About them @#$%ing strike plates, settling houses, a sledgehammer, and a bucket of prozac

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wrote:

Me too, however others have given the good advice to fix the door, frame and others tips. I was focusing on the file comment. Some of us can actually work a file just fine. ~
Dave
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Why not just widen the strike plate opening. A dremel and a few seconds should do it.
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You could also make sure the hinge jamb is securely fastened to the framing. That should limit most of the movement you're experiencing. You'll have no problems with the matchstick/glue approach. Tom
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tom said something like:

Well, judging by the fact that the doors go in and out of working, it must be a house setling issue. I'll double check the hinges: I have found already one set of hinges where the powerdrill must've had its clutch set too strongly, since the screw holes are stripped out. Thanks for that idea.
So the matchstick/glue method is a good one? I think I remember doing it once maybe 20 years ago, and I remember that one of the issues was that it helped if I sculpted out the bottom of the hole wider than the entry of it so that the matchsticks had no where to slip when the screw went in. Does that sound like I did it right, or botched it.
In any case, wouldn't drilling a hole that overlaps another hole by 1/2 be very tough to do? Should I stick a router bit in my drill and go "sideways" ?
--
"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!"



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Mr. Marshall wrote: tom said something like:

Well, judging by the fact that the doors go in and out of working, it must be a house setling issue. I'll double check the hinges: I have found already one set of hinges where the powerdrill must've had its clutch set too strongly, since the screw holes are stripped out. Thanks for that idea.
Not just the hinges, but the_ jamb_ to which the hinges are attached. Make sure it's solid.
So the matchstick/glue method is a good one? I think I remember doing it once maybe 20 years ago, and I remember that one of the issues was that it helped if I sculpted out the bottom of the hole wider than the entry of it so that the matchsticks had no where to slip when the screw went in. Does that sound like I did it right, or botched it. That'll work. You don't even really need glue.
In any case, wouldn't drilling a hole that overlaps another hole by 1/2 be very tough to do? Should I stick a router bit in my drill and go "sideways" ? Just jamming a twig into the old hole can work fine. Tom
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FriscoSoxFan said something like:

Thought of that. Have a dremel; small chuckle: it works up to about 1/2 of its 30,000 rpm spec (clogged with dust from an attempt to cut through a corian/like sink counter).
Problem is that there is almost no plate left before the screw. I'll give it a "whirl" though. (sorry, sorry).
--
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I have the same problem. If there isn't too much error, I use a Dremel with the little cutoff blades and finish up the corners with a file. If the plate has to be moved, drill out the old screw holes & Glue in hardwood dowels trimmed flush. Then remount the plate in the correct location. Matchsticks & glue make a mess out of everything. Bugs
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Bugs said something like:

Excellent idea. I'll do that the next time I actually move the strike plate. Thanks!
What I did instead in this current situation:
1. Discovered that I /had/ managed to solve this once before in another door. I had found a larger strike plate, one that was meant for exterior doors, and had mounted it in place. As it turns out, it is not as noticeable as I had thought it would be: This is proven by the fact that it is in the downstairs bathroom, and is a place I walk by many times, and did not notice. I had to go looking for it. And this thing wasn't even recessed into the wood, but mounted flat on top.
2. Bought the identical SP from the local hardware store---I had previously disregarded these because I had thought that they were too large. Chiseled [carefully] a new hole, and new recess. And it works fine.
3. No, I'm not sending anyone here pictures, because you'll just yell at me. ;)
Thanks everyone, all the advice is filed away mentally (and googley) for future reference!
Thomas, a software engineer trying his best to deal with things tangible
--
Doesn't /anyone/ know where I can find a credit card company that emails me
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FriscoSoxFan wrote:

I've done the same with a file. Didn't even take it out of the door, just used the tip of the file.
--

FF


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Tom Look for a place that sells commercial hardware in your area You would be suprised at the various plates and hinges and odd hardware that is available that you will not ever find at the Big boxes
Good Luck, George
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The first thing that you should do is find out what is really moving in your house and why it is moving, then develop a strategy to fix the cause rather than the effect. Your doors aren't your problem. Adjusting door strikes without fixing the real cause will only temporarily solve your door latch problems. If you don't fix what's causing everything to go out of plumb, in a short time you will be adjusting the door latches all over again.
Let me guess; your house has no basement, it's on piers over a crawl space, and when it rains water collects under your house. Am I right so far? If not send another note and tell us what you think is causing your house to go in and out of plumb or settle. Significant humidity changes are usually the cause.
If I'm right, then you need to make changes in the shape of your land around your house so surface water runs away from your foundation, at least 15 feet away, when it rains. Fix the gutters and downspouts too. All of the rain water has to go away from the house, not under it. After you get all that fixed and the ground under the house is reasonably dry again (you may need to wait a few months for it to dry) the next thing that you need to do is to cover the dirt in the crawl space with plastic sheeting to stop surface evaporation. Also, you need to ventilate the crawl space to keep the air in there as dry as possible. Then you need to get a big house jack and some blocking and go under your house and re-level your floor beams by adding shims between the piers and the beams (you may want to hire someone for this part - it ain't fun and takes some house mover skills). After your house is dry underneath and level again you will probably discover that you don't need to adjust the door latch strike plates and the doors will open and close like they did when your house was new, because humidity changes in and under your house won't be as great anymore.
I've cured several houses with "moving door latch syndrome" this way.
--
Charley



"Thomas G. Marshall" < snipped-for-privacy@replacetextwithnumber.hotmail.com>
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If the OP has a house built on a floating slab, then the house is supposed to move with changes in soil moisture (assuming that the house isn't sitting in puddles caused by drainage issues). Many homes built in areas with clay soil will move by design.
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
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My problem was a wet basement. Only cost $7,000+ to fix it. Still had to adjust the #@* strike plates. Bugs
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Charley said something like:

No, my house is basically a 2400sqft colonial, 2 story, with a full cement basement.
It does leak a small amount in one corner. Judging from the front door though, that is the corner that is staying "up".
I think.

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"Thomas G. Marshall"

Could you elongate the screw holes in the strike plate - not the jamb - like you would do for a table top?
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Lobby Dosser said something like:

You're jogging my memory. I tried that a longggg time ago. I remember that the screw holes had a counter-sink bevel to them that was hard to replicate, requiring me to use a "flat" topped screw which looked awful.
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"Thomas G. Marshall"

Yeah, I figured the countersink would be the toughest part. Though, you could do it pretty easily on a mill. :o)
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