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Do it Yourself with Tina!
Installing a deadbolt lock
By Tina Rotolo

A deadbolt is a lock with a long bolt that reaches into a doorjamb and sometimes all the way through to the door framing. It adds security to your home, making it harder for intruders to break in through the door. You can install one yourself by following these steps:

Deadbolt1. Position the lockset. A paper template inside the lockset package can be taped to the door to help position holes on the door. The deadbolt should be 6 to 12 inches above the lockset. The template will also help determine the backset, the distance from the edge of the door to the center of the hole drilled for the deadbolt, which should be easy to determine by aligning it with the door lever or knob below. The tip of a spade bit can be used to mark the center points of the lockset and cylinder by piercing through the template.

2. Drill the holes
. A hole saw with a pilot bit is recommended. When using the hole saw to drill the large hole for the lock cylinder, the pilot bit will help keep the drill under control to ensure proper alignment. The bit also bores through the opposite side of the door before the edges of the hole saw. When it pokes through the other side, switch sides and begin drilling from the opposite face of the door. Otherwise, the wood will splinter and mar the door’s surface.
Next, a spade bit or small hole saw (typically 7/8 or 1 inch) can be used to drill the hole for the latch bolt in the door’s edge. Then, close the door and align the bolt hole on the door with the hole to be drilled for the strike plate. Trace the hole onto the doorjamb and drill the hole for the bolt.

3. Install the latch bolt
. Now insert the bolt into the hole in the door to align its square plate with the door edges. Trace the outline of the square plate onto the door with a sharp pencil. Remove the bolt and score the pencil lines with a utility knife about as deep as the thickness of the plate. Holding the chisel with the beveled edge down, cut away a mortise, or indented section where the plate will fit, so that the plate sits flush with the surface of the door edge.

4. Install the lock
. Place the latch bolt in the door and screw its plate to the edge of the door. Take care to install the screws straight so the screw heads sit flush otherwise the door may not close properly. Then install the cylinder by slipping the shaft through the latch bolt assembly and aligning it with the other half of the cylinder. Screw the two halves of the cylinder together with the long machine bolts provided with the deadbolt.

5. Install the strike plate
. Next, center the strike plate over the hole in the doorjamb with the curved edge on the inside. Trace the outline of the strike plate, score and chisel as you did with the latch plate. A strong deadbolt set will typically include long 3-inch screws to secure the strike plate into the stud behind the doorjamb. To avoid stripping the screws during installation, predrill the screw holes.
As an alternative to installing a new deadbolt, an existing deadbolt can be rekeyed so that only new keys will work; however this will require a locksmith.

Tina Rotolo is the store manager and human resource director at Cole Hardware on Polk Street. The store offers rekeying, as well as new deadbolts in many sizes and finishes, along with the tools
and materials necessary for installation. Their repair referral locksmith will be happy to help with your project. Call 415-753-2653 ext. 3 or e-mail

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