How to install a ball catch

Written by c.l. rease
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A ball catch uses friction to hold a door in place without the need for a door handle or a complicated door catch. A ball catch does not lock and therefore is used to hold interior doors. Most types of ball catches offer a straightforward installation. Installing the ball catch correctly ensures the door holding the catch remains fixed in the door frame when not in use.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Spade bit set
  • Drill motor
  • Wood chisel
  • Hammer
  • Phillips screwdriver

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Open the door. Place the end of a tape measure on the floor. Pull the tape measure along the front edge of the door (the side that faces door jamb). Place a pencil mark 39 inches off the floor. Draw a second pencil mark on the centre of the door's front edge. Make sure the two lines cross to show the centre of the ball catch hole.

  2. 2

    Measure the diameter of the ball catch with the tape measure. Select a spade bit that is 1/8 inch larger than the ball catch, or the size specified in the ball catch installation instructions. Secure the end of the spade bit in a drill motor.

  3. 3

    Drill a hole at the crossed pencil lines, with the spade bit to the depth of the ball catch cylinder plus 1/8 inch. Wipe sawdust from the hole with a finger. Slide the cylinder of the ball catch into the drilled hole. Align the ball catch plate to sit even with the door edges. Trace around the plate with a pencil. Remove the ball catch from the door.

  4. 4

    Align the edge of a wood chisel with one of the trace lines. The bevel should be facing toward the centre of the traced rectangle. Hit the back of the chisel with a hammer to create a score line. Score all the traced lines using the same procedure. Remove the wood from inside the score line with the chisel until the depth of the recess matches the thickness of the ball-catch plate.

  5. 5

    Insert the ball catch cylinder in the hole. Push the ball catch plate into the cut recess. Insert one screw in the top mounting hole of the catch plate. Turn the screw clockwise with a Phillips screwdriver until tight. Repeat the process on the bottom mounting hole. Close the door.

  6. 6

    Mark the top and bottom of the ball catch plate on the door jamb with the pencil. Open the door. Align the bottom of the latch plate with your bottom pencil mark, with the plate sitting on the inside of the door jamb. Center the latch plate on the face of the jamb. Trace the outside of the latch plate with the pencil.

  7. 7

    Create a second recess to allow the latch plate to sit flush with the wood jamb. Secure the latch plate with two Phillips screws. Close the door.

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