Frank Lloyd Wright Quote

"Form follows function-that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union"

Frank Lloyd Wright

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Back Door Strike Plate

Missing Strike Plate
 The back door of the bungalow originally had a strike plate for a mortised lockset, but it was long ago filled in and made to work for a modern door latch.  The repair filler had cracked and allowed the strike plate to loosen, and it eventually fell off completely.
Some of the tools needed
Since I happen to have plenty of the Abatron WoodEpox left over from my window sill restoration, I used it to fill in the old hole and provide a fresh start.

WoodEpox is a two-part epoxy dough that you can use to restore rotten or missing wood.  It has the consistency of Play-Doh, but when it cures it is very hard and lightweight.  The gloves pictured are worn while kneading the two parts together.  The screwdriver is for digging out the old filler, and the putty knife is for smoothing the new filler before it hardens.  I forgot to include a 1" chisel for cutting the mortise for the strikeplate and a drill for predrilling holes for the two mounting screws, as well as a 1" spade bit for cutting a hole for the latch.

Hole Filled with WoodEpox
Here you can see that I've filled in the old hole with the Abatron. Take your time to get it as smooth as possible, since this stuff is very hard when cured and you can't just sand away large bumps or irregularities.

I let the WoodEpox cure overnight and then used a 1" chisel to cut a mortise for the new strikeplate. After 24 hours the epoxy is semi-cured to a point where it is hard, but not as hard as it's going to get. This makes it relatively easy to work with a chisel. Be sure the mortise fits the strikeplate precisely. A good tight mortise will add a significant amount of holding power to what the two screws will provide.

Here's the finished product after I drilled pilot holes for the screws and used a 1" spade bit for the latch hole.

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