January 31st, 2004



Ever have one of those days where you start a little project, only to discover it's really a big project?

It was supposed to be simple enough. I was going to add some weather stripping to the side door, and replace the lockset. The old locksets on my house weren't the greatest, plus not only didn't the keys for the front and side door match, but I never even got a front door key when I bought the house. So I picked up a pair of matching sets at Lowe's a while back, and I replaced the front door set a couple weeks ago, easy peasy.

The side door gets most of the use so that set was in worse shape, and I'd had a hard time getting it to latch lately. Anyhow, I put in the new weather stripping and then set to work on the lockset. It's normally an easy job. My house isn't that old, so the old set was standard, so I just had to take it out and install the new one. That took fifteen minutes. Installed the side plate, and then closed the door to try it all out.

And it didn't latch. Huh?

Looked at the side plate, and noticed that it wasn't lining up with the latch pin depthwise. I'd installed it using the old screw holes, and they were too close to the outer edge of the door. Got the drill, made some new holes about a quarter inch nearer to the inside, screwed the plate back in... and it still didn't latch. What the frell?

Go find a flashlight and have a peek. Turns out that the side plate is a good quarter inch too high, too! I'm amazed the old set was latching at all. Maybe that's why it was so loose. It was the only way it could latch up. Sheesh.

Took the plate off, and now there was much more to do than just redrilling the holes again. The set wouldn't even latch to the hole behind the plate. Two possibilities here. Either the door had come out of alignment quite a bit as the house settled over the years, although it doesn't really look like it, or else the builders had their heads incredibly far up their asses when they built the house, which seems more likely given some of the other things I've found.

Since even the hole didn't line up, it meant I had to enlarge it, which gave me the rare opportunity to try to control a router while holding it sideways pn an uneven surface. Joy. Got the hole routed without any major damage to any thing else, then cleaned up the area with a chisel to get everything to fit. The I drilled new holes, and reinstalled the side plate. This time everything worked, and now the sidedoor both latches and seals. Plus now I have one key that works both the front and side doors. Go me!
  • Current Music
    "Done with Bonaparte" -- Mark Knopfler