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paintdrying 12-17-2012 04:14 PM

Moving plunger strike plate on door jamb
My door, which is 36 inch steel clad over wood, has not been latching properly upon closing. After evaluating it I realized the strike plate is maybe an 1/8 of an inch off. So my question is what is the most proper way to move the plate. The strike has a lip that sets in the hole in the jamb. So I could easily enlarge the hole to accommodate the plate lip. My problem is if I move the strike a half of screw forward, how do I keep the screws from going into the old holes. I was thinking of drilling and pluging the old holes then puting the strike where I need it. My other option is to enlarge the strike plate hole. I would lose the lip which should not really matter. Can you tell me the most professional way to do this.

doyleslaughter 12-17-2012 05:50 PM

done this one many times. You have two options. Your suggestion is the easyest. Remove the sticker marking about where it is interfering. Using a small flat file remove materal until the latches catches. Sometimes you will have to test fit between filings

Second option is you can purchase oversized latches at any hardware store. However then you will have to mortize out some of the material in the jamb to make it work properly. I also recommed that you pre drill your new screw holes, you will split the wood if you don't. I have used the ones that also include the deadbolt hole if this is an exterior door. Be sure you have a sharp wood chisel if you want a pro job.

joecaption 12-17-2012 05:56 PM

Is it hitting to low? Do one or both of these simple things.
Tighten the top hinge screws, still not working then remove one and take it with you and buy a couple of 2-1/2 or 3" long one's that are the same gauge.
Moving that latch plate is the last thing you want to do.
If it's still not working come back there's still some other things you can do.

Duckweather 12-17-2012 07:23 PM

The trick we learned in school to repair screw holes or to move the screw is to use toothpicks. Dip them in glue and tap one or several into the hole, let it set up and cut them flush.

hand drive 12-17-2012 07:33 PM

^ toothpicks and golf tees work. I just whittle my own screw hole plugs and bang them in tight with a hammer and use a chisel to flush them out and then move the door strike plate to where it needs to be. As Joe mentioned a 2 1/2" screw or 3" screw the same diameter as the hinge screws, most likely a#10 for a heavier 36" door. I have seen hinge pins wear down also and the door hangs lower because of it. if there is black dust around the hinge then that is what is causing it...

mae-ling 12-17-2012 07:44 PM

is the gap arround the door and frame uniform also? Maybe things have shifted.
Had one lady whose door shifted like 1/4" on the strike plate depending on season. Got oversize strike plate with oversize hole, shortened the door 1/4", reweatherstriped, and she was golden.

jagans 12-17-2012 08:59 PM

I have to agree with Joe on this one. First question is, did it ever work right? If the answer is yes, dollar to a doughnut, The screws holding your top and middle hinges have backed out or have stripped out. If not the pins have worn the butts out. Hinges are cheap, Thats the problem they are made out of cheap chinese steel and coated with brass. Buy new butts and install them with longer screws Dip the threads in a little sealant before you run them in, or wrap the threads with some dental floss. If the strike still dosent line up come back.

paintdrying 12-17-2012 10:46 PM

I will admit the top hinge screws had worked loose. I removed one screw and ran a nice screw into the jamb. It tightened the hinge to the jamb but the hinge pin is worn. I was being a little lazy, I actually have new hinges and will put them on this week. The sight line between the strike side of jamb and door is perfect, now. The door is also plumb. The plunger hits the strike low because the jamb hole was originally drill to high. The plunger will clear but it is swinging low. This door is the start of a long list of lighting, stair building, door closer, ect. This is the main door leading into the garage of my grandma's house. so I want it to be easy to use and very safe. Thanks everyone for your help.

Maintenance 6 12-18-2012 06:30 AM

If the margin between the door and jamb is pretty uniform around all sides, then I would file out the hole in the strike plate. Relocating the strike is generally not a good idea, since no matter how many toothpicks or golf tees you glue in there, you are still not going into virgin wood with the screws. Plus you'll have to move the mortise, leaving the cut out oversized, especially if you have to move the strike plate up or down.

mae-ling 12-18-2012 10:33 AM


Originally Posted by Maintenance 6 (Post 1075116)
If the margin between the door and jamb is pretty uniform around all sides,

Yep - the top and bottom matter as well as the strike side.

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