Installing Dead Bolt Locks ~ Help ~ I'm chicken, but want to TrY!?

Yes, I'm chicken ~ afraid that I could mess up my beautiful old doors. I'm afraid of taking the drastic step of drilling the 2 1/8" hole [for starters]! I've got 3 doors that need locks; they're all beautifully refinished, heartpine [house is 100yrs old]. [& I hate the idea of messing them up anyway with a newly purchased lock, but the skelton key isn't quite adequate.] These doors already have the original cut-out in the edge of the door for the skeleton key mechanism insert which holds the knob. Of course, the new Dead Bolt would be put above this.

It's curious that I'm chicken to do this, because I have done eVeRy manner of house renovation task ~ from wiring and plumbing, to roof work and carpentry!

Maybe I should hold out and hope to find an old mechanism that will fit into the existing door edge cut-out, that has a keyed [not skeleton] element.

Please, tell me I don't need to be afraid to forge forward w/dead bolt installation; and what to be careful about.

7 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Boring holes in relic doors can be a bit disconcerting without the proper tools. Most good home centers have door boring kits. It's best to take the door off the hinges to place it in a workmate vise on the edge you need to bore. Boring jigs will allow for the correct depth of the bolt and the diameter of the lockset.

    Security is the issue and not asthetics. If done correctly and the lockset model chosen from 1000s to be period appropriate you'll be happy with the work, You could call a professional lock smith to come out for around $100 plus the cost of the hardware, it may reduce your anxiety level a bit.. With a period door I'd opt that way if I wanted to be assured of work done right.

  • 1 decade ago

    OK sounds dangerous can u not practice on an old door or piece of wood then do it and try having a healthy respect for such old and beautiful doors are great. What you what to make sure of are two things. One that you get the depth of the bolt right so the throw of it sits right. Most good deadbolts will have a template to use if not just see what it say either a 2 3/8 or what ever what you have. Just measure back that distance and mark it and drill. The other thing you must watch out for is ti make sure you drill it level. Some drills will have a level bubble on them, but if not then put a torpedo level, a 10in level on top of your drill to check your progress. enjoy and pracitse

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    having a healthy respect for such old and beautiful doors are great. What you what to make sure of are two things. One that you get the depth of the bolt right so the throw of it sits right. Most good deadbolts will have a template to use if not just see what it say either a 2 3/8 or what ever what you have. Just measure back that distance and mark it and drill. The other thing you must watch out for is ti make sure you drill it level. Some drills will have a level bubble on them, but if not then put a torpedo level, a 10in level on top of your drill to check your progress. Good luck and have fun

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Read the installation instructions carefully. Make sure that the hole you cut is the proper distance from the door edge. Make sure that the matching bolt receiver is properly placed in the door frame. Use a hole saw that has a bit for accurately placing the center. There really isn't that much to it. I know you're concerned about your antique doors, but if you're careful, you'll get perfect results.

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  • 1 decade ago

    take some time to look. I have seen retrofits made for the old style mortise locks. where the old mechanism is removed and the new installed. the new Keyhole cover threads into the mechanism as does a new handle shaft trim. the other way would be to cut a block of wood to the size needed to fill in the mortise and drill two new holes for both the knob and the lock. several are available with a decorative backing plate that will cover and seal the old holes.

  • 1 decade ago

    You can do one of two things. I went to a lock smith in Las Vegas, working on old doors the client wanted to keep original. The lock-smith ordered the skeleton key locks but, they're expensive.

    Or, go to Home Depot or Lowes. They'll give you step by step instructions on "how to" the best instructions in town.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Well now how did you learn to do the wiring, plumbing and rest of the work, Take step and do it, sounds like you are able to do it,

    You can't learn unless you do it, then you be prod of yourself

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