Re-Installing Door Knobs With Screwdrivers

Screwing in a door catch into a door jamIn a previous blog we discussed some basic door hardware parts and simple repairs when things go wrong. In this blog, we will examine more steps to take when the combination doorknob and lock mechanisms need greater attention. Again, screwdrivers such as the MintCraft 6-in-1 Stubby screwdriver and a hammer will be used to restore your worn and possibly dirty doorknob and locking device. In addition, cleaning solvent may be necessary to remove dirt and grime build-up. These techniques can save you time and money from having to buy a new doorknob-lock mechanism, or worse, hiring a locksmith to correct something the intermediate handyman can easily do on his own.

Intermediate Repairs

1. The 4 steps below may enable you to salvage your current door hardware knob-lock device and can be done easily in a few hours or less.

2. First, take out the screws from the handle’s base and door edge. Next, moderately soak a dry rag with cleaning solvent and wipe down the lock’s parts so they are free from dirt and grime. Use a cleaning solvent soaked cotton swab for tighter areas. Once clean, spray the knob-lock combination with compressed air before re-installing to the door.

3. If the lock’s cylinder is out of alignment, remove the internal handle to get at the screws keeping the cylinder in place. Next, by inserting the key in the lock mechanism so the ‘teeth’ point straight up, you can re-insert the cylinder to screw in place with its alignment corrected.

4. Another area to check is the strike plate. Sometimes extra paint or grime builds up on latches or bolts, preventing the strike from fitting properly. Try spraying the hole with compressed air to remove excess dirt. If paint chips have gotten lodged, take a piece of steel wool, add a bit of paint stripper and clean in and around the strike plate, wiping dry with a clean rag. Oftentimes, this will fix the problem of an improperly latching door lock mechanism.

If the strike plate has become out of alignment or loose, use one of your screwdrivers to tighten all screws holding it in place. If the wood surrounding the strike plate has deteriorated or chipped due to wear and tear, add some wood shims to ‘built up’ the surrounding area, reattaching and tightening the strike plate so that it is secure and not subject to movement.