door latch alignment on striker plate

I have a door that, due to structure settling, the latch no longer enters the hole in the stirker plate on the jamb. In the past I've been able to enlarge the hole in the striker plate and everything fits again. But what remedy is there when another 1/16" is needed? Due to the hole in the wood jamb for the latch it is not easy to just relocate the striker plate since there is no place to put the screws in. By the way, resquaring the jamb and/or remounting the door is not an option at this time.
John Keith snipped-for-privacy@juno.com
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John Keith wrote:

Fill the existing holes w/ solid material (wooden match sticks and carpenters glue works well) and you can then move the striker plate whereever you need it...
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On Sat, 15 Oct 2005 10:38:09 -0500, Duane Bozarth

Ditto on the wood matches. Big "kitchen" wood matches and round wood toothpicks are very often the best things to use**. It's nice that they make them! :)
**My mother taught me that. I think her father taught her.
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I would remove the striker plate, carefully mark on the jamb the top and bottom of the latch bolt where it strikes the jamb, then fill the existing jamb hole with a solid, drillable material, like Plastic Wood or some other xylene based self hardening putty. Then mount a new striker plate so that the latch bolt just grazes the top of the hole in the striker, allowing for future settling in the same direction. Alternatively, if there is still room to do it, you could remove the striker and use a file to file out the needed 1/16th of an inch at the base of the hole, then chisel out the corresponding space in the jamb, to accomodate the bolt.
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John,
It is not unusual to file the strike hole to allow the latch bolt in. I'm not sure whether you have done this or not. If is a matter of enlarging the hole in the wood, you should be able to accomplish with a sharp chisel. If you mean that the hole is so large that it is on the verge of hitting the screw, perhaps we need another solution.
To gain a little height on the door, assuming the bottom of the door can stand to move toward the strike side, undo the bottom hinge and install a thin cardboard shim under the hinge. If necessary, you can install one under the hinge on both the door and the jamb.
Hope this helps.
(top posted for your convenience) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens) snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net

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Ditto on the shims under the hinges. I did this for our main entrance door and it worked like a charm to re-square the door to the jamb and allow the deadbolt to properly enter the strike plate.
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wrote:

Unrelated to this particular problem: My front door didn't shut well for a while, and I tightened the hinges, etc. Didn't work but a month later the door was easy to lock again, no pushing or slamming required. 8 months later, I'm sitting on the floor with my head near the floor, and I see that the weather strip that engages the groove in the threshrhold is bent. The left half goes into the groove and the right half has been pushed downwards so it points at the floor. I haven't fixed it yet, but it's good to know why it didn't close and then why it did.
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Yes, I have done that. And I am at the point of interfering with the screw.

Shims might work for very small adjustments (review your geometry skills) but in this case I need more adjustment than what a cardboard or other shim would provide. By the way, the vertical side of the door and jamb are in good alignment (I suppose this is the normal case for settling issues) and while there might be some room for some misalignment in the vertical I don't want to do that. Part of the problem lies with the original location of the striker plate. From the wear marks on the surface it is clear the plate was not centered on the latch from the beginning (it was off by about 3/16" from being properly centered.)
John Keith snipped-for-privacy@juno.com
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John Keith wrote:

Can you replace the strike plate with a larger one in which the screw holes are farther apart?
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On Sat, 15 Oct 2005 16:31:39 GMT, All Thumbs

That's an interesting suggestion! Are larger striker plates made? This is a common problem and it would seem that a solution like this would have a good market.
John Keith snipped-for-privacy@juno.com
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John Keith wrote:

I had to deal with a similar problem before, and a larger strike plate was one of the options considered (although not the one subsequently chosen).
They do make strike plates in different sizes (I've seen at least two in a local big-box store). Whether that helps depends on the "geometry" of your problem. A larger strike plate may allow you to relocate the screws to where there is wood for them to go into.
In my case filing the strike plate to accomodate the latch bolt was not an option. I ended up enlarging the hole on the door jamb and moving the strike plate. The repositiong moved one of the screw holes into the wrong place -- the hole that the latch bolt goes into. I dealt with that with a longer screw. (That worked in my case but it may or may not work in yours.)
The fun part of the project was enlarging the hole. I couldn't figure out how to do it with a Forstner bit until somebody taught me a trick.
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You can either call a locksmith, or you can just put up with it for the rest of your life.
You're sunk, Mr. Battleship. Fold down the lid of the game, and go to bed. Remember to brush your teeth.
--

Christopher A. Young
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John Keith wrote:

If I understand right, the door or the jamb is sagging. You don't have to move the plate. Remove the plate, put it in a vice and file 1/16 (actually a bit more) from the top or bottom (whichever is needed)of the plate opening. Use a chisel and cut out the required wood. Replace the plate.
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the problem was fixed in the basement, via a screwpost and a couple of spreader plates, as close as possible to where the sagging is occuring. Only takes a few minutes to install, and give it a whack every day till things start moving. Pretty cheap, too.
aem sends...
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On Sun, 16 Oct 2005 02:47:31 GMT, "ameijers"

Unfortunately the person I am helping lives in a multi-unit condo and she is in the upper unit, hence I don't really have access to the foundation level.
I've trimmed the latch hole opening as close to the screw hole as possible and on Monday I'll find out if that is succiificient. If not, I'll be looking for a longer striker plate.
John Keith snipped-for-privacy@juno.com
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Now that you have shared a little more of the story, here are some more ideas. I would be curious whether the floor structure was wood, steel, or concrete. I think you could take a couple of very thing shims under the bottom of the hinge side of the door and raise the door quickly and positively and do no more futzing with the strike. This will work whether the jamb is steel or wood. To get the shims started or get a feel if this is going to work, slide a thin crow bar in first. You might be surprised what a little movement will do.,
(top posted for your convenience) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens) snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net

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John Keith wrote:

That's good, because there's no need to do either. In a subsequent post you mentioned that the strike was never installed centered and that your filing work is starting to interfere with the screw hole. Time for a new plate.
Whether it's new different, new same, you still have to rework the mortise for the plate depth, and maybe the latch hole itself. Simple enough to do and would probably take you less time than you've already invested filing and futzing with the existing strike. As other's have noted, toothpicks, glue and putty, a little paint, good to go.
R
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Don't know if you can get a full 1/16th lower out of this but it might be worth a try.
Loosen the screws in place about 1 and a half turns.
Place blade of large flathead screwdriver on bottom of hole in striker plate. (or the top of the opening hole if you want to raise the striker plate.)
Apply several sharpish taps to the top of the screwdriver with a household hammer.
Retighten screws lightly. The plate will move towards it's original position but not as much as before.
Close door and see if you gained enough.
Celebrate or go to Plan B.
FACE
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Final Solution:
I did enlarge the latch hole opening until it just touched the screw hole and this was sufficient to allow the latch to enter the hole. I used a nibbler to enlarge the hole rather than a file, much faster and a cleaner edge on the final opening. I also checked at Home Depot and they did have striker plates longer than original one so by enlarging the recess I could have mounted this larger plate centered on the latch and solved the problem that way. Only issue with that solution is they wanted about $4 for it.
Thanks for all the dialogue. I appreciate the variety of suggestions.
John Keith snipped-for-privacy@juno.com
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