Bowed interior door question

One of the bedroom doors in my house is slightly bowed and the door will not latch without giving it a good tug. When I close the door, the top and the bottom of the door make contact with the door frame, meanwhile the middle part of the door near the door knob is about 1/8" out and not latched. I can give the door knob a pull and it will latch and stay closed. The door itself is a run-of-the-mill 25 year old hollow interior door. Short of replacing the door, does anyone have any advice on making the door close and latch easier?
Thanks a lot....
Mike
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Move the strike plate over an eighth of an inch.
1. Take off the strike plate. 2. Fill the old screw holes. I like to use toothpicks and wood glue. If you use matches, don't put the head end in the hole. Pack the hole as tightly as you can. Let the glue dry. 3. Drill new holes farther to the side. Drill small holes. The screw threads need something to bite into. 4. Replace the strike plate.
You might have to make the big hole for the striker a little larger. Use a small chisel.
--
Steve B.
New Life Home Improvement
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The no-hassle way of doing this is neater: Stop by a local sheet metal shop. Buy a piece of 0.060" stainless steel cutoff (might even be a freebie). At home, take off your old strike plate and scribe the outline and screw holes on the SS piece. Cut out the new strike plate blank, with your trusty hack saw. Drill and countersink the screw holes exactly like the original. On the new blank, scribe the latch opening 1/8" (or whatever) further back. Cut out the opening, smooth, bend tab and trim as needed. Install new strike plate in original screw holes. Close door, Retire to TV room with a cold one and bask in the appreciative admiration of SWMBO. Always works for me.
Joe
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You and I have different defintions of "hassle", but that's OK. I'll still be your friend :-)
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Steve B.
New Life Home Improvement
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Try it, you might like it. Actually works much better than trying to move old wood screws fractions of an inch. Whatever, to each his own. Cheers,
Joe
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Oh, I have no doubt it would work better, but my customers wouldn't be willing to pay the price. I can move the strike plate over in about 10 minutes. (I don't wait for the glue to dry.) Fabricating a new part means I would have to, at least, make another trip to the customer's house.
My *real* solution would be adjustable strike plates....
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New Life Home Improvement
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Steve wrote:

They make adjustable strike plates that have sort of a corrugated surface on the plate, then a slotted part that moves in and out. When you screw the plate to the door jamb, you can loosen the screws and adjust the plate in and out.
I get them at a place called Builders Display. Don't know where else they have them.
Here is one, but not like the ones that I have used:
http://hardware.hardwarestore.com/29-437-strikeplates/adjustable-strike-658507.aspx
This one is more like the one that I have used, but still not exact:
http://www.kellywindowanddoor.com/doors/images/StrikePlate.jpeg
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Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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I have a 20 year old bedroom door that just took a bow, except it is the reverse of yours, it rubs on the door stop when it is closed. I plan to add a third hinge in the middle of the door to try to straighten it out a bit, possibly it would work for you too. But you may still have to move the striker to help it latch.

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I assume the door is hitting the 'stop', the small piece of trim around the inside of the jam, at the top and bottom but not in the middle where the latch is located? Depending on how the door and frame are finished (paint vs stain) you could remove the stop, close the door so it latches, and then re-apply the stop against the closed door. If it's painted, you can repaint as necessary. If it's stained it may be a bit more work, in which case re-locating the strike plate as was suggested might be less work

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Mark - yes I meant that the door is hitting the trim around the inside of the door jam. I will investigate the relocation of the strike plate this weekend. Not sure how well it will work since the new holes will be partially in the old holes. We'll see.
Thanks everyone for their input....
Mike
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wrote in message

M:
Do this and you won't have to worry. Buy a hardwood dowel of the appropriate size (slightly smaller than your finished hole) and drill out the old holes to a uniform diameter and a depth longer than the screws you will be using.
Groove the dowels and roughen the holes, add a quality epoxy to the holes and butter the dowels with it. Tap the dowels into the holes. If you measured hole depth well and cut the dowels exactly you will have little protruding dowel length to trim after the epoxy sets up. This can be done carefully with a modeller's backsaw or hacksaw blade and them sanded flush. You will need acetone to clean up any surplus wet epoxy. Once you have followed these prodedures, you can use a small nail to punch your new centers as guide points for drilling.
Using a small pilot drill for your initial hole before using a drill bit of the correct size for the screws' root diameter will make for a clean job. If you have trouble freehand drilling, look into a drill guide for your portable drill. General and others make these.
Regards,
Edward Hennessey
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I have an 85 year old house with its original doors, so I have had my share of door issues like this.
What you need to figure out is why this is happening. If you're in a high humidity area, then I guess it's possible the door has just bowed itself. But if it's striking the top and bottom of the frame when you close it, then it sounds like there might be some pressure being put on it from the top when it's closed. It could be settlement.
Also, are you sure it's the door that's bowed and not the jamb? Again, could be settlement.
Moving the strike plate would be a short-term solution (and one that I've used myself) but if it's settlement, then you might end up making things worse eventually, because the door will now have more room to bend.
Personally, I'd probably just move the strike plate for now and then deal with it later. But I'd also check for settlement just to have an idea of what I might need to do in the future.
Jeff
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On Jan 25, 1:02 pm, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Thanks Jeff. Tell me....how does one check for settlement? Of the 5 other doors on the second level of our home, 4 work fine and one other door closes loosely, so I'm probably looking at moving that strike plate closer to the door stop. On the main floor, I have 2 doors that seem to close fine, but they don't latch.
Thanks again for your advice.
Mike
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The main thing is just measuring the square, level and plumb of the door jamb. You can do that with just a basic square and level. If it's out, then it's probably settlement, unless the jamb was installed incorrectly in the first place. Nothing to freak out about if it's out, but at least you'll know what's happening. I'd still probably just move the plate, but at least if it continues to get worse you will know it's really the house's movement that's the problem. (This is normal, but it might force you to re-install the jamb eventually.)
Measure level and plumb on all sides, too. In my house, a couple of the jambs have actually started "walking" a little bit over the last 85 years, so they're out of plumb a little bit not on the side the door is on but on the plane of the wall. That means the top of the door hits the jamb and I have to tug the door to close it.
As for the doors that don't latch, probably just worn out springs. You can just get new springs for the lockset if that's the case. Or if these are those cheap hollow core doors, they probably came with cheap locksets too and maybe you just want to replace the whole thing. Not very difficult or expensive, unless you decide to upgrade at the same time.
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Make your life a little easer and instead of moving the strike plate, make the hole in the strike plate that the latch goes into a little bit bigger. This way you will mot have to deal with moving screw holes over a half a hole or having to fill the gap left by moving the strike.
Hear is what I would do. First, stand on the stop side of the door and allow the door to come to rest with out any pressure on it to straighten the bow. Observe the distance between the door stop and the door in line with the latch.
Now tug the door closed so that it latches fully. The distance at the same point will be less than your original observed distance, and the difference is the amount you need to move the hole in the strike plate.
I allow about a + 1/32" more but do not exceed this or you will be too loose.
If you have a lipped strike, (A small tab folded into the strike hole) you can either file the lip off, or make a visit to your local locksmith and he might be able to supply you with a flat strike plate in the same finish and dimension.
--
Roger Shoaf
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