doorknob lockset manufacturer's instructions, around 37 to 40 inches from the floor.

  2. With either a sharp pencil or awl, mark the hole center points, per the manufacturer's instructions, through the taped-on template and onto the door underneath such a template.

  3. Upon making the necessary marks and then removing the template off the door, with a power drill attached with the appropriate hole saw, drill in the lockset hole through the door, using the appropriate center-point marking made earlier as your guide.

  4. Next, use the power drill attached with the appropriate spade bit to drill in the lockset bolt hole, using the appropriate marking made earlier as your guide.

  5. Insert the lockset bolt mechanical assembly into the newly made lockset bolt hole.

  6. Then, with the mechanical assembly of the lockset inserted, on top of this lockset bolt hole found on the edge of the door, place the lockset bolt plate in position and make an outlining of this plate and markings of where the plate screws will go with a pencil.

  7. In preparation to chisel out a recessed frame/mortise for the permanent placement of

     

    the lockset bolt plate, temporarily remove the mechanical assembly of the lockset and put two scrap pieces of wood on the door--one on each side of the door--that make up the sides of the lockset bolt hole, securing such pieces of scrap with two clamps; make sure the clamps do not block the view/access to the outlining of the lockset bolt plate.  (The clamps will be properly screwed tight when the screw swivel and metal protection pad of each clamp have scrap pieces of wood in between them and the actual surface of the door.)  The whole purpose of clamping on scrap pieces of wood around the door sides of where the lockset bolt plate will be secured is to prevent any possible splintering of the wooden door when chiseling.

  8. With the clamps securely in place, use a chisel and hammer to chisel out the outlining of the lockset bolt plate so as to make a recessed frame in the side edge of this door for the permanent flush placement of the lockset bolt plate.

  9. Having chiseled out the recessed frame for the lockset bolt plate, next use a power drill with the appropriate drill bit to drill in pilot holes that will ultimately be occupied by screws that secure the lockset bolt plate.

  10. Reinsert the lockset bolt mechanical assembly into the newly made lockset bolt hole and follow this by the flush placement of the lockset bolt plate into its recessed frame/mortise; secure the lockset bolt plate by screwing in the appropriate screws through the previously made pilot holes with a screwdriver.

  11. Attach the exterior and interior doorknobs (and any exterior handle plate) to the door by inserting them into position of the lockset hole, making the appropriate internal connections with the already-inserted mechanical assembly of the lockset, and screwing in the appropriate screws of the doorknobs with a screwdriver; read the lockset manufacturer's instructions for any additional, relevant information.

  12. Mark the end of the latch that sticks out of the lockset with either lipstick or a grease pencil, then retract this latch by turning the knob.  While still holding onto the knob so as to keep the latch retracted, completely shut the door so that the door is normally aligned with its door frame (as normally is the case when shut). With the door shut, release the doorknob so that the latch can be released and inherently make its marking on the corresponding latch door frame to determine where you will need to make your next cut; you may need to retract and then release the latch several times while the door is shut in order to get a good marking (with the latch that, again, has been covered with either lipstick or a grease pencil).

  13. Open the door with the latch retracted again by turning the knob in the process.

  14. Take the strike plate of the lockset and place it on the latch door frame side where the lipstick- or grease-covered latch of the lockset made its marking; the marking should be visible in the center of the opening of this strike plate, as this marking is the center of where a hole will be bored for the latch when the door is properly closed. With the strike plate placed as so on the latch door frame side, make an outlining of this plate with a pencil, and use either the same pencil or an awl to make markings of where the plate screws will go.

  15. Use the power drill again, with the appropriate drill bit, to drill a hole in the latch door frame, using the latch marking on the frame made in the previous step as a guide.  This hole should be 7/8 of an inch in diameter and 1/2 of an inch deep to ensure that the latch will fit in the door frame when the door is completely shut (and the latch is released).

  16. Using practically the same method to chisel out a recessed frame/mortise for the permanent placement of the lockset bolt plate, now chisel out a thinner recessed frame/mortise for the permanent placement of the strike plate on the latch door frame, following the previous outline of such a plate as a guide in the process.

  17. Having chiseled out the recessed frame/mortise for the strike plate, as may be necessary, put the strike plate back on the latch door frame side where it should be to remark the markings where the plate screws will go with a sharp pencil or an awl.

  18. Next, drill the pilot holes in the latch door frame, using the appropriate hole markings as guides.

  19. Place the strike plate into its recessed frame/mortise, making sure that the plate is relatively flush with the rest of the surface of the latch door frame; secure the strike plate by screwing in the appropriate screws through the previously made pilot holes with a screwdriver.

That's how to install a doorknob lockset.

Ed the Handyman

            &

Your Handyman Zone Team

 

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