I need to beef up the security of a steel door
that already has a decent deadbolt & knob with
a locking mechanism.
I have a new 5" long sliding "barrel bolt" that would
work *great* on a solid core wood door where the
big #12/#14 wood screws would have something
to bite into. However, my steel door is filled
with foam, so I doubt the screws would have
anything to grab on to.
A friend suggested I hire a welder to attach the
long part of the barrel bolt frame to the steel door,
and simply attach the short part to the door jamb
using 3" #12/#14 wood screws.
Would the weld between the steel door and the
galvanized steel barrel bolt endure an attempted
I would opt for carriage bolts. Much stronger. Someone could still
grind the heads off, but the same is true for pop rivets.
Brazing might be safer than welding, but I'm afraid either one would
melt and possibly burn the foam core.
If you're concerned about someone kicking in the door, you should use
several - one about 1/4 of the way up, one at the half-way point, and
one about 1/4 of the way down.
They couldn't grind off the pop rivets because the rivets are not
exposed from outside the door. Also, the fasteners don't have to be
nearly as strong as you think. The shear force is on the bolt, not the
fasteners. Also, the carraige bolt heads will announce exactly where
the lock is located.
<< However, my steel door is filled with foam, so I doubt the screws would have
anything to grab on to >>
The pop rivet notion is a good one. To be effective, use 1/4" rivets, but
realize that it takes one heckuva puller to set those dudes.
I like the rivet or bolt approach.
Do make sure that the door jamb is strong enough.
Nothing worse than a massively strong burglar proof door that's
easy to kick in because the door jamb is the weak point.
Think thick wrap-around strike plates, hardwood jamb material etc.
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
A bar is what I installed on our back door twenty-five years ago.
Makes the door about as impervious as you can get, short of bricking
it up. I put the bar across the top, and installed a bolt on the
bottom (a short 3/4" square steel rod that drops into a hole drilled
into the floor). The door has a regular deadbolt as well in the center
and three strong hinges on the inside. The combination not only keeps
the door from being kicked open, but also braces the door against
having the corners cracked off with a pry bar.
My local hardware store sold me the brackets for the bar. Super heavy
duty steel; one side makes a closed loop and the other side an open U.
Slide the 2 x 4 bar into the loop and lay the other end in the U. I
fastened the brackets with lag bolts that go clear through the jamb
and into the double 2x4s framing the door.
I screwed a screw eye into the end of the bar and put a hook on the
door jamb so I can hang the bar on the side of the jamb when we are
home and using the door.
Of course, over the years the character of the neighborhood has
changed from a place where everyone went to work during the day
leaving empty houses as targets for junkies, to a place where moms and
kids are home all day, and there is now virtually zero crime. Many of
my neighbors leave their back doors unlocked now!
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